Shinran was a Japanese Buddhist monk, born in Hino at the turbulent close of the Heian Period and lived during the Kamakura Period. Shinran was a pupil of Hōnen and the founder of what became the Jōdo Shinshū sect in Japan. Shinran's birthname was Matsuwakamaro. In accordance with Japanese customs, he has gone by other names, including Hanen and Zenshin, finally to Shinran, derived by combining the names of Seshin and Donran, his posthumous title was Kenshin Daishi. For a while, Shinran went by the name Fujii Yoshizane. After he was disrobed, he called himself Gutoku Shinran, in a self-deprecating manner which means "stubble-haired foolish one," to denote his status as "neither a monk, nor a layperson". Shinran was born on May 21, 1173, to Lord and Lady Arinori, a branch of the Fujiwara clan, was given the name Matsuwakamaro. Early in Shinran's life his parents both died. In 1181, desperate to know what happens after dying, he entered the Shoren-in temple near present-day Maruyama Park in Kyoto at age 9.
He wrote this poem on entering: "Like the cherry blossom, the heart planning on tomorrow is ephemeral indeed—what sudden storm may not arise in the middle of the night". Acutely aware of his own impermanence, he was desperate to find a solution, he practiced at Mt. Hiei for the next 20 years of his life. Letters between his wife and daughter indicate that he was a Tendai dōsō. According to his own account to his wife Eshinni, in frustration at his own failures as a monk and at obtaining enlightenment, he took a retreat at the temple of Rokkaku-dō. There, while engaged in intense practice, he experienced a vision in which Avalokitesvara appeared to him as Prince Shōtoku, directing Shinran to another disillusioned Tendai monk named Hōnen. In 1201, Shinran became his disciple. During his first year under Hōnen's guidance, at the age of 29, Shinran attained enlightenment, or salvation through Amida's Vow. Though the two only knew each other for a few years, Hōnen entrusted Shinran with a copy of his secret work, the Senchakushū.
However his precise status amongst Hōnen's followers is unclear as in the Seven Article Pledge, signed by Hōnen's followers in 1204, Shinran's signature appears near the middle among less-intimate disciples. During his time as a disciple of Hōnen's, Shinran caused a great stir among society by publicly getting married and eating meat. Both practices were forbidden for monks, but Shinran took these drastic steps to show that Amida's salvation is for all people and not just for monks and priests. In 1207, The Buddhist establishment in Kyoto persuaded the military to impose a nembutsu ban, after an incident where two of Hōnen's most prominent followers were accused of using nembutsu practice as a coverup for sexual liaisons; these two monks were subsequently executed. Hōnen and Shinran were exiled, with Shinran being sent to Echigo Province, they never met each other again. Hōnen would die in Kyoto in 1212. Although Shinran was critical of the motivations that led to the exile, the disruption of Hōnen's practice community, the exile itself proved to be a critical turning point in Shinran's religious life.
Having been stripped of his monastic name, he renamed himself Gutoku, coming to understand himself as neither monk nor layman. While in exile, Shinran sought to continue the work of Hōnen and spread the doctrine of salvation through Amida Buddha's compassion, as expressed through the nembutsu practice, however in time his teachings diverged from Hōnen enough that followers would use the term Jōdo Shinshū or "True Pure Land Sect", as opposed to Jōdo-shū or "Pure Land Sect". Shinran married his wife and had seven children with her. Five years after being exiled in Echigo, in 1211, the nembutsu ban was lifted and Shinran was pardoned though he chose not to return to Kyoto at that time. Instead, Shinran left for an area known as a small area in Kantō just north of Tokyo. In 1224 Shinran authored his most significant text, a series of selections and commentaries on Buddhist sutras supporting the new Pure Land Buddhist movement, establishing a doctrinal lineage with Buddhist thinkers in India and China.
