In the Japanese language, the gojūon is a traditional system ordering kana by their component phonemes analogous to alphabetical order. The "fifty" in its name refers to the 5 × 10 grid; each kana, which may be a hiragana or katakana character, corresponds to one sound in Japanese. As depicted at the right using hiragana characters, the sequence begins with あ, い, う, え, お continues with か, き, く, け, こ, so on and so forth for a total of ten rows of five columns. Although nominally containing 50 characters, the grid is not filled, further, there is an extra character added outside the grid at the end: with 5 gaps and 1 extra character, the current number of distinct kana in a syllabic chart in modern Japanese is therefore 46; some of these gaps have always existed as gaps in sound: there was no yi or wu in Old Japanese, ye disappeared in Early Middle Japanese, predating the kana. With the spelling reforms after World War II, the kana for wi and we were replaced with i and e, the sounds they had developed into.
The kana for syllabic n is not part of the grid, as it was introduced long after gojūon ordering was devised. The gojūon contains all the basic kana, but it does not include: versions of kana with a dakuten such as が or だ, or kana with handakuten such as ぱ or ぷ, smaller kana, such as the sokuon or yōon; the gojūon order is the prevalent system for collating Japanese in Japan. For example, dictionaries are ordered using this method. Other systems used are the iroha ordering, for kanji, the radical ordering; the gojūon arrangement is thought to have been influenced by both the Siddham script used for writing Sanskrit and the Chinese fanqie system. The monk Kūkai introduced the Siddhaṃ script to Japan in 806 on his return from China. Belonging to the Brahmic script, the Sanskrit ordering of letters was used for it. Buddhist monks who invented katakana chose to use the word order of Sanskrit and Siddham, since important Buddhist writings were written with those alphabets. In an unusual set of events, although it uses Sanskrit organization, it uses the Chinese order of writing.
The order of consonants and vowels, the grid layout, originates in Sanskrit shiksha, Brāhmī script, as reflected throughout the Brahmic family of scripts. The Sanskrit was written left-to-right, with vowels changing in rows, not columns. There are three ways in which the grid does not accord with Sanskrit ordering of Modern Japanese. What is now s/さ was pronounced, hence its location corresponding to Sanskrit /t͡ʃ/. Kana starting with h, b and p are placed where p/b are in Sanskrit and the diacritics do not follow the usual pattern: p/b is the usual unvoiced/voiced pattern, has different articulation; this is because /h/ was and pronouncing /h/ as is recent. Syllable-final n was not present in Old Japanese, does not fit with other characters due to having no vowel, thus is attached at the end of the grid, as in Sanskrit treatment of miscellaneous characters; the earliest example of a gojūon-style layout dates from a manuscript known as Kujakukyō Ongi dated c. 1004–1028. In contrast, the earliest example of the alternative iroha ordering is from the 1079 text Konkōmyō Saishōōkyō Ongi.
Gojūon ordering was first used for a dictionary in the 1484 Onkochishinsho. Today the gojūon system forms the basis of input methods for Japanese mobile phones – each key corresponds to a column in the gojūon, while the number of presses determines the row. For example, the'2' button corresponds to the ka-column, the button is pressed to get the intended kana; this table uses the vertical system of Japanese writing, should be read from the top down, starting from the rightmost column to the left. In each entry, the top entry is the hiragana, the second entry is the corresponding katakana, the third entry is the Hepburn romanization of the kana, the fourth entry is the pronunciation written in the International Phonetic Alphabet. Please see Japanese phonology for more details on the individual sounds; the rows are referred to as dan, the columns as gyō. They are named for their first entry, thus the rows are あ段 い段 う段 え段 お段 while the columns are わ行 ら行 や行 ま行 は行 な行 た行 さ行 か行 あ行; these are sometimes written in katakana, such as ア行, conspicuously used when referring to Japanese verb conjugation – for example, the verb yomu is of ma-gyō go-d
The Meiji Restoration known as the Meiji Renovation, Reform, or Renewal, was an event that restored practical imperial rule to the Empire of Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. Although there were ruling emperors before the Meiji Restoration, the events restored practical abilities and consolidated the political system under the emperor of Japan; the goals of the restored government were expressed by the new emperor in the Charter Oath. The Restoration led to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure and spanned both the late Edo period and the beginning of the Meiji period; the Japanese knew that they were behind the Western world when American Commodore Matthew C. Perry came to Japan in 1853 in large warships with armament and technology that far outclassed those of Japan with the intent to conclude a treaty that would open up Japanese ports to trade. Figures like Shimazu Nariakira concluded. Observing Japan's response to the Western powers, Chinese general Li Hongzhang considered Japan to be China's "principal security threat" as early as 1863, five years before the Meiji Restoration.
