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Kunrei-shiki romanization

Kunrei-shiki rōmaji (訓令式ローマ字) is a Cabinet-ordered romanization system to transcribe the Japanese language into the Latin alphabet. It is abbreviated as Kunrei-shiki. Its name is rendered Kunreisiki using Kunrei-shiki itself.

Kunrei-shiki is sometimes known as the Monbushō system in English because it is taught in the Monbushō-approved elementary school curriculum. The ISO has standardized Kunrei-shiki, under ISO 3602.

Kunrei-shiki is based on the older Nihon-shiki (Nipponsiki) system, which was modified for modern standard Japanese. For example, the word かなづかい, romanized kanadukai in Nihon-shiki, is pronounced kanazukai in standard modern Japanese and is romanized as such in Kunrei-shiki.

Kunrei-shiki competes with the older Hepburn romanization system, which was promoted by the authorities during the Allied occupation of Japan, after World War II.


Before World War II, there was a political conflict between supporters of Hepburn romanization and supporters of Nihon-shiki romanization. In 1930, a board of inquiry, under the aegis of the Minister of Education, was established to determine the proper romanization system. The Japanese government, by cabinet order (訓令 kunrei),[1] announced on September 21, 1937 that a modified form of Nihon-shiki would be officially adopted as Kunrei-shiki.[2] The form at the time differs slightly from the modern form.[3] Originally, the system was called the Kokutei (国定, government-authorized) system.[2]

The Japanese government gradually introduced Kunrei-shiki, which appeared in secondary education, on railway station signboards, on nautical charts, and on the 1:1,000,000 scale International Map of the World.[4] While the central government had strong control, from 1937 to 1945, the Japanese government used Kunrei-shiki in its tourist brochures.[5] In Japan, some use of Nihon-shiki and Modified Hepburn remained, however, because some individuals supported the use of those systems.[4]

J. Marshall Unger, the author of Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading between the Lines, said that the Hepburn supporters "understandably" believed that the Kunrei-shiki "compromise" was not fair because of the presence of the "un-English-looking spellings" that the Modified Hepburn supporters had opposed.[6] Andrew Horvat, the author of Japanese Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk Like a Native Speaker, argued that "by forcing non-native speakers of Japanese with no intentions of learning the language to abide by a system intended for those who have some command of Japanese, the government gave the impression of intolerant language management that would have dire consequences later on."[5]

After the Japanese government was defeated in 1945, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers issued a directive, dated September 3, 1945, that stated that Modified Hepburn was the method to transcribe Japanese names. Some editorials printed in Japanese newspapers advocated for using only Hepburn.[7] Supporters of Hepburn denounced pro-Kunrei-shiki and pro-Nihon-shiki advocates to the SCAP offices[6] by accusing them of being inactive militarists[7] and of collaborating with militarists. Unger said that the nature of Kunrei-shiki led to "pent-up anger" by Hepburn supporters.[6] During the postwar period, several educators and scholars tried to introduce romanized letters as a teaching device and possibility later replacing kanji. However, Kunrei-shiki had associations with Japanese militarism, and the US occupation was reluctant to promote it.[5] On December 9, 1954, the Japanese government re-confirmed Kunrei-shiki as its official system[2] but with slight modifications.[8] Eleanor Jorden, an American linguist, made textbooks with a modified version of Kunrei-shiki, which were used in the 1960s in courses given to US diplomats. The use of her books did not change the US government's hesitation to use Kunrei-shiki.[5]

As of 1974, according to the Geographical Survey Institute, Kunrei-shiki was used for topographical maps, and Modified Hepburn was used for geological maps and aeronautical charts.[9]

As of 1978, the National Diet Library used Kunrei-shiki. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and many other official organizations instead used Hepburn, as did The Japan Times, the Japan Travel Bureau, and many other private organizations.[2]

Legal status

The system was originally promulgated as Japanese Cabinet Order No. 3 as of September 21, 1937. Since it had been overturned by the SCAP during the occupation of Japan, the Japanese government repealed it and decreed again, as Japanese Cabinet Order No.1 as of December 29, 1954. It mandated the use of Kunrei-shiki in "the written expression of Japanese generally." Specific alternative spellings could be used in international relations and to follow established precedent. See Permitted Exceptions for details.[1]

Kunrei-shiki has been recognized, along with Nihon-shiki, in ISO 3602:1989. Documentation—Romanization of Japanese (kana script) by the ISO. It was also recommended by the ANSI after it withdrew its own standard, ANSI Z39.11-1972 American National Standard System for the Romanization of Japanese (Modified Hepburn), in 1994.

Example: tat-u
Conjugation Kunrei Hepburn
Mizen 1 tat-a- tat-a-
Mizen 2 tat-o- tat-o-
Ren'yô tat-i tach-i
Syûsi/Rentai tat-u tats-u
Katei tat-e- tat-e-
Meirei tat-e tat-e

Despite its official recognition, Japanese commonly choose between Nihon-shiki/Kunrei-shiki and Hepburn for any given situation. However, the Japanese government generally uses Hepburn, especially for passports,[10] road signage,[10] and train signage.[11]

Otherwise, most Western publications and all English-language newspapers use some form of Hepburn.[12]

Because Kunrei-shiki is based on Japanese phonology, it can cause non-native speakers to pronounce words incorrectly. John Hinds, the author of Japanese: Descriptive Grammar, describes that as "a major disadvantage."[13]

Additional complications appear with newer kana combinations such as ティーム(チーム) team. In Hepburn, they would be distinguished as different sounds and represented as mu and chīmu respectively. That gives better indications of the English pronunciations. For some Japanese-speakers, however, the sounds ティ "ti" and チ "chi" are the same phoneme; both are represented in Kunrei-shiki as tîmu. Such complications may be confusing to those who do not know Japanese phonology well.

Today, the main users of Kunrei-shiki are native speakers of Japanese, especially within Japan, and linguists studying Japanese. The main advantage of Kunrei-shiki is that it is better able to illustrate Japanese grammar, as Hepburn preserves the irregularity of certain conjugations (see table, right).[14] The most serious problem of Hepburn in this context is that it may change the stem of a verb, which is not reflected in the underlying morphology of the language. One notable introductory textbook for English-speakers, Eleanor Jorden's Japanese: The Spoken Language, uses her JSL romanization, a system strongly influenced by Kunrei-shiki in its adherence to Japanese phonology, but it is adapted to teaching proper pronunciation of Japanese phonemes.