In 1234 Shinran returned to Kyoto, with his daughter Kakushinni. On returning to Kyoto, Shinran discovered that his eldest son, who remained in Hitachi and Shimotsuke provinces was telling people he received special teachings from Shinran and was otherwise leading people astray. Shinran wrote stern letters to Zenran instructing him to cease his activities, but when Zenran refused, Shinran disowned him: Hence, from now on there shall no longer exist parental relations with you. I declare this resolutely to the gods, it is a sorrowful thing. It rends my heart to hear that you have devoted yourself to misleading all the people of the nembutsu in Hitachi, saying, not my true teaching. Rumors have reached as far as Kamakura that I have instructed you to denounce the people in Hitachi who say the nembutsu, it is deplorable. Shinran died in Kyoto the year 1263 at the age of 90. Kakushinni was instrumental in maintaining the mausoleum, passing on his teachings, with her descendants becoming the Monshu, or head of the Honganji Temples built around the Mausoleum.
1173: Shinran is born 1175: Hōnen founds the Jōdo-shū sect 118
A given name is a part of a person's personal name. It identifies a person, differentiates that person from the other members of a group who have a common surname; the term given name refers to the fact that the name is bestowed upon a person to a child by their parents at or close to the time of birth. A Christian name, a first name, given at baptism, is now typically given by the parents at birth. In informal situations, given names are used in a familiar and friendly manner. In more formal situations, a person's surname is more used—unless a distinction needs to be made between people with the same surname; the idioms "on a first-name basis" and "being on first-name terms" refer to the familiarity inherent in addressing someone by their given name. By contrast, a surname, inherited, is shared with other members of one's immediate family. Regnal names and religious or monastic names are special given names bestowed upon someone receiving a crown or entering a religious order; such a person typically becomes known chiefly by that name.
The order given name – family name known as the Western order, is used throughout most European countries and in countries that have cultures predominantly influenced by European culture, including North and South America. The order family name – given name known as the Eastern order, is used in East Asia, as well as in Southern and North-Eastern parts of India, in Hungary; this order is common in Austria and Bavaria, in France, Belgium and Italy because of the influence of bureaucracy, which puts the family name before the given name. In China and Korea, part of the given name may be shared among all members of a given generation within a family and extended family or families, in order to differentiate those generations from other generations; the order given name – father's family name – mother's family name is used in Spanish-speaking countries to acknowledge the families of both parents. Today the order can be changed in Spain and Uruguay using given name – mother's family name – father's family name.
The order given name – mother's family name – father's family name is used in Portuguese-speaking countries to acknowledge the families of both parents. In many Western cultures, people have more than one given name. One of those, not the first in succession might be used as the name which that person goes by, such as in the cases of John Edgar Hoover and Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland. A child's given name or names are chosen by the parents soon after birth. If a name is not assigned at birth, one may be given at a naming ceremony, with family and friends in attendance. In most jurisdictions, a child's name at birth is a matter of public record, inscribed on a birth certificate, or its equivalent. In western cultures, people retain the same given name throughout their lives. However, in some cases these names may be changed by repute. People may change their names when immigrating from one country to another with different naming conventions. In certain jurisdictions, a government-appointed registrar of births may refuse to register a name that may cause a child harm, considered offensive or which are deemed impractical.
In France, the agency can refer the case to a local judge. Some jurisdictions, such as Sweden, restrict the spelling of names. Parents may choose a name because of its meaning; this may be a personal or familial meaning, such as giving a child the name of an admired person, or it may be an example of nominative determinism, in which the parents give the child a name that they believe will be lucky or favourable for the child. Given names most derive from the following categories: Aspirational personal traits. For example, the name Clement means "merciful". English examples include Faith and August. Occupations, for example George means "earth-worker", i.e. "farmer". Circumstances of birth, for example Thomas meaning "twin" or the Latin name Quintus, traditionally given to the fifth male child. Objects, for example Peter means "rock" and Edgar means "rich spear". Physical characteristics, for example Calvin means "bald". Variations on another name to change the sex of the name or to translate from another language.