The leaders of the Meiji Restoration, as this revolution came to be known, acted in the name of restoring imperial rule to strengthen Japan against the threat represented by the colonial powers of the day, bringing to an end the era known as sakoku. The word "Meiji" means "enlightened rule" and the goal was to combine "modern advances" with traditional "eastern" values; the main leaders of this were Itō Hirobumi, Matsukata Masayoshi, Kido Takayoshi, Itagaki Taisuke, Yamagata Aritomo, Mori Arinori, Ōkubo Toshimichi, Yamaguchi Naoyoshi. The foundation of the Meiji Restoration was the 1866 Satsuma-Chōshū Alliance between Saigō Takamori and Kido Takayoshi, leaders of the reformist elements in the Satsuma Domain and Chōshū Domain; these two leaders supported the Emperor Kōmei and were brought together by Sakamoto Ryōma for the purpose of challenging the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and restoring the Emperor to power. After Kōmei's death on January 30, 1867, Meiji ascended the throne on February 3; this period saw Japan change from being a feudal society to having a market economy and left the Japanese with a lingering influence of Modernity.
The Tokugawa government had been founded in the 17th century and focused on reestablishing order in social and international affairs after a century of warfare. The political structure, established by Ieyasu and solidified under his two immediate successors, his son Hidetada and grandson Iemitsu, bound all daimyōs to the shogunate and limited any individual daimyō from acquiring too much land or power; the Tokugawa shogunate came to its official end on November 9, 1867, when Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the 15th Tokugawa shōgun, "put his prerogatives at the Emperor's disposal" and resigned 10 days later. This was the "restoration" of imperial rule – although Yoshinobu still had significant influence and it was not until January 3, the following year, with the young Emperor's edict, that the restoration occurred. Shortly thereafter in January 1868, the Boshin War started with the Battle of Toba–Fushimi in which Chōshū and Satsuma's forces defeated the ex-shōgun's army; this forced the Emperor to strip Yoshinobu of all power.
On January 3, 1868, the Emperor made a formal declaration of the restoration of his power: The Emperor of Japan announces to the sovereigns of all foreign countries and to their subjects that permission has been granted to the Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu to return the governing power in accordance with his own request. We shall henceforward exercise supreme authority in all the internal and external affairs of the country; the title of Emperor must be substituted for that of Taikun, in which the treaties have been made. Officers are being appointed by us to the conduct of foreign affairs, it is desirable. All Tokugawa lands were seized and placed under "imperial control", thus placing them under the prerogative of the new Meiji government. With Fuhanken sanchisei, the areas were split into three types: urban prefectures, rural prefectures and the existing domains. In 1869, the daimyōs of the Tosa, Satsuma and Chōshū Domains, who were pushing most fiercely against the shogunate, were persuaded to "return their domains to the Emperor".
Other daimyō were subsequently persuaded to do so, thus creating, arguably for the first time, a central government in Japan which exercised direct power through the entire "realm". Some shogunate forces escaped to Hokkaidō, where they attempted to set up a breakaway Republic of Ezo; the defeat of the armies of the former shōgun marked the final end of the Tokugawa shogunate, with the Emperor's power restored. By 1872, the daimyōs, past and present, were summoned before the Emperor, where it was declared that all domains were now to be returned to the Emperor; the 280 domains were turned into 72 prefectures, each under the control of a state-appointed governor. If the daimyōs peacefully complied, they were given a prominent voice in the new Meiji
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and paper. As a method of printing on cloth, the earliest surviving examples from China date to before 220 AD. Woodblock printing existed in Tang China during the 7th century AD and remained the most common East Asian method of printing books and other texts, as well as images, until the 19th century. Ukiyo-e is the best known type of Japanese woodblock art print. Most European uses of the technique for printing images on paper are covered by the art term woodcut, except for the block-books produced in the 15th century in India. Prior to the invention of woodblock printing and stamps were used for making impressions; the oldest of these seals came from Egypt. The use of round "cylinder seals" for rolling an impress onto clay tablets goes back to early Mesopotamian civilization before 3000 BC, where they are the most common works of art to survive, feature complex and beautiful images.