Kunrei-shiki spellings of kana
gojūon yōon
あ ア a い イ i う ウ u え エ e お オ o (ya) (yu) (yo)
か カ ka き キ ki く ク ku け ケ ke こ コ ko きゃ キャ kya きゅ キュ kyu きょ キョ kyo
さ サ sa し シ si す ス su せ セ se そ ソ so しゃ シャ sya しゅ シュ syu しょ ショ syo
た タ ta ち チ ti つ ツ tu て テ te と ト to ちゃ チャ tya ちゅ チュ tyu ちょ チョ tyo
な ナ na に ニ ni ぬ ヌ nu ね ネ ne の ノ no にゃ ニャ nya にゅ ニュ nyu にょ ニョ nyo
は ハ ha ひ ヒ hi ふ フ hu へ ヘ he ほ ホ ho ひゃ ヒャ hya ひゅ ヒュ hyu ひょ ヒョ hyo
ま マ ma み ミ mi む ム mu め メ me も モ mo みゃ ミャ mya みゅ ミュ myu みょ ミョ myo
や ヤ ya (i) ゆ ユ yu (e) よ ヨ yo
ら ラ ra り リ ri る ル ru れ レ re ろ ロ ro りゃ リャ rya りゅ リュ ryu りょ リョ ryo
わ ワ wa ゐ ヰ i (u) ゑ ヱ e を ヲ o
ん ン n
voiced sounds (dakuten)
が ガ ga ぎ ギ gi ぐ グ gu げ ゲ ge ご ゴ go ぎゃ ギャ gya ぎゅ ギュ gyu ぎょ ギョ gyo
ざ ザ za じ ジ zi ず ズ zu ぜ ゼ ze ぞ ゾ zo じゃ ジャ zya じゅ ジュ zyu じょ ジョ zyo
だ ダ da ぢ ヂ zi づ ヅ zu で デ de ど ド do ぢゃ ヂャ zya ぢゅ ヂュ zyu ぢょ ヂョ zyo
ば バ ba び ビ bi ぶ ブ bu べ ベ be ぼ ボ bo びゃ ビャ bya びゅ ビュ byu びょ ビョ byo
ぱ パ pa ぴ ピ pi ぷ プ pu ぺ ペ pe ぽ ポ po ぴゃ ピャ pya ぴゅ ピュ pyu ぴょ ピョ pyo
  • Characters in red are obsolete in modern Japanese.
  • When he (へ) is used as a particle, it is written as e, not he (as in Nihon-shiki).
  • When ha (は) is used as a particle, it is written as wa, not ha.
  • wo (を/ヲ) is used only as a particle, written o.
  • Long vowels are indicated by a circumflex accent: long o is written ô.
  • Vowels that are separated by a morpheme boundary are not considered to be a long vowel. For example, おもう (思う) is written omou, not omô.
  • Syllabic n (ん) is written as n' before vowels and y but as n before consonants and at the end of a word.
  • Geminate consonants are always marked by doubling the consonant following the sokuon (っ).
  • The first letter in a sentence and all proper nouns are capitalized.
  • ISO 3602 has the strict form; see Nihon-shiki.
Permitted exceptions

The Cabinet Order makes an exception to the above chart:

  • In international relations and situations for which prior precedent would make a sudden reform would be difficult, the spelling may also be given by Chart 2:
しゃ sha し shi しゅ shu しょ sho
    つ tsu  
ちゃ cha ち chi ちゅ chu ちょ cho
    ふ fu  
じゃ ja じ ji じゅ ju じょ jo
  ぢ di づ du  
ぢゃ dya   ぢゅ dyu ぢょ dyo
くゎ kwa      
ぐゎ gwa      
      を wo

The exceptional clause is not to be confused with other systems of romanization (such as Hepburn) and does not specifically relax other requirements, such as marking long vowels.

See also
  1. Horvat, p. 166. ""The zi ending of roomazi comes from the Kunreeshiki system promulgated in the 1930s through a cabinet order, or kunree."
  2. Kent, et al. "Oriental Literature and Bibliography." p. 155.
  3. Hadamitzky, p. 12.
  4. "Romanization in Japan." (Archive) (Paper presented by Japan) United Nations Economic and Social Council. July 8, 1977. p. 3. English only. Retrieved on May 15, 2013.
  5. Horvat, Andrew. "The Romaji (Roomaji) Conundrum." (Archive) – Excerpt from Horvat's book: Japanese Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk Like a Native Speaker. Hosted at the David See-Chai Lam Centre for International Communication of Simon Fraser University. Retrieved on May 13, 2013.
  6. Unger, p. 54.
  7. Unger, p. 78.
  8. Gottlieb, p. 78.
  9. Bulletin of the Geographical Survey Institute, p. 22. "As reported at the Second Conference, the writing of geographical names in Roman letters in Japan comes in two types — Kunrei Siki (system adopted under a Cabinet ordinance) and Syûsei Hebon Siki (Modified Hepburn System). Kunrei Siki is used for topographical maps, whereas Syûsei Hebon Siki is in use for aeronautical charts and geological maps." - Content also available in "Romanization in Japan." (Archive) (Paper presented by Japan) United Nations Economic and Social Council. July 8, 1977. p. 2. English only.
  12. Powers, John. "Japanese Names", The Indexer Vol. 26 No. 2 June 2008. "It [Hepburn] can be considered the norm as, in slightly modified form, it is followed by the great majority of Western publications and by all English-language newspapers."
  13. Hinds, John (1986). Japanese: Descriptive Grammar. Croom Helm. ISBN 0-7099-3733-4. LCCN 86006372. The major disadvantage of this system (Kunrei-shiki) is that there is a tendency for nonnative speakers of Japanese to pronounce certain forms incorrectly.
  14. Hinds, John (1986). Japanese: Descriptive Grammar. Croom Helm. ISBN 0-7099-3733-4. LCCN 86006372. The major advantage of kunrei-shiki is that inflectional endings are seen to be more regular.
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Kunrei-shiki romanization


Kunrei-shiki rōmaji ( 訓令式ローマ字 ) is a Cabinet -ordered romanization system to transcribe the Japanese language into the Latin alphabet . It is abbreviated as Kunrei-shiki. Its name is rendered Kunreisiki using Kunrei-shiki itself. Kunrei-shiki is sometimes known as the Monbushō system in English because it is taught in the Monbushō-approved elementary school curriculum. The ISO has standardized Kunrei-shiki, under ISO 3602 . Kunrei-shiki is based on the older Nihon-shiki (Nipponsiki) system, which was modified for modern standard Japanese. For example, the word かなづかい, romanized kanadukai in Nihon-shiki, is pronounced kanazukai in standard modern Japanese and is romanized as such in Kunrei-shiki. Kunrei-shiki competes with the older Hepburn romanization system, which was promoted by the authorities during the Allied occupation of Japan , after World War II. History Before World War II , there was a political conflict between supporters of Hepburn romanization and supporters of Nihon-shiki romanization. In 1930, ...more...

Nihon-shiki romanization


Nihon-shiki , or Nippon-shiki Rōmaji ( Japanese : 日本式ローマ字 , "Japan-style," romanized as Nihon-siki or Nippon-siki in Nippon-shiki itself), is a romanization system for transliterating the Japanese language into the Latin alphabet . In discussion about romaji , it is abbreviated as Nihon-shiki or Nippon-shiki. Among the major romanization systems for Japanese, it is the most regular one and has a one-to-one relation to the kana writing system. In practice, however, Nippon-shiki has been largely supplanted by Hepburn romanization . History It was invented by physicist Aikitsu Tanakadate (田中館 愛橘) in 1885, with the intention to replace the Hepburn system of romanization. Tanakadate's intention was to replace the traditional kanji and kana system of writing Japanese completely by a romanized system, which he felt would make it easier for Japan to compete with Western countries. Since the system was intended for Japanese people to use to write their own language, it is much more regular than Hepburn romanization, ...more...