Surnames, for example Winston and Ross. Such names can honour other branches of a family, where the surname would not otherwise be passed down. Places, for example Brittany and Lorraine. Time of birth, for example day of the week, as in Kofi Annan, whose given name means "born on Friday", or the holiday on which one was born, for example, the name Natalie meaning "born on Christmas day" in Latin. Tuesday, May, or June. Combination of the above, for example the Armenian name Sirvart means "love rose". In many cultures, given names are reused to commemorate ancestors or those who are admired, resulting in a limited repertoire of names that sometimes vary by orthography; the most familiar example of this, to Western readers, is the use of Biblical and saints' names in most of the Christian countries (with Ethiopia, in which names were ideals or abstractions
The Shaolin Monastery known as the Shaolin Temple, is a Chan Buddhist temple in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, China. Believed to have been founded in the 5th century CE, the Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day. Shaolin Monastery and its Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the "Historic Monuments of Dengfeng"; the name refers to the forests of Shaoshi one of the seven peaks of the Song mountains. The first Shaolin Monastery abbot was Batuo, a dhyāna master who came to ancient China from ancient India or from Central Asia in 464 AD to spread Buddhist teachings. According to the Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks by Daoxuan, Shaolin Monastery was built on the north side of Shaoshi, the central peak of Mount Song, one of the Sacred Mountains of China, by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei dynasty in 477 AD, to accommodate the Indian master beside the capital Luoyang city. Yang Xuanzhi, in the Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang, Li Xian, in the Ming Yitongzhi, concur with Daoxuan's location and attribution.
The Jiaqing Chongxiu Yitongzhi specifies that this monastery, located in the province of Henan, was built in the 20th year of the Taihe era of the Northern Wei dynasty, that is, the monastery was built in 495 AD. As the center of Chan Buddhism, the Shaolin Temple attracted many emperors’ attention in China’s history. During the Tang dynasty 618-907 AD Empress Wu Zetian paid several visits to the Shaolin Temple discussing Chan philosophy with high monk Tan Zong. According to legend, Emperor Taizong granted the Shaolin Temple extra land and a special "imperial dispensation" to consume meat and alcohol during the Tang dynasty. If true, this would have made Shaolin the only temple in China. Regardless of historical veracity, these rituals are not practiced today; this legend is not corroborated in any period documents, such as the Shaolin Stele erected in 728. The stele does not list any such imperial dispensation as reward for the monks' assistance during the campaign against Wang Shichong, only land and a water mill are granted.
The founder of the Yuan dynasty, Kublai Khan ordered all Buddhist temples in China to be led by the Shaolin Temple. Traditionally Bodhidharma is credited as founder of the martial arts at the Shaolin Temple. However, martial arts historians have shown this legend stems from a 17th-century qigong manual known as the Yijin Jing; the authenticity of the Yi Jin Jing has been discredited by some historians including Tang Hao, Xu Zhen and Ryuchi Matsuda. This argument is summarized by modern historian Lin Boyuan in his Zhongguo wushu shi: As for the "Yi Jin Jing", a spurious text attributed to Bodhidharma and included in the legend of his transmitting martial arts at the temple, it was written in the Ming dynasty, in 1624, by the Daoist priest Zining of Mt. Tiantai, falsely attributed to Bodhidharma. Forged prefaces, attributed to the Tang general Li Jing and the Southern Song general Niu Gao were written, they say that, after Bodhidharma faced the wall for nine years at Shaolin temple, he left behind an iron chest.