A few much larger brick stamps for marking clay bricks survive from Akkad from around 2270 BC. There are Roman lead pipe inscriptions of some length that were stamped, amulet MS 5236 may be a unique surviving gold foil sheet stamped with an amulet text in the 6th century BC; however none of these used ink, necessary for printing, but stamped marks into soft materials. In both China and Egypt, the use of small stamps for seals preceded the use of larger blocks. In Europe and India, the printing of cloth preceded the printing of paper or papyrus; the process is the same—in Europe special presentation impressions of prints were printed on silk until at least the 17th century. The wood block is prepared as a relief pattern, which means the areas to show'white' are cut away with a knife, chisel, or sandpaper leaving the characters or image to show in'black' at the original surface level; the block was cut along the grain of the wood. It is necessary only to ink the block and bring it into firm and contact with the paper or cloth to achieve an acceptable print.
The content would of course print "in reverse" or mirror-image, a further complication when text was involved. The art of carving the woodcut is technically known as xylography, though the term is used in English. For colour printing, multiple blocks are used, each for one colour, although overprinting two colours may produce further colours on the print. Multiple colours can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks. There are three methods of printing to consider: Stamping Used for many fabrics, most early European woodcuts; these items were printed by putting paper or fabric on a table or a flat surface with the block on top, pressing, or hammering, the back of the block. Rubbing Apparently the most common for Far Eastern printing. Used for European woodcuts and block-books in the 15th century, widely for cloth; the block is placed face side up on a table, with the fabric on top. The back of the paper or fabric is rubbed with a "hard pad, a flat piece of wood, a burnisher, or a leather frotton".
Printing in a press "Presses" only seem to have been used in Asia in recent times. Simple weighted presses may have been used in Europe. Printing-presses were used. A deceased Abbess of Mechelen in Flanders in 1465 had "unum instrumentum ad imprintendum scripturas et ymagines... cum 14 aliis lapideis printis", too early to be a Gutenberg-type printing press in that location. In addition, jia xie is a method for dyeing textiles using wood blocks invented in the 5th-6th centuries in China. An upper and a lower block is made, with carved out compartments opening to the back, fitted with plugs; the cloth folded a number of times, is inserted and clamped between the two blocks. By unplugging the different compartments and filling them with dyes of different colours, a multi-coloured pattern can be printed over quite a large area of folded cloth; the method is not printing however, as the pattern is not caused by pressure against the block. The earliest woodblock printing known is in colour—Chinese silk from the Han dynasty printed in three colours.
On paper, European woodcut prints with coloured blocks were invented in Germany in 1508 and are known as chiaroscuro woodcuts. Colour is common in Asian woodblock printing on paper; the earliest dated book printed in more than 2 colours is Chengshi moyuan, a book on ink-cakes printed in 1606 and the technique reached its height in books on art published in the first half of the 17th century. Notable examples are the Hu Zhengyan's Treatise on the Paintings and Writings of the Ten Bamboo Studio of 1633, the Mustard Seed Garden Painting Manual published in 1679 and 1701. In Japan, a multi-colour technique called nishiki-e spread more and was used for prints from the 1760s on. Japanese woodcut became a major artistic form, although at the time it was accorded a much lower status than painting. In both Europe and Japan, book illustrations were printed in black ink only, colour reserved for individual artistic prints. In China, the reverse was true, colour printing was used in books on art and erotica.
