Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary
First published in 1918, Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary has long been the largest and most authoritative Japanese-English dictionary. Translators and specialists who use the Japanese language affectionately refer to this dictionary as the Green Goddess or because of its distinctive dark-green cover; the fifth edition, published in 2003, is a volume with 3,000 pages. The editors in chiefs of the fifth edition are Watanabe Toshiro, Edmund R. Skrzypczak, Paul Snowden. Besides the print edition, the dictionary is available on CD-ROM, in electronic dictionary and iPhone versions. Electronic dictionaries that contain the fifth edition are flagship models, they include the Canon Wordtank G70, the Seiko SR-E10000 and SR-G10000, the Casio "University Student" series and "Professional" series. The Sharp PW-SB2, PW-SB3, PW-SB4 and PW-SB5 models contain the full Kenkyusha dictionary. For both Casio and Sharp at least, the dictionary is available on an SD or micro SD card that can be purchased separately for certain models.
There is a companion English-Japanese dictionary in its 6th edition, which contains 260,000 headwords. In 1918, the publication of the first edition of Kenkyusha’s New Japanese–English Dictionary, Takenobu's Japanese–English Dictionary, named after the editor-in-chief, Takenobu Yoshitarō, was a landmark event in the field of lexicography in Japan. Completed in under five years with the assistance and support of leading scholars in the field, published when Kenkyūsha was still a minor academic publishing company, the Takenobu was the most authoritative Japanese–English dictionary of the time, cemented Kenkyūsha's reputation in the field of academic publishing. In 1931, Kenkyūsha undertook a major revision in the dictionary by expanding upon former entries and adding newer ones; the British diplomat George Sansom, who became a renowned historian of Japan, was a major contributor and editor of this edition. Aside from the ever-evolving nature of the Japanese and English languages, competition from two other major dictionaries released in the 1920s – Takehara's Japanese–English Dictionary and Saitō's Japanese–English Dictionary, both of which were larger than the first edition of Kenkyūsha's – was a major driving force behind these revisions.
From this second edition onward, the dictionary became known as Kenkyusha’s New Japanese–English Dictionary. During World War II, reputable institutions in the United States and Great Britain, including Harvard University's Department of Far Eastern Languages, produced pirated versions of this dictionary for the war effort; because of the Pacific War, Kenkyūsha did not revise the dictionary for 20 years until 1949, when it decided to incorporate the many new borrowings from English that resulted from the American occupation of Japan. After five years of revision, Kenkyūsha published its third edition in 1954. Beginning with this edition and continuing through the 1974 fourth edition, the editors attempted to make the dictionary into a more scholarly work by citing English language expressions from English texts from literature; the editors abandoned this practice for the fifth edition, which has entries that sound more natural to both native-Japanese and native-English speakers. 1st Edition 2nd Edition 82th impression 91th impression Harvard University Press edition: A photolithographic reprint of the 82nd printing of the Japanese dictionary, with enlarged print size.?th impression 3rd Edition 4th Edition: Includes 80000 headwords, 100000 compound words and sentences, 50000 examples.
Headlines sorted by Romanized alphabet. ISBN 0-7859-71289/ISBN 978-0-7859-7128-3 1st impression 4th impression?th impression 5th Edition: Includes 130000 headwords, 100000 compound words, 250000 examples. Headlines sorted by kana. ISBN 978-4-7674-2026-4 C7582, ISBN 978-4-7674-2016-5 C7582 Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary PLUS: A supplement book for the 5th edition of the printed dictionary, which adds 40000 entries including colloquial terms from Kenkyusha's CD-ROM dictionary and Kenkyusha Online Dictionary. ISBN 978-4-7674-2027-1 C0582 6th Edition: Includes 260000 entries. ISBN 978-4-7674-1026-5 C0582, ISBN 978-4-7674-1016-6 C0582 Kenkyusha's Bilingual Dictionary of Japanese Cultural Terms: Includes 3500 headwords and compound words. Consists of revised entries about Japanese-specific culture, seasonal events, modern terms from Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary. ISBN 978-4-7674-9053-3 C0582 Kenkyusha's FURIGANA English-Japanese Dictionary: Includes kana readings for Japanese entries.?th impression Kenkyusha's FURIGANA English-Japanese Dictionary Revised &
Chinese characters are logograms developed for the writing of Chinese. They have been adapted to write a number of other Asian languages, they remain a key component of the Japanese writing system and are used in the writing of Korean. They were used in Vietnamese and Zhuang. Collectively, they are known as CJK characters. Vietnamese is sometimes included, making the abbreviation CJKV. Chinese characters constitute. By virtue of their widespread current use in East Asia, historic use throughout the Sinosphere, Chinese characters are among the most adopted writing systems in the world by number of users. Chinese characters number in the tens of thousands, though most of them are minor graphic variants encountered only in historical texts. Studies in China have shown that functional literacy in written Chinese requires a knowledge of between three and four thousand characters. In Japan, 2,136 are taught through secondary school. Due to post-WWII simplifications of Kanji in Japan as well as the post-WWII simplifications of characters in China, the Chinese characters used in Japan today are distinct from those used in China in several respects.