The first book was taken by his disciple Huike, disappeared. The Shaolin monks have made some fame for themselves through their fighting skill. Based on this, Bodhidharma was claimed to be the ancestor of Shaolin martial arts; this manuscript is full of errors and fantastic claims. The oldest available copy was published in 1827; the composition of the text itself has been dated to 1624. The association of Bodhidharma with martial arts only became widespread as a result of the 1904–1907 serialization of the novel The Travels of Lao Ts'an in Illustrated Fiction Magazine: One of the most invented and familiar of the Shaolin historical narratives is a story that claims that the Indian monk Bodhidharma, the supposed founder of Chinese Chan Buddhism, introduced boxing into the monastery as a form of exercise around a.d. 525. This story first appeared in a popular novel, The Travels of Lao T’san, published as a series in a literary magazine in 1907; this story was picked up by others and spread through publication in a popular contemporary boxing manual, Secrets of Shaolin Boxing Methods, the first Chinese physical culture history published in 1919.
As a result, it has enjoyed vast oral circulation and is one of the most “sacred” of the narratives shared within Chinese and Chinese-derived martial arts. That this story is a twentieth-century invention is confirmed by writings going back at least 250 years earlier, which mention both Bodhidharma and martial arts but make no connection between the two. Other scholars see an earlier connection between the Shaolin Monastery. Scholars accept the historicity of Da Mo who arrived in China from his country India around 480. Da Mo and his disciples are said to have lived a spot about a mile from the Shaolin Temple, now a small nunnery. In the 6th century, around 547, The Record of the Buddhist Monasteries says Da Mo visited the area near Mount Song. In 645 The Continuation of the Biographies of Eminent Monks
Katsushika Hokusai was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. Born in Edo, Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally iconic print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Hokusai created the Thirty-Six Views both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji, it was this series The Great Wave print and Fine Wind, Clear Morning, that secured Hokusai’s fame both in Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Lane concludes, "Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai's name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series". While Hokusai's work prior to this series is important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition. Hokusai's date of birth is unclear, but is stated as the 23rd day of the 9th month of the 10th year of the Hōreki era to an artisan family, in the Katsushika district of Edo, Japan, his childhood name was Tokitarō.
It is believed. His father never made Hokusai an heir, so it is possible that his mother was a concubine. Hokusai began painting around the age of six learning from his father, whose work on mirrors included a painting of designs around mirrors. Hokusai was known by at least thirty names during his lifetime. While the use of multiple names was a common practice of Japanese artists of the time, his number of pseudonyms exceeds that of any other major Japanese artist. Hokusai's name changes are so frequent, so related to changes in his artistic production and style, that they are used for breaking his life up into periods. At the age of 12, his father sent him to work in a bookshop and lending library, a popular institution in Japanese cities, where reading books made from wood-cut blocks was a popular entertainment of the middle and upper classes. At 14, he worked as an apprentice to a wood-carver, until the age of 18, when he entered the studio of Katsukawa Shunshō. Shunshō was an artist of ukiyo-e, a style of woodblock prints and paintings that Hokusai would master, head of the so-called Katsukawa school.
Ukiyo-e, as practised by artists like Shunshō, focused on images of the courtesans and Kabuki actors who were popular in Japan's cities at the time. After a year, Hokusai's name changed for the first time, it was under this name that he published his first prints, a series of pictures of Kabuki actors published in 1779. During the decade he worked in Shunshō's studio, Hokusai was married to his first wife, about whom little is known except that she died in the early 1790s, he married again in 1797, although this second wife died after a short time. He fathered two sons and three daughters with these two wives, his youngest daughter Ei known as Ōi became an artist. Upon the death of Shunshō in 1793, Hokusai began exploring other styles of art, including European styles he was exposed to through French and Dutch copper engravings he was able to acquire, he was soon expelled from the Katsukawa school by Shunkō, the chief disciple of Shunshō due to studies at the rival Kanō school. This event was, in his own words, inspirational: "What motivated the development of my artistic style was the embarrassment I suffered at Shunkō's hands."Hokusai changed the subjects of his works, moving away from the images of courtesans and actors that were the traditional subjects of ukiyo-e.