Hepburn romanization


Hepburn romanization ( ヘボン式ローマ字 Hebon-shiki Rōmaji, 'Hepburn-type Roman letters') is a system for the romanization of Japanese , that is using the Roman alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Roman alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, and other information such as train tables, road signs, and official communications with foreign countries. Largely based on English writing conventions , consonants closely correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation. The Hepburn style (Hebon-shiki) was developed in the late 19th century by an international commission that was formed to develop a unified system of romanization. The commission's romanization scheme was popularized by the wide dissemination of a Japanese–English dictionary by commission member and American missionary James Curtis Hepburn which was published in 1886. The "modified Hepburn system" (shūsei H ...more...

Romanization of Japanese


The romanization of Japanese is the application of the Latin script to write the Japanese language . This method of writing is sometimes referred to in English as rōmaji ( ローマ字 , literally, "Roman letters") (  (   listen ) . There are several different romanization systems. The three main ones are Hepburn romanization , Kunrei-shiki romanization (ISO 3602), and Nihon-shiki romanization (ISO 3602 Strict). Variants of the Hepburn system are the most widely used. Japanese is normally written in a combination of logographic characters borrowed from Chinese ( kanji ) and syllabic scripts ( kana ) which also ultimately derive from Chinese characters. Rōmaji may be used in any context where Japanese text is targeted at non-Japanese speakers who cannot read kanji or kana, such as for names on street signs and passports, and in dictionaries and textbooks for foreign learners of the language. It is also used to transliterate Japanese terms in text written in English (or other languages that use the Latin script) on to ...more...

Wāpuro rōmaji


Wāpuro rōmaji ( ワープロローマ字 ) , or kana spelling , is a style of romanization of Japanese originally devised for entering Japanese into word processors ( ワードプロセッサー wādo purosessā, often abbreviated wāpuro) while using a Western QWERTY keyboard. In Japanese, the more formal name is rōmaji kana henkan ( ローマ字仮名変換 ) , literally "Roman character kana conversion". One conversion method has been standardized as JIS X 4063:2000 (Keystroke to KANA Transfer Method Using Latin Letter Key for Japanese Input Method); however, the standard explicitly states that it is intended as a means of input, not as a method of romanization. Wāpuro rōmaji is now frequently employed in general-purpose computer input as well as word processing, but the name lives on. Wāpuro-style romanizations are also frequently used by native speakers of Japanese in informal contexts, as well as by many fans of anime and other aspects of Japanese culture . A common characteristic of these (often online) cases is the avoidance of hard-to-type circumflexes ...more...

JSL romanization


JSL is a romanization system for transcribing the Japanese language into the Latin script . It was devised by Eleanor Jorden for (and named after) her 1987 book Japanese: The Spoken Language . The system is based on Kunrei-shiki romanization . Example: tat-u Conjugation JSL Hepburn Mizen 1 tat-a- tat-a- Mizen 2 tat-o- tat-o- Ren'yô tat-i- tach-i- Syûsi tat-u. tats-u. Rentai tat-u- tats-u- Katei tat-e- tat-e- Meirei tat-e. tat-e. It is designed for teaching spoken Japanese, and so, it follows Japanese phonemes fairly closely. For example, different conjugations of a verb may be achieved by changing the final vowel (as in the chart on the right), thus "bear[ing] a direct relation to Japanese structure" (in Jorden's words ), whereas the common Hepburn romanization may require exceptions in some cases, in order to more clearly illustrate pronunciation to native English speakers. JSL differs from Hepburn particularly in that it uses doubled vowels, rather than macrons , to represent the long vowels and . Tokyo (T ...more...



Languages can be romanized in a number of ways, as shown here with Mandarin Chinese Romanization (also spelled romanisation : see spelling differences ), in linguistics , is the conversion of writing from a different writing system to the Roman (Latin) script , or a system for doing so. Methods of romanization include transliteration , for representing written text, and transcription , for representing the spoken word, and combinations of both. Transcription methods can be subdivided into phonemic transcription, which records the phonemes or units of semantic meaning in speech, and more strict phonetic transcription, which records speech sounds with precision. Methods There are many consistent or standardized romanization systems. They can be classified by their characteristics. A particular system’s characteristics may make it better-suited for various, sometimes contradictory applications, including document retrieval, linguistic analysis, easy readability, faithful representation of pronunciation. Source, ...more...



Different regions distinguish different sets of sounds. Using the Nihon-shiki romanization system:    1 sound (zi = di = zu = du)    2 sounds (zi = di ≠ zu = du)    3 sounds (zi = di ≠ zu ≠ du)    4 sounds (zi ≠ di ≠ zu ≠ du) Yotsugana ( 四つ仮名 , literally "four kana") are a set of four specific kana , じ , ぢ , ず , づ (in the Nihon-shiki romanization system: zi, di, zu, du), used in the Japanese writing system . They historically represented four distinct voiced morae (syllables) in the Japanese language; however, today, in standard Japanese and the dialects of most Japanese speakers these morae have merged down to two sounds. Modern sound usage in various dialects Most of the far northern dialects ( Tōhoku dialects and Hokkaidō) and far southern dialects (notably Okinawan Japanese ) and the Ryukyuan languages (the other Japonic languages ) have also mostly merged these down to one sound. However a few dialects, namely around Shikoku and Kyushu in the southwest, have conserved the distinction between three or all ...more...



Retsu ( 烈 ) (also romanized Retu in the Kunrei-shiki system) is a Japanese word meaning "violent". Retsu is also the name of the following fictional characters: Retsu Unohana , a character from the manga and anime Bleach Retsu, a character from the game Street Fighter Retu, the final boss from the game Final Fight 2 Retsu Seiba, one of the main characters of Bakusō Kyōdai Let's & Go!! Retsu Fukami , main character from the 2007 Japanese tokusatsu television series, Juken Sentai Gekiranger . Retsu ( 烈 ) (also romanized Retu in the Kunrei-shiki system) is a Japanese word meaning "violent". Retsu is also the name of the following fictional characters: Retsu Unohana , a character from the manga and anime Bleach Retsu, a character from the game Street Fighter Retu, the final boss from the game Final Fight 2 Retsu Seiba, one of the main characters of Bakusō Kyōdai Let's & Go!! Retsu Fukami , main character from the 2007 Japanese tokusatsu television series, Juken Sentai Gekiranger . ...more...



Jōruri ( 浄瑠璃 ) can refer to: Jōruri (music) , a type of sung narrative with shamisen accompaniment, typically found in Bunraku , a traditional Japanese puppet theatre Jōruri (opera) , an opera by Japanese composer Miki Minoru Jōruri-ji (浄瑠璃寺), a Buddhist temple in Kyoto Joruri (song) by Bangladeshi heavy metal band Pledge Karma Jōruri is the Hepburn romanization of the Japanese ( kanji ) word. It is spelled Zyôruri in Kunrei-shiki Rōmaji (ISO 3602), and Zyōruri in Nihon-shiki Rōmaji (ISO 3602 Strict). Jōruri ( 浄瑠璃 ) can refer to: Jōruri (music) , a type of sung narrative with shamisen accompaniment, typically found in Bunraku , a traditional Japanese puppet theatre Jōruri (opera) , an opera by Japanese composer Miki Minoru Jōruri-ji (浄瑠璃寺), a Buddhist temple in Kyoto Joruri (song) by Bangladeshi heavy metal band Pledge Karma Jōruri is the Hepburn romanization of the Japanese ( kanji ) word. It is spelled Zyôruri in Kunrei-shiki Rōmaji (ISO 3602), and Zyōruri in Nihon-shiki Rōmaji (ISO 3602 Strict). ...more...