The earliest woodblock printed fragments to survive are from Ch
Buddhist texts were passed on orally by monks, but were written down and composed as manuscripts in various Indo-Aryan languages which were translated into other local languages as Buddhism spread. They can be categorized in a number of ways; the Western terms "scripture" and "canonical" are applied to Buddhism in inconsistent ways by Western scholars: for example, one authority refers to "scriptures and other canonical texts", while another says that scriptures can be categorized into canonical and pseudo-canonical. Buddhist traditions have divided these texts with their own categories and divisions, such as that between buddhavacana "word of the Buddha," many of which are known as "sutras," and other texts, such as shastras or Abhidharma; these religious texts were written in many different languages and scripts but memorizing and copying the texts were of high value. After the development of printing, Buddhists preferred to keep to their original practices with these texts. According to Donald Lopez, criteria for determining what should be considered buddhavacana were developed at an early stage, that the early formulations do not suggest that Dharma is limited to what was spoken by the historical Buddha.
The Mahāsāṃghika and the Mūlasarvāstivāda considered both the Buddha's discourses, of his disciples, to be buddhavacana. A number of different beings such as buddhas, disciples of the buddha, ṛṣis, devas were considered capable to transmitting buddhavacana; the content of such a discourse was to be collated with the sūtras, compared with the Vinaya, evaluated against the nature of the Dharma. These texts may be certified as true buddhavacana by a buddha, a saṃgha, a small group of elders, or one knowledgeable elder. In Theravada Buddhism, the standard collection of buddhavacana is the Pāli Canon; some scholars believe that some portions of the Pali Canon and Agamas could contain the actual substance of the historical teachings of the Buddha. In East Asian Buddhism, what is considered buddhavacana is collected in the Chinese Buddhist canon; the most common edition of this is the Taishō Tripiṭaka. According to Venerable Hsuan Hua from the tradition of Chinese Buddhism, there are five types of beings who may speak the sutras of Buddhism: a buddha, a disciple of a buddha, a deva, a ṛṣi, or an emanation of one of these beings.
These sutras may be properly regarded as buddhavacana. Sometimes texts that are considered commentaries by some are regarded by others as Buddhavacana. Shingon Buddhism developed a system that assigned authorship of the early sutras to Gautama Buddha in his physical manifestation, of the Ekayana sutras to the Buddhas as Sambhoghakaya, the Vajrayana texts to the Buddha as Dharmakaya. In Tibetan Buddhism, what is considered buddhavacana is collected in the Kangyur; the East Asian and Tibetan Buddhist canons always combined Buddhavacana with other literature in their standard collected editions. However, the general view of what is and is not buddhavacana is broadly similar between East Asian Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism; the Tibetan Kangyur, which belongs to the various schools of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, in addition to containing sutras and vinaya contains tantras. The earliest Buddhist texts were passed down orally in Middle Indo-Aryan languages called Prakrits, including Gāndhārī language, the early Magadhan language and Pali through the use of repetition, communal recitation and mnemonic devices.
Doctrinal elaborations were preserved in Abhidharma works and Karikas. As Buddhism spread geographically, these texts were translated into the local language, such as Chinese and Tibetan; the Pali canon was preserved in Sri Lanka where it was first written down in the first century BCE and the Theravadan Pali textual tradition developed there. The Sri Lankan Pali tradition developed extensive commentaries as well as sub-commentaries for the Pali Canon as well as treatises on Abhidhamma. Sutra commentaries and Abhidharma works exist in Tibetan, Chinese and other East Asian languages. Important examples of non-canonical Pali texts are the Visuddhimagga, by Buddhaghosa, a compendium of Theravada teachings and the Mahavamsa, a historical Sri Lankan chronicle; the earliest known Buddhist manuscripts, recovered from the ancient civilization of Gandhara in north central Pakistan are dated to the 1st century and constitute the Buddhist textual tradition of Gandharan Buddhism, an important link between Indian and East Asian Buddhism.