Instead, his work became focused on landscapes and images of the daily life of Japanese people from a variety of social levels. This change of subject was a breakthrough in Hokusai's career. Fireworks in the Cool of Evening at Ryogoku Bridge in Edo dates from this period of Hokusai's life; the next period saw Hokusai's association with the Tawaraya School and the adoption of the name "Tawaraya Sōri". He produced many brush paintings, called surimono, illustrations for kyōka ehon during this time. In 1798, Hokusai passed his name on to a pupil and set out as an independent artist, free from ties to a school for the first time, adopting the name Hokusai Tomisa. By 1800, Hokusai was further developing his use of ukiyo-e for purposes other than portraiture, he had adopted the name he would most be known by, Katsushika Hokusai, the former name referring to the part of Edo where he was born and the latter meaning,'north studio'. That year, he published two collections of landscapes, Famous Sights of the Eastern Capital and Eight Views of Edo.
He began to attract students of his own teaching 50 pupils over the course of his life. He became famous over the next decade, both due to his artwork and his talent for self-promotion. During a Tokyo festival in 1804, he created a portrait of the Buddhist priest Daruma said to be 600 feet long using a broom and buckets full of ink. Another story places him in the court of the Shōgun Ienari, invited there to compete with another artist who practised more traditional brush stroke painting. Hokusai's painting, created in front of the Shōgun, consisted of painting a blue curve on paper chasing across it a chicken whose feet had been dipped in red paint, he described the painting to the Shōgun as a landscape showing the Tatsuta River with red maple leaves floating in it, winning the competition.1807 saw Hokusai collaborate with the popular novelist Takizawa Bakin on a series of illustrated books. The two did not get along due to artistic differences, their collaboration ended during work on t
Gautama Buddha known as Siddhārtha Gautama in Sanskrit or Siddhattha Gotama in Pali, Shakyamuni Buddha, or the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk, sage, philosopher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region, he taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, he is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life. Most people accept that the Buddha lived and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara, the ruler of the Magadha empire, died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara. While the general sequence of "birth, renunciation, search and liberation, death" is accepted, there is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies; the times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE. More his death is dated between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988, the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death; these alternative chronologies, have not been accepted by all historians.
The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhārtha Gautama was born into the Shakya clan, a community, on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE. One of his usual names was "Sakamuni" or "Sakyamunī", it was either a small republic, or an oligarchy, his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch. According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India. According to Buddhist tradition, he obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, died in Kushinagar. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential Śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Ajñana. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought. In this context, a śramaṇa refers to one who toils, or exerts themselves.
It was the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira, Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose viewpoints the Buddha most must have been acquainted with. Indeed and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic. There is philological evidence to suggest that the two masters, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were indeed historical figures and they most taught Buddha two different forms of meditative techniques. Thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. In an era where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism, Buddha was a reformist within the śramaṇa movement, rather than a reactionary against Vedic Brahminism; the life of the Buddha coincided with the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley during the rule of Darius I from about 517/516 BCE. This Achaemenid occupation of the areas of Gandhara and Sindh, to last for about two centuries, was accompanied by the introduction of Achaemenid religions, reformed Mazdaism or early Zoroastrianism, to which Buddhism might have in part reacted.
In particular, the ideas of the Buddha may have consisted of a rejection of the "absolutist" or "perfectionist" ideas contained in these Achaemenid religions. No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or from the one or two centuries thereafter. In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, several Edicts of Ashoka mention the Buddha, Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to Lumbini as the Buddha's birthplace. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era; these texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon. "Sakamuni" in mentioned in the reliefs of Bharhut, dated to circa 100 BCE, in relation with his illumination and the Bodhi tree, with the inscription Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, repor
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside katakana; the Japanese term kanji for the Chinese characters means "Han characters". It is written with the same characters in the Chinese language to refer to the character writing system, hanzi. Chinese characters first came to Japan on official seals, swords, coins and other decorative items imported from China; the earliest known instance of such an import was the King of Na gold seal given by Emperor Guangwu of Han to a Yamato emissary in 57 AD. Chinese coins from the first century AD have been found in Yayoi period archaeological sites. However, the Japanese of that era had no comprehension of the script, would remain illiterate until the fifth century AD. According to the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, a semi-legendary scholar called Wani was dispatched to Japan by the Kingdom of Baekje during the reign of Emperor Ōjin in the early fifth century, bringing with him knowledge of Confucianism and Chinese characters.