E (kana)


In Japanese writing , the kana え ( hiragana ) and エ ( katakana ) ( romanised e) occupy the fourth place, between う and お , in the modern Gojūon (五十音) system of collating kana . In the Iroha , they occupy the 34th, between こ and て . In the table at right (ordered by columns, from right to left), え lies in the first column (あ行, "column A") and the fourth row (え段, "row E"). Both represent . Form Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana Normal a/i/u/e/o (あ行 a-gyō) e え エ eieeē えい, えぃ ええ, えぇ えー エイ, エィ エエ, エェ エー Derivation え and エ originate, via man'yōgana , from the kanji 衣 and 江 , respectively. The archaic kana ゑ (we), as well as many non-initial occurrences of the character へ (he), have entered the modern Japanese language as え. The directional particle へ is today pronounced "e", though not written as え. Compare this to は (ha) and を (wo), which are pronounced "wa" and "o" when used as grammatical particles. Variant forms Scaled-down versions of the kana (ぇ, ェ) are used to express morae foreign to the Japanese language, such as ヴ ...more...

Chi (kana)


ち , in hiragana , or チ in katakana , is one of the Japanese kana , which each represent one mora . Both are phonemically although for phonological reasons , the actual pronunciation is  (   listen ) . The kanji for one thousand (千, sen), appears similar to チ, and at one time they were related, but today チ is used as phonetic, while the kanji carries an entirely unrelated meaning. Many onomatopoeic words beginning with ち pertain to things that are small or quick. The dakuten forms ぢ, ヂ, pronounced the same as the dakuten forms of the shi kana in most dialects (see yotsugana ), are uncommon. They are primarily used for indicating a voiced consonant in the middle of a compound word (see rendaku ), and they can never begin a word, although some people will write the word for hemorrhoids (normally じ) as ぢ for emphasis. The dakuten form of the shi character is sometimes used when transliterating "di", as opposed to チ's dakuten form; for example, Aladdin is written as アラジン Arajin, and radio is written as ラジオ. More ...more...



Musya: Imoto's Saga or Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror , known in Japan as Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musya (豪槍神雷伝説「武者」 Gōsō Jinrai Densetsu Musha, roughly "Brave Spearman Jinrai's Legend - Warrior"), is a 1992 action platformer video game developed by Jorudan and published by Datam Polystar for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System . The game was translated into English by Seta U.S.A. . Musya was released in Japan on April 21, 1992 and in North America in December 1992. The name Musya is romanized by the English translators in the Kunrei-shiki style (Musya) instead of the Hepburn romanization style (Musha). Gameplay Imoto, bearing 16 units of health ( Qi (気 Ki, meaning "life energy")), dies when the health is depleted. He carries up to three lives (命 Inochi). The game starts with three lives; once the life count is zero and Imoto dies, the game ends. When Imoto defeats a boss, the words "monster defeated" (怨霊調伏 Onryō Chōfuku, "Vengeful Ghost Submitted") appear and the player gains a scroll containing ...more...



Futoshiki ( 不等式 futōshiki) , or More or Less , is a logic puzzle game from Japan . Its name means " inequality ". It is also spelled hutosiki (using Kunrei-shiki romanization ). An example of a 5x5 Futoshiki puzzle ... ... and its solution The first step to solve the puzzle is to enumerate possible values based on inequalities and non-duplication within rows and columns. Then AB elimination may be usable to narrow down the range of possibilities. As shown here, the top and bottom positions in the center column must contain 5 and 3, so these can be excluded from the second and fourth positions. Logical deduction within the inequalities can restrict the range of possibilities. As shown here, a 2 in the upper left corner requires a 1 in the second position due to the first inequality; but a 1 in the second position allows only a 3 in the fifth position ... and so on, until we conclude two 4s would need to be placed in the same column. Likewise a 3 in the upper left corner would require the top row to be 3 2 5 4 ...more...

Sin (disambiguation)


Look up sin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. A sin is a morally wrong act. Sin may also refer to: Mythology Wilderness of Sin , a geographic area mentioned in the Bible Sin (mythology) , the Akkadian moon god (Sumerian Nanna - Suen) Sin, the sky god and chief deity in Haida mythology Sīn, another name for the Minaean moon god Wadd Places Sin, a name for China , in various ancient language sources Sin, a former kingdom in modern Senegal, also known as Sine The alternate name of Pelusium , a city in ancient Egypt Şin , Azerbaijan, a village and municipality Sin, Iran , a village in Isfahan Province, Iran Sin, Khuzestan , a village in Khuzestan Province, Iran Sin River , Thailand Sins, Switzerland , a village in the Swiss canton Aargau SIN, the IATA code for Singapore Changi Airport People Shin (Korean name) , also spelled Sin Shin (Japanese name) , spelled "Sin" using the Kunrei-shiki and Nippon-shiki romanization systems Jaime Sin (1928–2005), a Roman Catholic archbishop in the Philippines Abigail Sin (born ...more...

Transcription of the Japanese language in Esperanto


This article explains the transcription of the Japanese language in the Esperanto alphabet . Esperantists often use non-Esperanto transcriptions, such as Hepburn and Kunrei . However, the need for a transcription in the Esperanto alphabet is essential for non-Japanese speaking Esperantists to be able to pronounce words. Summary There are two well-known transcription systems of Japanese in Latin alphabet : Hepburn and Kunrei . However, there is no official Esperanto transcription for Japanese . This page presents one of the unofficial methods of transcription. Transcription Most books on Esperanto published in Japan provide tables for transcription. In 2012, a book by Kenichi Fujimaki , called Marugoto-esuperanto-bunpō-kaichōban まるごとエスペラント文法 改訂版 (lit. Revised Esperanto Grammar). explains one way of transcription, however, as far as 1923, Yoshimi Ishiguro writes his Shotō esuperanto kyōkasho 初等エスペラント教科書 (lit. Beginning Esperanto Textbook), explaining a transcription, however the remaining digital copies of hi ...more...



Omorashi ( おもらし / オモラシ / お漏らし ) , sometimes abbreviated as simply "omo", is a form of urolagnia (urine fetish) subculture recognized predominantly in Japan , in which participants experience arousal from having a full bladder or wetting themselves, or from seeing someone else experiencing a full bladder or wetting themselves. Outside Japan, it is not usually distinguished from urolagnia, though they are different things. Westerners who do make the distinction commonly use phrases such as " bladder desperation " or " panty wetting ." The Japanese language term from which the subculture's name is derived means "to wet oneself," literally translated, "leaking." The word is also occasionally romanized as " omorasi " in the Kunrei-shiki romanization system. Attitudes toward sexuality in omorashi media Most fetish activities concerning the use of bodily waste are considered by the general public as " hardcore ", taboo , or edgeplay . However, because the object of the fetish is clothed incontinence, omorashi video ...more...