There are various national standard lists of characters and pronunciations. Simplified forms of certain characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia. In Japan, common characters are written in post-WWII Japan-specific simplified forms, while uncommon characters are written in Japanese traditional forms, which are identical to Chinese traditional forms. In South Korea, when Chinese characters are used, they are in traditional form identical to those used in Taiwan and Hong Kong where the official writing system is traditional Chinese. Teaching of Chinese characters in South Korea starts in the 7th grade and continues until the 12th grade. In Old Chinese including Classical Chinese, most words were monosyllabic and there was a close correspondence between characters and words. In modern Chinese, the majority of Chinese words today consist of two or more characters. Rather, a character always corresponds to a single syllable, a morpheme. However, there are a few exceptions to this general correspondence, including bisyllabic morphemes, bimorphemic syllables and cases where a single character represents a polysyllabic word or phrase.
Modern Chinese has many homophones. A single character may have a range of meanings, or sometimes quite distinct meanings. Cognates in the several varieties of Chinese are written with the same character, they have similar meanings, but quite different pronunciations. In other languages, most today in Japanese and sometimes in Korean, characters are used to represent Chinese loanwords, to represent native words independently of the Chinese pronunciation, as purely phonetic elements based on their pronunciation in the historical variety of Chinese from which they were acquired; these foreign adaptations of Chinese pronunciation are known as Sino-Xenic pronunciations and have been useful in the reconstruction of Middle Chinese. When the script was first used in the late 2nd millennium BC, words of Old Chinese were monosyllabic, each character denoted a single word. Increasing numbers of polysyllabic words have entered the language from the Western Zhou period to the present day, it is estimated that about 25–30% of the vocabulary of classic texts from the Warring States period was polysyllabic, though these words were used far less than monosyllables, which accounted for 80–90% of occurrences in these texts.
The process has accelerated over the centuries as phonetic change has increased the number of homophones. It has been estimated that over two thirds of the 3,000 most common words in modern Standard Chinese are polysyllables, the vast majority of those being disyllables; the most common process has been to form compounds of existing words, written with the characters of the constituent words. Words have been created by adding affixes and borrowing from other languages. Polysyllabic words are written with one character per syllable. In most cases the character denotes. Many characters have multiple readings, with instances denoting different morphemes, sometimes with different pronunciations. In modern Standard Chinese, one fifth of the 2,400 most common characters have multiple pronunciations. For the 500 most common characters, the proportion rises to 30%; these readings are similar in sound and related in meaning. In the Old Chinese period, affixes could be added to a word to form a new word, written with the same character.
In many cases the pronunciations diverged due to subsequent sound change. For example, many additional readings have the Middle Chinese departing tone, the major sour
History of Japan
The first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times. The Jōmon period, named after its "cord-marked" pottery, was followed by the Yayoi in the first millennium BC when new technologies were introduced from continental Asia. During this period, the first known written reference to Japan was recorded in the Chinese Book of Han in the first century AD. Between the fourth century and the ninth century, Japan's many kingdoms and tribes came to be unified under a centralized government, nominally controlled by the Emperor; this imperial dynasty continues to reign over Japan. In 794, a new imperial capital was established at Heian-kyō, marking the beginning of the Heian period, which lasted until 1185; the Heian period is considered a golden age of classical Japanese culture. Japanese religious life from this time and onwards was a mix of native Shinto practices and Buddhism. Over the following centuries, the power of the Emperor and the imperial court declined and passed to the military clans and their armies of samurai warriors.