The earliest Japanese documents were written by bilingual Chinese or Korean officials employed at the Yamato court. For example, the diplomatic correspondence from King Bu of Wa to Emperor Shun of Liu Song in 478 has been praised for its skillful use of allusion. Groups of people called fuhito were organized under the monarch to read and write Classical Chinese. During the reign of Empress Suiko, the Yamato court began sending full-scale diplomatic missions to China, which resulted in a large increase in Chinese literacy at the Japanese court. In ancient times paper was so rare that people stenciled kanji onto thin, rectangular strips of wood; these wooden boards were used for communication between government offices, tags for goods transported between various countries, the practice of writing. The oldest written kanji in Japan discovered so far was written in ink on wood as a wooden strip dated to the 7th century, it is a record of trading for salt. The Japanese language had no written form at the time Chinese characters were introduced, texts were written and read only in Chinese.
During the Heian period, however, a system known as kanbun emerged, which involved using Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to restructure and read Chinese sentences, by changing word order and adding particles and verb endings, in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar. Chinese characters came to be used to write Japanese words, resulting in the modern kana syllabaries. Around 650 AD, a writing system called man'yōgana evolved that used a number of Chinese characters for their sound, rather than for their meaning. Man'yōgana written in cursive style evolved into hiragana, or onna-de, that is, "ladies' hand," a writing system, accessible to women. Major works of Heian-era literature by women were written in hiragana. Katakana emerged via a parallel path: monastery students simplified man'yōgana to a single constituent element, thus the two other writing systems and katakana, referred to collectively as kana, are descended from kanji. In comparison to kana kanji are called mana.
In modern Japanese, kanji are used to write parts of the language such as nouns, adjective stems, verb stems, while hiragana are used to write inflected verb and adjective endings and as phonetic complements to disambiguate readings and miscellaneous words which have no kanji or whose kanji is considered obscure or too difficult to read or remember. Katakana are used for representing onomatopoeia, non-Japanese loanwords, the names of plants and animals, for emphasis on certain words. In 1946, after World War II and under the Allied Occupation of Japan, the Japanese government, guided by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, instituted a series of orthographic reforms, to help children learn and to simplify kanji use in literature and periodicals; the number of characters in circulation was reduced, formal lists of characters to be learned during each grade of school were established. Some characters were given simplified glyphs, called shinjitai. Many variant forms of characters and obscure alternatives for common characters were discouraged.
These are guidelines, so many characters outside these standards are still known and used. The kyōiku kanji are 1,006 characters; the list only contained 881 characters. This was expanded to 996 characters in 1977, it was not until 1982 the list was expanded to its current size. The grade-level breakdown of these kanji is known as the gakunen-betsu kanji haitōhyō, or the gakushū kanji; the jōyō kanji are 2,136 characters consisting of all the Kyōiku kanji, plus 1,130 additional kanji taught in junior high and high school. In publishing, characters outside this category are given furigana; the jōyō kanji were introduced in 1981, replacing an older list of 1,850 characters known as the tōyō kanji, introduced in 1946. Numbering 1,945 characters, the jōyō kanji list was extended to 2,136 in 2010; some of the new characters were Jinmeiyō kanji. Since September 27, 2004, the jinmeiyō k
Romanization of Japanese
The romanization of Japanese is the use of Latin script to write the Japanese language. This method of writing is sometimes referred to in Japanese as rōmaji (. There are several different romanization systems; the three main ones are Hepburn romanization, Kunrei-shiki romanization, Nihon-shiki romanization. Variants of the Hepburn system are the most used. Japanese is written in a combination of logographic characters borrowed from Chinese and syllabic scripts that 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, in dictionaries and textbooks for foreign learners of the language, it is used to transliterate Japanese terms in text written in English on topics related to Japan, such as linguistics, literature and culture. Rōmaji is the most common way to input Japanese into word processors and computers, may be used to display Japanese on devices that do not support the display of Japanese characters.