Chichibu Maru


The Chichibu Maru ( 秩父丸 ) was a Japanese passenger ship which, renamed Kamakura Maru , was sunk during World World II, killing 2,035 soldiers and civilians on board. The Chichibu Maru was built for the Nippon Yusen shipping company by the Yokohama Dock Company in 1930. She had a beam of 22.6 meters, a length of 178 meters and a tonnage of 17,498. Cruising speed was 19 knots, with a maximum of 21 knots. The ship could carry 817 passengers. She differed from her half-sisters, the Asama Maru and the Tatsuta Maru , in her propulsion system, and in having one (rather than two) funnels. Before the war, the ship carried passengers between Yokohama and San Francisco . Prince Takamatsu and Princess Takamatsu also traveled on this ship. She had her name altered twice: first re-spelt Titibu Maru in 1938, following the adoption of Kunrei-shiki romanization ; then - upon realizing the name's resemblance to "tit" (a vulgar English term for the female breast) - renamed Kamakura Maru in 1939. In 1942 she was confiscated by t ...more...



Mitutoyo Corporation ( 株式会社ミツトヨ Kabushiki Kaisha Mitsutoyo) is a Japanese multinational corporation specializing in measuring instruments and metrological technology, headquartered at Takatsu-ku , Kawasaki , Kanagawa . Mitutoyo , established on October 22, 1934 was founded by Yehan Numata ( 沼田 恵範 Numata Ehan) with one product, the micrometer . Mitutoyo's philosophy at that time was to make high-quality micrometers, but also to produce them in quantities that made them affordable and available to all of manufacturing. This philosophy was expanded in the next several decades to include a wider product offering focused on mechanical, dimensional gaging products, such as calipers , dial indicators , and other measuring tools. As electronic technology became more widespread in the 1970s, Mitutoyo applied electronics to its line of dimensional gaging equipment to include electronic, or digital, measuring tools. During this time it also began to offer larger, more complex and more sensitive measuring instruments, in ...more...

Kiyosi Itô


Kiyosi Itô ( 伊藤 清 Itō Kiyoshi, September 7, 1915 – 10 November 2008) was a Japanese mathematician . He pioneered the theory of stochastic integration and stochastic differential equations, now known as the Itô calculus . Its basic concept is the Itô integral , and among the most important results is a change of variable formula known as Itô's lemma . Itô calculus is a method used in the mathematical study of random events and is applied in various fields, and is perhaps best known for its use in mathematical finance . Ito also made contributions to the study of diffusion processes on manifolds , known as stochastic differential geometry . Although the standard Hepburn romanization of his name is Kiyoshi Itō, he used the spelling Kiyosi Itô ( Kunrei-shiki romanization ). The alternative spellings Itoh and Ito are also sometimes seen in the West . Biography Itô was born in Hokusei in Mie Prefecture on the main island of Honshū . He graduated with a B.S. (1938) and a Ph.D (1945) in Mathematics from the Universit ...more...

White Tiger (China)


The White Tiger is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations . It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West (西方白虎, Xī Fāng Bái Hǔ), and is known as Bái Hǔ in Chinese , Byakko in Japanese , Baekho in Korean and Bạch Hổ in Vietnamese . It represents the west and the autumn season. Seven mansions of White Tiger As the other three symbols, there are seven astrological mansions, or positions, of the moon within White Tiger. The names and determinative stars are: Mansion no. Name ( pinyin ) Translation Determinative star 15 奎 (Kuí) Legs Eta Andromedae 16 婁 (Lóu) Bond Beta Arietis 17 胃 (Wèi) Stomach 35 Arietis 18 昴 (Mǎo) Hairy Head Alcyone 19 畢 (Bì) Net Ain 20 觜 (Zī) Turtle Beak Meissa 21 參 (Shēn) Three Stars Alnitak Origin In Chinese culture , the tiger is the king of the beasts and has been presented with a 王 (wáng, eng. king) on his forehead for centuries. According to legend, the tiger's tail would turn white when it reached the age of 500 years. In this way, the white tiger became a kind of my ...more...



Kenpō ( 拳法 ) is the name of several Japanese martial arts . The word kenpō is a Japanese translation of the Chinese word "quán fǎ". This term is often informally transliterated as " kempo ", as a result of applying Traditional Hepburn romanization , but failing to use a macron to indicate the long vowel . The generic nature of the term combined with its widespread, cross-cultural adoption in the martial arts community has led to many divergent definitions. Japanese Kenpo Shorinji Kempo ( 少林寺拳法 shōrinji-kempō, meaning "Shaolin Temple Fist Method") is considered a modified version of Shaolin Kung Fu (using the same kanji ). It was established in 1947 by Doshin So ( 宗 道臣 Sō Dōshin) , a Japanese martial artist and former military intelligence agent, who combined his Quan Fa and Jujutsu practice. Okinawan Kenpo Some Okinawan martial arts groups use the term kenpō as an alternate name for their karate systems or for a distinct but related art within their association. This can be illustrated by the official full ...more...

Mawashi geri


Mawashi-geri ( 回し蹴り ) can be translated as "spin kick", although it is also sometimes referred to as a roundhouse kick . It is a kick used in Japanese martial arts . Technique Mawashi-geri may be executed from a variety of stances, and there are several methods of proper execution. Technique is mainly used in Karate , Jujutsu , Kenpo etc. The portion of its execution that is always consistent is that the kick is executed inward and at an angle that is anywhere from parallel to the floor to 45 degrees upward. In general, it is a lateral kick that strikes with the foot. Ideally, the foot that is on the ground during the kick points directly away from the opponent, but 90 to 45 degrees away from the opponent may also be acceptable. Variations If mawashi-geri is being thrown with the lead leg, the lead leg comes straight up from the ground, moving into a position with the knee bent back and pointing at the desired target area on the opponent. Without stopping, the upper leg rotates inward to whatever angle ...more...

Vehicle registration plates of Japan


In Japan , the national government issues vehicle registration plates for motor vehicles through the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Land Transportation Offices nationwide. However, the local municipality rather than the national government registers certain vehicles with small engine displacements. The number on the top line begins with a "0" through "9" to indicate the series, followed by additional numbers for specific vehicle classification. Additional criteria include a numerical representation signifying length, width and height of the vehicle . Broadly speaking, passenger automobiles with engine displacements at or smaller than 2000  cc receive 5-series plates, while passenger automobiles with engine displacements larger than 2,000 cc (120 cu in) or more receive 3-series license plates. Official vehicles of the Imperial household are exempt from the requirement to display such plates. Official vehicles of the Self-Defense Forces, foreign diplomats, and the U.S. military are requ ...more...

BTS (band)


BTS , also known as the Bangtan Boys , is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment . They debuted on June 12, 2013 with the song "No More Dream" from their first album 2 Cool 4 Skool . They won several New Artist of the Year awards for the track, including at the 2013 Melon Music Awards and Golden Disc Awards and the 2014 Seoul Music Awards . The band continued to rise to widespread prominence with their subsequent albums Dark & Wild (2014), The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2 (2015) and The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever (2016), with the latter two entering the U.S. Billboard 200 . The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever went on to win the Album of the Year award at the 2016 Melon Music Awards. Their second full album, Wings (2016), peaked at number 26 on the Billboard 200, which marked the highest chart ranking for a K-pop album ever. In their native South Korea, Wings became the best selling album in the Gaon Album Chart history at the time. ...more...