The Minamoto clan under Minamoto no Yoritomo emerged victorious from the Genpei War of 1180–85. After seizing power, Yoritomo took the title of shōgun. In 1274 and 1281, the Kamakura shogunate withstood two Mongol invasions, but in 1333 it was toppled by a rival claimant to the shogunate, ushering in the Muromachi period. During the Muromachi period regional warlords called daimyōs grew in power at the expense of the shōgun. Japan descended into a period of civil war. Over the course of the late sixteenth century, Japan was reunified under the leadership of the daimyō Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After Hideyoshi's death in 1598, Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power and was appointed shōgun by the Emperor; the Tokugawa shogunate, which governed from Edo, presided over a prosperous and peaceful era known as the Edo period. The Tokugawa shogunate imposed a strict class system on Japanese society and cut off all contact with the outside world. Portugal and Japan started their first affiliation in 1543, making the Portuguese the first Europeans to reach Japan by landing in the southern archipelago of Japan.
The Netherlands was the first to establish trade relations with Japan, Japan–Netherlands relations dating back to 1609. The American Perry Expedition in 1853–54 more ended Japan's seclusion; the new national leadership of the following Meiji period transformed the isolated feudal island country into an empire that followed Western models and became a great power. Although democracy developed and modern civilian culture prospered during the Taishō period, Japan's powerful military had great autonomy and overruled Japan's civilian leaders in the 1920s and 1930s; the military invaded Manchuria in 1931, from 1937 the conflict escalated into a prolonged war with China. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 led to war with its allies. Japan's forces soon became overextended, but the military held out in spite of Allied air attacks that inflicted severe damage on population centers. Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender on 15 August 1945, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.
The Allies occupied Japan until 1952, during which a new constitution was enacted in 1947 that transformed Japan into a constitutional monarchy. After 1955, Japan enjoyed high economic growth, became a world economic powerhouse. Since the 1990s, economic stagnation has been a major issue. An earthquake, tsunami in 2011 caused massive economic dislocations and a serious nuclear power disaster; the mountainous Japanese archipelago stretches northeast to southwest 3,000 km off the east of the Asian continent at the convergence of four tectonic plates. The steep, craggy mountains that cover two-thirds of its surface are prone to quick erosion from fast-flowing rivers and to mudslides, they have hampered internal travel and communication and driven the population to rely on transportation along coastal waters. There is a great variety to its regions' geographical features and weather patterns, with a Wet season, in most parts in early summer. Volcanic soil that washes along the 13% of the area that makes up the coastal plains provides fertile land, the temperate climate allows long growing seasons, which with the diversity of flora and fauna provide rich resources able to support the density of the population.
A accepted periodization of Japanese history: Land bridges, during glacial periods when the world sea level is lower, have periodically linked the Japanese archipelago to the Asian continent via Sakhalin Island in the north and via the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan in the south since the beginning of the current Quaternary glaciation 2.58 million years ago. There may have been a land bridge to Korea in the southwest, though not in the 125,000 years or so since the start of the last interglacial; the Korea Strait was, quite narrow at the Last Glacial Maximum from 25,000 to 20,000 years BP. The earliest firm evidence of human habitation is of early Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers from 40,000 years ago, when Japan was separated from the continent. Edge-ground axes dating to 32–38,000 years ago found in 224 sites in Honshu and Kyushu are unlike anything found in neighbouring areas of continental Asia, have been proposed as evidence for the first Homo sapiens in Japan. Radiocarbon dating has shown that the earliest fossils in
Yiqiejing yinyi (Xuanying)
The Yiqiejing yinyi 一切經音義 "Pronunciation and Meaning in the Complete Buddhist Canon" is the oldest surviving Chinese dictionary of Buddhist technical terminology, was the archetype for Chinese bilingual dictionaries. This specialized glossary was compiled by the Tang dynasty lexicographer monk Xuanying 玄應, a translator for the famous pilgrim and Sanskritist monk Xuanzang; when Xuanying died he had only finished 25 chapters of the dictionary, but another Tang monk Huilin 慧琳 compiled an enlarged 100-chapter version with the same title, the Yiqiejing yinyi. Xuanying's dictionary title combines three Chinese words: yị̄qiè 一切 "all; the term yīnyì 音義 "pronunciation and meaning", which refers to explaining the phonology and semantics of words, originated in the exegesis of Chinese classics. The Three Kingdoms scholar Sun Yan 孫炎 used it in his commentary title Erya yinyi 爾雅音義 "Pronunciation and Meaning in the Erya". There is no regular English translation of Yiqiejing yinyi, compare these renderings: Sounds and Meanings of all the Buddhist Sacred Books or Sounds and Meanings of the Whole Canon The Sound and Meaning of the Tripitaka Pronunciation and Meaning of all Classics Sounds and Meanings of all the Buddhist Scriptures Glosses of the Buddhist Texts Sound and Meaning of All Sutras A Lexicon of Sounds and Meanings in the Tripitaka The Sound and the Meaning of All Scriptures Pronunciation and Meaning of All the Scriptures Sounds and meanings for all scriptures Alternate Yiqiejing yinyi titles include the Zhongjing yinyi 眾經音義 " Pronunciation and Meaning in Every Sutra", to distinguish it from Hulin's version, the Xuanying yinyi 玄應音義 "Xuanying's Pronunciation and Meaning".