After the rise of the Kushans in India, Sanskrit was widely used to record Buddhist texts. Sanskrit Buddhist literature became the dominant tradition in India until the decline of Buddhism in India. Around the beginning of the Christian era, a new genre of sutra literature began to be written with a focus on the Bodhisattva idea known as Mahayana sutras. Many of the Mahayana sutras were written in Sanskrit and translated into the Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist canons which developed their own textual histories; the Mahayana sutras are traditionally considered by Mahayanists to be the word of the Buddha, but transmitted either in secret, via lineages of supernatural beings, or revealed directly from other Buddhas or bodhisattvas. Some 600 Mahayana Sutras have survived in Chinese and/or Tibetan translation. In the Mahayana tradition there are important works termed Shastras, or treatises which attempt to outline the sutra teachings and defend or exp
Katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script. The word katakana means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana characters are derived from components or fragments of more complex kanji. Katakana and hiragana are both kana systems. With one or two minor exceptions, each syllable in the Japanese language is represented by one character or kana, in each system; each kana represents either a vowel such as "a". In contrast to the hiragana syllabary, used for Japanese words not covered by kanji and for grammatical inflections, the katakana syllabary usage is quite similar to italics in English. Katakana are characterized by sharp corners. There are two main systems of ordering katakana: the old-fashioned iroha ordering and the more prevalent gojūon ordering; the complete katakana script consists of 48 characters, not counting functional and diacritic marks: 5 nucleus vowels 42 core or body syllabograms, consisting of nine consonants in combination with each of the five vowels, of which three possible combinations are not canonical 1 coda consonantThese are conceived as a 5×10 grid, as shown in the adjacent table, read ア, イ, ウ, エ, オ, カ, キ, ク, ケ, コ and so on.
The gojūon inherits its consonant order from Sanskrit practice. In vertical text contexts, which used to be the default case, the grid is presented as 10 columns by 5 rows, with vowels on the right hand side and ア on top. Katakana glyphs in the same row or column do not share common graphic characteristics. Three of the syllabograms to be expected, yi, ye and wu, may have been used idiosyncratically with varying glyphs, but never became conventional in any language and are not present at all in modern Japanese; the 50-sound table is amended with an extra character, the nasal stop ン. This can appear in several positions, most next to the N signs or, because it developed from one of many mu hentaigana, below the u column, it may be appended to the vowel row or the a column. Here, it is shown in a table of its own; the script includes two diacritic marks placed at the upper right of the base character that change the initial sound of a syllabogram. A double dot, called dakuten, indicates a primary alteration.
Secondary alteration, where possible, is shown by a circular handakuten: h→p. Diacritics, though used for over a thousand years, only became mandatory in the Japanese writing system in the second half of the 20th century, their application is limited in proper writing systems, but may be more extensive in academic transcriptions. Furthermore, some characters may have special semantics when used in smaller size after a normal one, but this does not make the script bicameral; the layout of the gojūon table promotes a systematic view of kana syllabograms as being always pronounced with the same single consonant followed by a vowel, but this is not the case. Existing schemes for the romanization of Japanese either are based on the systematic nature of the script, e.g. nihon-siki チ ti, or they apply some Western graphotactics the English one, to the common Japanese pronunciation of the kana signs, e.g. Hepburn-shiki チ chi. Both approaches conceal the fact, that many consonant-based katakana signs those canonically ending in u, can be used in coda position, where the vowel is unvoiced and therefore perceptible.
Of the 48 katakana syllabograms described above, only 46 are used in modern Japanese, one of these is preserved for only a single use: wi and we are pronounced as vowels in modern Japanese and are therefore obsolete, being supplanted by i and e respectively. Wo is now used only as a particle, is pronounced the same as vowel オ o; as a particle, it is written in hiragana and the katakana form, ヲ, is uncommon. A small version of the katakana for ya, yu or yo may be added to katakana ending in i; this changes the i vowel sound to a glide to a, u or o, e.g. キャ /kja/. Addition of the small y kana is called yōon. Small versions of the five vowel kana are sometimes used to represent trailing off sounds, but in katakana they are more used in yōon-like extended digraphs designed to represent phonemes not present in Japanese. A character called a sokuon, visually identical to a small tsu ッ, indicates that the following consonant is geminated. In Japanese this is an important distinction in pronunciation.
Geminated consonants are common in transliterations of foreign loanwords. The sokuon sometimes appe
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