East Asian cultural sphere


The " Sinosphere ", or " East Asian cultural sphere ", refers to a grouping of countries and regions in East Asia that were historically influenced by the Chinese culture . Other names for the concept include the Sinic world , the Confucian world , the Taoist world , and the Chinese cultural sphere , though the last is also used to refer particularly to the Sinophone world : the areas which speak varieties of Chinese . The East Asian cultural sphere shares a Confucian ethical philosophy, Buddhism , Taoism and, historically, a common writing system . The core regions of the East Asian cultural sphere are China , Taiwan , North Korea , South Korea , Japan , and Vietnam . The terms East Asian cultural sphere and "Chinese character ( Hànzì ) cultural sphere" are used interchangeably with "Sinosphere" but have different denotations. Academic usage Arnold J. Toynbee The British historian Arnold J. Toynbee listed the Far Eastern civilization as one of the main civilizations outlined in his book, A Study of History. ...more...

Azure Dragon


The Azure Dragon on the Chinese national emblem, 1913-1928 The Azure Dragon (青龍 Qīnglóng), also known as Bluegreen Dragon or Green Dragon, also called the Blue Dragon (蒼龍 Cānglóng), is one of the Dragon Gods who represent the mount or chthonic forces of the Five Forms of the Highest Deity (五方上帝 Wǔfāng Shàngdì). He is also one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations , which are the astral representations of the Wufang Shangdi. The Bluegreen Dragon represents the east and the spring season. It is also known as Seiryu in Japanese, Cheong-ryong in Korean, and Thanh Long in Vietnamese. The Dragon is frequently referred to in media, feng shui , other cultures, and in various venues as the Green Dragon and the Avalon Dragon. His cardinal direction's epithet is "Bluegreen Dragon of the East" (東方青龍 Dōngfāng Qīnglóng or 東方蒼龍 Dōngfāng Cānglóng). His proper name as the "Dragon King of the East Sea" (東海龍王 Dōnghǎi Lóngwáng) is Ao Guang . The Seven Mansions of the Azure Dragon As the other three Symbols, there a ...more...

Japanese language and computers


A Japanese kana keyboard In relation to the Japanese language and computers many adaptation issues arise, some unique to Japanese and others common to languages which have a very large number of characters. The number of characters needed in order to write English is very small, and thus it is possible to use only one byte to encode one English character. However, the number of characters in Japanese is much more than 256, and hence Japanese cannot be encoded using only one byte, and Japanese is thus encoded using two or more bytes, in a so-called "double byte" or "multi-byte" encoding. Some problems relate to transliteration and romanization , some to character encoding, and some to the input of Japanese text. Character encodings There are several standard methods to encode Japanese characters for use on a computer, including JIS , Shift-JIS , EUC , and Unicode . While mapping the set of kana is a simple matter, kanji has proven more difficult. Despite efforts, none of the encoding schemes have become the de ...more...

Knifehand strike


In martial arts, a knifehand strike is a strike, different from a hit, using the part of the hand opposite the thumb (from the little finger to the wrist), familiar to many people as a karate chop (in Japanese, shutō-uchi). This refers to strikes performed with the side of the knuckle of the small finger. Suitable targets for the knifehand strike include the mastoid muscles of the neck, the jugular, the throat, the collar bones, ribs, sides of the head, temple, jaw, the third vertebra (key stone of the spinal column), the upper arm, the wrist (knifehand block), the elbow (outside knifehand block), and the knee cap (leg throw). In many Japanese , Korean and Chinese martial arts systems, the knifehand is used to block as well as to strike. Japanese martial arts Tegatana ( 手刀 : てがたな , Japanese for hand-sword) is a term from Japanese martial arts like aikido and Chinese- Okinawan martial arts like karate and Shorinji Kempo referring to a hand position that resembles that of the blade of a sword. This can be in ...more...



Tianxia ( Chinese : 天下 ) is a Chinese term for an ancient Chinese cultural concept that denoted either the entire geographical world or the metaphysical realm of mortals, and later became associated with political sovereignty. In ancient China , tianxia denoted the lands, space, and area divinely appointed to the Emperor by universal and well-defined principles of order. The center of this land was directly apportioned to the Imperial court, forming the center of a world view that centered on the Imperial court and went concentrically outward to major and minor officials and then the common citizens, tributary states , and finally ending with the fringe " barbarians ". The center of this world view was not exclusionary in nature, and outer groups, such as ethnic minorities and foreign people, who accepted the mandate of the Chinese Emperor were themselves received and included into the Chinese tianxia. In classical Chinese political thought, the "Son of Heaven" ( Emperor of China ) ( Chinese : 天子 ; pinyin : t ...more...

Feng shui


A feng shui compass ( luopan ) Feng shui or fengshui ( pinyin : fēngshuǐ , pronounced  (   listen ) ) is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. It is closely linked to Taoism . The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the passage of the now-lost Classic of Burial recorded in Guo Pu 's commentary : Feng shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The feng shui practice discusses architecture in metaphoric terms of "invisible forces" that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi . There is no replicable scientific evidence that feng shui's mystical claims are real, and it is considered by the scientific community to be pseudoscience . Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other s ...more...

Front stance


Front stance , sometimes also called forward leaning stance or forward stance , is a basic stance used in various Asian martial arts . Although the specifics of the stance vary by style, overall it is visually similar to a lunge , with the forward leg bent at the knee, and the rear leg straight, while the hips and shoulders remain squarely facing forward. The purpose of the stance is to teach musculo-skeletal alignment that adds as much mass of the earth to a strike as possible. The stance allows a great deal of power generation forward, but very little in any other direction. Japanese martial arts Karate students training in front stance at Shuri Castle, c.1938 In Japanese martial arts, the front stance ( 前屈立ち zenkutsu-dachi ) is primarily practiced in karate and its variants. Some variations include the version practiced by Shotokan , where students generally place their feet at a longer depth, while Isshin-ryū students place their feet shoulder width, but with much shallower length. Other variations are al ...more...

Ga (kana)


「が」の筆順 「ガ」の筆順 が , in hiragana , or ガ in katakana (   が   ), is one of the Japanese kana , which each represent one mora . Both represent [ɡa]. Concerning clause が is a Japanese case marker , as well as a conjunctive particle . Related items か か゚ ヶ Look up が in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. 「が」の筆順 「ガ」の筆順 が , in hiragana , or ガ in katakana (   が   ), is one of the Japanese kana , which each represent one mora . Both represent [ɡa]. Concerning clause が is a Japanese case marker , as well as a conjunctive particle . Related items か か゚ ヶ Look up が in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...more...

Roundhouse kick


A roundhouse kick (also known as swinging kick or a power angle kick) is a kick in which the attacker swings his or her leg around in a semicircular motion, striking with the front of the leg or foot. This type of kick is utilized in many different martial arts and is popular in both non-contact and full-contact martial arts competitions. The kick has many variations based on stance, leg movement, striking surface, and the height of the kick. Semi-circular kick A semi-circular kick is a round kick to forty five degree roundhouse kick (or "diagonal kick"). Most popular in kick-boxing , lethwei , and muay Thai , it can be used in almost every situation. With this kick , all parts of the opponent’s body can be attacked and every kind of attack can be countered. Low kick outside Low kick inside Middle kick Low kick in counter Karate methods Karate has many different methods of delivering their roundhouse kick ( mawashi geri ). The original method involved bringing up the knee, and then swiftly turning the hip ov ...more...

