During the fourteen years which have elapsed since the publication of the last
edition of this Dictionary, the Author has kept it constantly before him, correcting
errors, improving and enlarging the definitions, and adding new words and illustra-
tions, according as his time and other important engagements allowed him. But
owing to the amazing changes and rapid advancement of the Japanese in every
department, he has found it difficult to keep pace with the corresponding advance of
the language in the increase of its vocabulary. He has endeavored, however,
to collect these words, examine, classify and define them. Many, no doubt, have
escaped his notice. Still there is an addition of more than ten thousand words to
the Japanese and English hart. He might have increased this number by almost
as many more, had he thought proper to insert the purely technical terms be-
longing to the various branches of medicine, chemistry, botany, etc., etc., each
of which should have a separate work especially devoted to it. He had to draw a
line somewhere, and has limited himself to such words only as are in popular
and general use. Most of these words are of Chinese derivation.
He has a1so inserted all the archaic and now obsolete terms found in the Kojiki,
Manyoshu, and the Monogataris which have come under his notice, hoping thereby
to aid those who may desire to read these ancient books. To distinguish these
words lie has marked them with a dagger (1 ).
Though somewhat against his own judgment, but with an earnest desire to
further the cause of the Romajikwai, lie has altered to some extent the method
of transliteration which lie had adopted in the previous edition of this work, so as
to conform to that which has been adopted by this society. These alterations are
few and are fully explained in the Introduction.
The English and Japanese part he has also carefully revised, corrected and
With all his care anc:. effort the author finds typographical errors have
here and there undetected, especially among the Chinese characters. They are not
many, however, and he ccmforts himself with the reflection that it is not human to
be perfect, nor to produce a work in which a critical eye can detect no flaw.
The Author commits his work to the kind forbearance of the public. Advancing
age admonishes him that this must be his last contribution to lexicography. He
has done his best under the circumstances. He has laid the foundation upon which
others may build a more complete and finished structure ; and he is thankful that
so much of the work has been given him to do.
The Author cannot lake his leave without thanking his many friends who
have encouraged him and sympathized with him in his work ; especially Rev. 0. H.
Gulick of Kobe, and W. I'd. Whitney, M.D., Interpreter to the U. S. Legation, who
have kindly rendered him no little aid. But above all others is he indebted to
Mr. Takahashi Goro, whose assistance throughout has been invaluable.
J. C. H.
Yokohama, June, 1866,
CHINESE WRITTEN LANGUAGE.
There is but little doubt that, previous to the study of the Chinese written
language, and the introduction of Chinese literature into Japan, the Japanese
possessed no written language or characters of their own.
According to Japanese history, the first teacher of Chinese was ATOGI (阿屠岐),
a son of the King of Corea, who cane on an Embassy to the Court of Japan in the
15th year of the Emperor OjiN, about A.D. 286. He remained but one year, and
at his instigation, WANI (王仁) was invited to Japan from Corea to teach Chinese.
He arrived the following year. About the nationality of Warn there is some dispute;
but the best authorities regard him as a Corean, others as a Chinese from the
kingdom of Go (呉), one of the three states which, from A.D. 222 to 280, included
in its territory part of Fokien and most of the eastern provinces of China. It was
thus that what is called the Go-on (呉音) was brought to Japan.
From this time the Chinese classics, and literature in all its branches, gradually
became the study of the higher classes,-of the nobles, military class, priests, and
physicians,-and extended more or less even among the farmers and merchants.
Education consisted in learning how to read and write Chinese. This has had more
influence than all others in directing and shaping the development and civilization
of a people, peculiarly impressible, inquisitive, and ready to imitate and adopt
whatever may conduce to their own aggrandizement. Thus from China were
derived the knowledge of agriculture, manufactures, the arts, religion, philosophy,
ethics, medicine and science generally.
The Chinese written language, without affecting at all the grammatical structure
of the native language, has been a vast treasury from which to draw and enrich it
with words in every branch of knowledge. Perhaps the great advantage of having
such materials at hand from which to form new combinations was never more
apparent than at the present time, when the study of western science and institu-
tions, necessitating a new and copious nomenclature and technology, has been
entered upon with such .avidity. The Chinese ideographs have been found equal
to the need. With the aid of these, a new nomenclature in all departments of
knowledge is rapidly for ning, quite as expressive as appropriate as the words
which have been introduced into the English language from the Greek and Latin,
to which languages, in their influence upon the Angle-Saxon and English mind and
philosophy, the Chinese -written language bears a wonderful resemblance.