All Japanese who have attended elementary school since World War II have been taught to read and write romanized Japanese. Therefore all Japanese are able to read and write Japanese using rōmaji, although it is rare in Japan to use this method to write Japanese, most Japanese are more comfortable reading kanji and kana; the earliest Japanese romanization system was based on Portuguese orthography. It was developed around 1548 by a Japanese Catholic named Yajiro. Jesuit priests used the system in a series of printed Catholic books so that missionaries could preach and teach their converts without learning to read Japanese orthography; the most useful of these books for the study of early modern Japanese pronunciation and early attempts at romanization was the Nippo jisho, a Japanese–Portuguese dictionary written in 1603. In general, the early Portuguese system was similar to Nihon-shiki in its treatment of vowels; some consonants were transliterated differently: for instance, the /k/ consonant was rendered, depending on context, as either c or q, the /ɸ/ consonant as f.
The Jesuits printed some secular books in romanized Japanese, including the first printed edition of the Japanese classic The Tale of the Heike, romanized as Feiqe no monogatari, a collection of Aesop's Fables. The latter continued to be read after the suppression of Christianity in Japan. Following the expulsion of Christians from Japan in the late 1590s and early 17th century, rōmaji fell out of use and was used sporadically in foreign texts until the mid-19th century, when Japan opened up again. From the mid-19th century onward, several systems were developed, culminating in the Hepburn system, named after James Curtis Hepburn who used it in the third edition of his Japanese–English dictionary, published in 1887; the Hepburn system included representation of some sounds. For example, Lafcadio Hearn's book Kwaidan shows the older kw- pronunciation. In the Meiji era, some Japanese scholars advocated abolishing the Japanese writing system and using rōmaji instead; the Nihon-shiki romanization was an outgrowth of that movement.
Several Japanese texts were published in rōmaji during this period, but it failed to catch on. In the early 20th century, some scholars devised syllabary systems with characters derived from Latin that were less popular since they were not based on any historical use of the Latin script. Today, the use of Nihon-shiki for writing Japanese is advocated by the Oomoto sect and some independent organizations. During the Allied occupation of Japan, the government of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers made it official policy to romanize Japanese. However, that policy failed and a more moderate attempt at Japanese script reform followed. Hepburn romanization follows English phonology with Romance vowels, it is an intuitive method of showing Anglophones the pronunciation of a word in Japanese. It was standardized in the United states as American National Standard System for the Romanization of Japanese, but that status was abolished on October 6, 1994. Hepburn is the most common romanization system in use today in the English-speaking world.
The Revised Hepburn system of romanization uses a macron to indicate some long vowels and an apostrophe to note the separation of confused phonemes. For example, the name じゅんいちろう is written with the kana characters ju-n-i-chi-ro-u, romanized as Jun'ichirō in Revised Hepburn. Without the apostrophe, it would not be possible to distinguish this correct reading from the incorrect ju-ni-chi-ro-u; this system is used in Japan and among foreign students and academics. Nihon-shiki romanization, which predates the Hepburn system, was invented as a method for Japanese to write their own language in Latin characters, rather than to transcribe it for Westerners as Hepburn was, it follows the Japanese syllabary strictly, with no adjustments for changes in pronunciation. It is therefore the only major system of romanization that allows near-lossless mapping to and from kana, it has been st