Napa cabbage


Napa or nappa cabbage ( Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis or Brassica rapa Pekinensis Group) is a type of Chinese cabbage originating near the Beijing region of China, and is widely used in East Asian cuisine . Since the 20th century it is also a widespread crop in Europe, America and Australia. In much of the world, this is the vegetable referred to as "Chinese cabbage". In Australia it is referred to as 'wombok'. Naming The name "napa" comes from colloquial and regional Japanese, where nappa ( 菜っ葉 ) refers to the leaves of any vegetable, especially when used as food. The Japanese name for this specific variety of cabbage is hakusai ( 白菜 ) —literally "white vegetable"—a Sino-Japanese reading of the Chinese name. The Korean name for napa cabbage is baechu ( Hangul :  배추 ), which is an irregular, nativized borrowing of the Chinese name (白菜 báicài in Standard Mandarin). In Mandarin, napa cabbage is known as 大白菜 dabaicai, or "big white vegetable", as opposed to the "small white vegetable" that is known in English ...more...

Black Tortoise


The Black Tortoise or Black Turtle is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations . Despite its English name, it is usually depicted as a turtle entwined together with a snake . Further, in East Asia , it is not called after either animal but is instead known as the " Black Warrior " under various local pronunciations. It is known as Xuánwǔ in Chinese , Hyeonmu in Korean , Genbu in Japanese and Huyền Vũ in Vietnamese . It represents the north and the winter season. In Japan, it is one of the four guardian spirits that protect Kyoto and it is said that it protects the city on the north. Represented by the Genbu Shrine , which is located to the north of Kyoto Imperial Palace. The creature's name is identical to that of the important Taoist god Xuanwu , who is sometimes (as in Journey to the West ) portrayed in the company of a turtle and snake. History During the Han dynasty , people often wore jade pendants that were in the shape of turtles. Because of ancient Chinese influence on Japan , honorific ...more...

Gi (kana)


「ぎ」の筆順 「ギ」の筆順 ぎ , in hiragana , or ギ in katakana (   pronunciation   ), is one of the Japanese kana , which each represent one mora . Both represent [ɡi]. Related items き き゚ Look up ぎ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. 「ぎ」の筆順 「ギ」の筆順 ぎ , in hiragana , or ギ in katakana (   pronunciation   ), is one of the Japanese kana , which each represent one mora . Both represent [ɡi]. Related items き き゚ Look up ぎ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...more...

Noizi Ito


Noizi Ito ( いとうのいぢ Itō Noiji, or Noiji Ito ) (born August 9, 1977) is a Japanese manga and game artist from Hyōgo , Japan . She is employed by the H-game maker UNiSONSHIFT and is a part of the circle Fujitsubo-Machine . Unlike most romanized Japanese words and names, Noizi Ito's name uses the Kunrei-shiki romanization form. Ito is well known for her work as the character designer and artist for the Shakugan no Shana novel series which spawned a manga and anime series. She has also worked on the Haruhi Suzumiya series along with its author Nagaru Tanigawa . Their work has also led to an anime titled after the first book in the series, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya . She is also the character designer for the 2012 anime series Another . Career Ito first began creating characters around the time she graduated from middle school. She grew up at a time when fighting games were popular with her and her classmates and developed an interest beyond just controlling the characters, in the aethestics and design of ...more...

Asian Dust


Asian Dust (also yellow dust , yellow sand , yellow wind or China dust storms ) is a meteorological phenomenon which affects much of East Asia year round but especially during the spring months. The dust originates in the deserts of Mongolia , northern China and Kazakhstan where high-speed surface winds and intense dust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles. These clouds are then carried eastward by prevailing winds and pass over China, North and South Korea , and Japan , as well as parts of the Russian Far East . Sometimes, the airborne particulates are carried much further, in significant concentrations which affect air quality as far east as the United States. Since the turn of the 21st century, it has become a serious problem due to the increase of industrial pollutants contained in the dust and intensified desertification in China causing longer and more frequent occurrences, as well as in the last few decades when the Aral Sea of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan started drying up due to the d ...more...



Matcha ( 抹茶 , Japanese pronunciation pronounced  , English ) is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves . It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest and the stems and veins are removed in processing. During shaded growth, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more theanine and caffeine . This combination of chemicals is considered to account for the calm energy people might feel from drinking matcha. The powdered form of matcha is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, and is dissolved in a liquid, typically water or milk. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha as hot tea and embodies a meditative spiritual style. In modern times, matcha also has come to be used to flavor and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream , matcha lattes, and a variety of Japanese wagashi confectionery. Often, the fo ...more...



Damjing ( in modern Korean ) or Donchō (in Japanese ) was a Buddhist priest who was sent to ancient Japan from Goguryeo around 610. How his name was pronounced in the Goguryeo language is unknown. Almost nothing has come down about him besides a few lines in the Nihon Shoki (720 A.D.), which is almost the only reliable source. In the Spring, March, the 19th year [of Empress Suiko ], the king of Koma offered up [the] priest[s] Donchō and Hōjō as tribute [to Japan]. Donchō was familiar with the Five Classics . He produced colors, paper and ink well, moreover made watermill. Has making watermill presumably started ever since?" —  Nihon Shoki, Vol. 22  On the grounds that this is the first appearance about the manufacture of paper, it has been said, all in all, from the Edo Period , that he brought papermaking skills to Japan first. However, there is no sufficient grounds to say so from the text; as to the watermill, it is mentioned that he probably introduced it first, while papermaking is not mentioned. If ...more...



Japantown ( 日本人街 Nihonjin-gai) is a common name for official Japanese communities in big cities outside Japan . Alternatively, a Japantown may be called J-town, Little Tokyo, or Nihonmachi (日本町), the first two being common names for the Japanese communities in San Francisco , San Jose , and Los Angeles , respectively. History Historically, Japantowns represented the Japanese diaspora , and its individual members known as nikkei ( 日系 ) , are Japanese emigrants from Japan and their descendants that reside in a foreign country. Emigration from Japan first happened and was recorded as early as the 12th century to the Philippines , but did not become a mass phenomenon until the Meiji Era , when Japanese began to go to the Philippines , North America , and beginning in 1897 with 35 emigrants to Mexico; and later to Peru, beginning in 1899 with 790 emigrants. There was also significant emigration to the territories of the Empire of Japan during the colonial period; however, most such emigrants repatriated to Japa ...more...

