A SAGE Journal


Yìcún Wénzì (extant characters) in Japanese lexicon: Exploring characters of historically Chinese origin with evidence from Six dynasties, Sui and Tang dynasties, China

Hiroyuki Sasahara 笹原宏之

First Published:2020-02-26    Page Views:


A careful analysis of historical literary sources reveals that some supposedly Japanese native characters are in fact of historically Chinese origin, namely “extant characters” (yìcún wénzì). In this article, I examine the backgrounds of potential “extant characters” that appeared in the Heian period Wamyō Ruijushō 和名類聚抄 and similar materials. In so doing, I corroborate the findings of Edo-period scholar Kariya Ekisai 狩谷棭斎 and identify several new issues with evidence from digital archives that further research needs to focus on.

【Keywords】Characters of Japanese origin, Chinese characters, “extant characters” (yìcún wénzì)
【About the Author】Waseda University, Japan 日本早稻田大学

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