Only the highest stele and smallest part of Japanese literature is written in
pure Chinese. The largest part, and that intended for the general reader, is
written in a mixture of Chinese and Japanese Kana, called Kana-majiri, in which a
large proportion of word;, the agglutinating particles, and grammatical structure,
are purely Japanese. Be_ow this, there is yet a style of literature written in the
Hira-kana, without any, or a very slight mixture of Chinese.
The Chinese spoken. language has never been current in Japan. But in the
language of the learned classes and officials, words derived from the Chinese abound;
and from a false affects ion of learning the preference is generally given to such
words, even when, in their own more beautiful native tongue, synonymous words
exist. The native Japanese language seems to be spoken with greater purity by
the women than by any other class.
If the Japanese had confined themselves to one system of phonetics for the
Chinese characters, the study of the language would have been much simplified, at
least to the foreigner. I -at, besides the Go-on mentioned above, and after it bad
been current some 320 years, another system called the Kan-on (漢音) was
introduced in the 15th year of the reign of the Emperor Izuiko, about A.D. 605, by
some five Japanese students who had spent a year at (Cho-an) (長安), the seat
of government of the Zui dynasty, now Singan, the capital of the province of Shensi.
The Kan-on has gradnally supplanted the Go-on, bring now, for the most part, used
by the literary and official classes. The Go-on is still used by the Buddhist, and is
the most current pronuneciation of Chinese words in the common colloquial. Neither
system, however, has beet exclusively used to the rejection of the other; long custom
and usage seams to have settled and restricted their use to particular words. In the
formation of new words .and scientific terminology, the Kan-on is now exclusively
used. There is still another and more recent system of sounds for the Chinese
characters, called the To-on (唐音), which resembles the present Mandarin sounds ;
but this is little used.
The Chinese characters in their entirety were the first symbols employed by
the Japanese in writing their native tongue. These characters were used phone-
tically, each standing for the sound of a Japanese syllable, sometimes for a word.
In this way it happened that the Japanese letters, instead of an alphabetic, took a
syllabic form. The most ancient books, as the Kojiki (古事記). which dates from
A.D. 711, and the Manyoshu(萬葉集), some fifty years after, were written in this way.
The first effort to do away with these cumbersome characters, and simplify their
letters, gave rise to the Kana, a contraction of Kari-na (假名), signifying burrowed
names. The Kata-kana (片假字), or side letters, are the oldest and most simple.
They are said to have been invented by Kiwi DAishi, a man of high rank in the
Court of the Emperor KoJiN, who died A.D. 776. They are derived from the
Chinese characters, where, instead of the whole, only a part of the character is
used ; as, 4 from W, n from E, is from lu. Sometimes the whole character is
used ; as, 1- for ｰ'. But these characters being separated, and not admitting of
being run into each other as a grass hand, they have been little used, except in
dictionaries, books intended for the learned, or to spell foreign names.
The Hira-kaana (平假字), or plain letters, are also Chinese characters written
in a running or grass hand, and more or less contracted. Thus, ゆ is the grass
hand of 由, あ of 安, を of 遠. They are said to have been invented by Kukai, a
Buddhist priest, better known by his posthumous name of Kobodaishi, who died in
the 2nd year of the reign of the Emperor JIMMYO, A.D. 835. This man is also said
to have arranged the syllables in their present order of i, ro, ha, forming them into
a stanza of poetry.
If the Japanese had confined themselves to a certain number of fixed symbols
to represent their syllables, the labor of acquiring a knowledge of their written
language would have been comparatively easy ; but having such a wide field in the
Chinese ideographs from which to select, they have multiplied these symbols,
making that which should be simple and plain, complex and confusing, to the great
annoyance and trouble of all learners, and not unfrequently even perplexing them-
selves. A great change, however, in this respect has been produced by the use of
movable metallic types in printing and the abandonment of the old method of
printing on blocks. The forms of the Iiiragana syllables have consequently been
reduced to two or three varieties.