Vermilion Bird


The Vermilion bird is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations . According to Wu Xing , the Taoist five-elemental system, it represents the fire -element, the direction south , and the season summer correspondingly. Thus it is sometimes called the Vermilion bird of the South (南方朱雀, Nán Fāng Zhū Què). It is known as Zhū Què in Chinese, Suzaku in Japanese, Jujak in Korean and Chu Tước in Vietnamese. It is described as a red bird that resembles a pheasant with a five-colored plumage and is perpetually covered in flames. Represented by Jonangu Shrine in the southern part of Kyoto. It is often mistaken for the Fenghuang due to similarities in appearance, but the two are different creatures. The Fenghuang (similar to the phoenix in western mythologies) is a legendary ruler of birds who is associated with the Chinese Empress in the same way the dragon is associated with the Emperor, while the Vermilion Bird is a mythological spirit creature of the Chinese constellations. Seven Mansions As the other thr ...more...

Abraham M. Halpern


Abraham "Abe" Meyer Halpern (February 20, 1914, Boston, Massachusetts – 1985) was a linguist and anthropologist who specialized in Native American Languages . In the wake of World War II he initiated a second career focusing on United States foreign policy , especially in regard to China . Late in life he resumed studying and publishing on the languages of California. Early life and education Halpern was born in Boston, where he attended Boston Latin School . He went on to receive his B.A. from Harvard College , and to do graduate research at Harvard, the University of California, Berkeley , and the University of Chicago . Work in linguistics Quechan At Berkeley Halpern studied under Alfred L. Kroeber . In 1935, in a project funded by the California State Emergency Relief Administration , he undertook to supervise the compilation of a dictionary of the Quechan language (also formerly known as Yuma ) of southern California and Arizona . (However, the dictionary was not completed as the funding organization wa ...more...

Miyakoan language


The Miyakoan language ( 宮古口/ミャークフツ Myaakufutsu or 島口/スマフツ Sumafutsu) is a language spoken in the Miyako Islands , located southwest of Okinawa . The combined population of the islands is about 52,000 (as of 2011). Miyako is a Southern Ryukyuan language , most closely related to Yaeyama . The number of competent native speakers is not known; as a consequence of Japanese language policy which refers to the language as the Miyako dialect ( 宮古方言 Miyako hōgen) , reflected in the education system, people below the age of 60 tend to not use the language except in songs and rituals, and the younger generation mostly uses Japanese as their first language. Miyako is notable among the Japonic languages in that it allows non-nasal syllable-final consonants, something not found in most Japonic languages. Dialects The most divergent dialect is that of Tarama Island , the farthest island away. The other dialects cluster as Ikema – Irabu and Central Miyako. An illustrative lexeme is the name of the plant Alocasia (evidently ...more...

Hachijō language


The small group of Hachijo or Hachijōjima dialects are the most divergent form of Japanese . They are spoken on the southern Izu Islands south of Tokyo , Hachijō Island and the smaller Aogashima , as well as on the Daitō Islands of Okinawa Prefecture , which were settled from Hachijo in the Meiji period . Based on the criterion of mutual intelligibility , Hachijo may be considered a distinct Japonic language. Hachijo dialects retain ancient Eastern Japanese features, as recorded in the 8th-century Man'yōshū . There are also lexical similarities with the dialects of Kyushu and even the Ryukyuan languages ; it is not clear if these indicate the southern Izu islands were settled from that region, if they are loans brought by sailors traveling among the southern islands, or if they might be independent retentions of Old Japanese . Dialects The dialect of Aogashima is quite distinct. There are also numerous dialects on Hachijo Island, with the speech of nearly every village distinct. There may be a few speakers le ...more...

Yaeyama language


The Yaeyama language ( 八重山物言/ヤイマムニ , Yaimamuni) is a Southern Ryukyuan language spoken in the Yaeyama Islands , the southernmost inhabited island group in Japan , with a combined population of about 53,000. The Yaeyama Islands are situated in the Southern Ryukyu Islands , southwest of the Miyako Islands and to the east of Taiwan . Yaeyama (Yaimamunii) is most closely related to Miyako . The number of competent native speakers is not known; as a consequence of Japanese language policy which refers to the language as the Yaeyama dialect ( 八重山方言 Yaeyama hōgen) , reflected in the education system, people below the age of 60 tend to not use the language except in songs and rituals, and the younger generation exclusively uses Japanese as their first language. As compared to the Japanese kokugo, or Japanese national language , other Ryukyuan languages such as Okinawan and Amami have also been referred to as dialects of Japanese . Yaeyama is noted as having a comparatively lower "language vitality" among neighborin ...more...

Tokunoshima language


The Tokunoshima language ( シマグチ(島口) Shimaguchi or シマユミィタ Shimayumiita), also Toku-No-Shima , is a dialect cluster spoken on Tokunoshima , Kagoshima Prefecture of southwestern Japan . It is part of the Amami–Okinawan languages , which are part of the Japonic languages . Dialects Okamura (2007) posits two divisions of Tokunoshima: Kametsu–Amagi in the north and Isen in the south. Kametsu is the traditional politico-cultural center of the island. It has been a center of distributions of new lexical traits, some of which were not confined in Tokunoshima Town but spread to Amagi Town in the northeast and, less frequently, to Isen. The dialects of Isen are considered more conservative by the speakers. Folk terminology According to Okamura Takahiro (b. 1936 in Asama, Amagi Town), the speakers of Tokunoshima call their tongues sïmagucï, which consists of two morphemes. The first part sïma (Standard Japanese shima) refers to an island both in Standard Japanese and Tokunoshima but it also means (one's own) local commu ...more...

Yonaguni language


The Yonaguni language ( 与那国物言/ドゥナンムヌイ Dunan Munui) is a Southern Ryukyuan language spoken by around 400 people on the island of Yonaguni , in the Ryukyu Islands , the westernmost of the chain lying just east of Taiwan . It is most closely related to Yaeyama . Due to the Japanese policy on languages, the language is not recognized by the government, which instead calls it the Yonaguni dialect ( 与那国方言 Yonaguni hōgen) . Phonology Vowels The table below shows the vowels present in the Yonaguni language. Vowels which are only allophonic appear in parentheses. Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Close Near-close Close-Mid Open Consonants The table below shows the consonants present in the Yonaguni language. Consonants which are only allophonic appear in parentheses. Plosive and affricate phonemes have three-way contrast between fortis, lenis, and voiced consonants. Labial Labio- velar Alveolar Alveolo- palatal Palatal Velar Glottal LEN FOR VOX LEN FOR VOX LEN FOR VOX Plosive tʰ kʰ Fricative Affricate Nasal Fla ...more...

Kunigami language


The Kunigami or Northern Okinawan language (Yanbaru Kutuuba ( 山原言葉/ヤンバルクトゥーバ ) ) is a Ryukyuan language of northern Okinawa Island in Kunigami District and city of Nago , otherwise known as the Yanbaru region, historically the territory of the Hokuzan kingdom. The Nakijin dialect is often considered representative of Kunigami, analogous to the Shuri / Naha dialect of Central Okinawan . The number of fluent native speakers of Kunigami is not known. As a result of Japanese language policy, the younger generation mostly speaks Japanese as their first language. Location In addition to the northern portion of Okinawa Island, Kunigami is spoken on the small neighboring islands of Ie, Tsuken and Kudaka. Scope and classification Glottolog, following Pellard (2009), classifies Kunigami with Central Okinawan as the two Okinawan languages . Ethnologue adds Okinoerabu and Yoron ; these (along with all other languages of the northern Ryukyus) are classified as Amami languages by Glottolog. The UNESCO Atlas of the World's ...more...

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