A Daoist text adapted the Yiqiejing yinyi title. In 712, Emperor Xuanzong of Tang ordered a team of scholars to compile the catalog Yiqie Daojing yinyi 一切道經音義 "Titles and Meanings of all the Daoist Canon"; the lexicographer monk Xuanying 玄應, who compiled the Yiqiejing yinyi, was one of the ten Buddhist monks on Xuanzang’s translation committee. A postscript to Daoxuan's Xù gāosēng zhuàn 續高僧傳 "Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks" describes Xuanying as "a monk in a temple in the capital, he has won wide respect for his accomplishments in philological studies. He is a master of the study of the phonetic system of Buddhist scriptures". Both Xuanzang and Xuanying were monks at the Da Ci'en Monastery 大慈恩寺 in Chang'an; the Dà Táng nèidiǎn lù 大唐内典錄 "Records of Internal Classics in the Tang Dynasty" describes his interaction with Emperor Taizong of Tang, Xuan Ying, a Master in the Temple of Da Ci'en Temple, was summoned several times by the Emperor to collect and sort Buddhist scriptures and phonetically notate and semantically interpret characters from them.
He cited quotations from various classic works to support his interpretations. The book can help its users to understand the scriptures, it is a pity that his works stopped without going further. Buddhism was first transmitted to China via the Silk Road during the Eastern Han dynasty. Buddhist missionary monks from Central Asia, such as Kumārajīva, produced early Chinese translations of Buddhist sutras and texts. Translators had difficulties rendering Buddhist terminology from Sanskrit and Middle Indo-Aryan languages into written Chinese; because of the polysemous and sacred character of such Buddhist doctrinal concepts as bodhi and prajñā, many Chinese translators preferred to transliterate rather than translate such crucial terms, so as not to limit their semantic range to a single Chinese meaning. Furthermore, the spiritual efficacy thought to be inherent in the pronunciations of Buddhist mantra spells and dhāraṇī codes compelled translators to preserve as as possible the original foreign-language pronunciation.
The wide variety of methods, source texts, exegetical strategies used by different Chinese translators of Buddhist texts in the Southern and Northern dynasties period gave rise to a large number of neologisms and repurposed Chinese terms. For instance, the Standard Chinese translation of nirvana is nièpán < Middle Chinese ngetban 涅槃, but earlier transcriptions include nièpánnà < ngetbannop 涅槃那, níwán < nejhwan 泥丸. The Chinese language adopted many new words such as yīnguǒ 因果 "cause and effect. With more and more Indian and Central Asian texts being translated into Chinese, the use of Sanskrit and Middle Indo-Aryan tran
The Erya or Erh-ya is the oldest surviving Chinese dictionary or Chinese encyclopedia known. Bernhard Karlgren concluded that "the major part of its glosses must reasonably date from" the 3rd century BC. Chinese scholars interpret the first title character ěr as a phonetic loan character for the homophonous ěr, believe the second yǎ refers to words or language. According to W. South Coblin: "The interpretation of the title as something like'approaching what is correct, refined' is now accepted", it has been translated as "The Literary Expositor" or "The Ready Rectifier", "Progress Towards Correctness", "The Semantic Approximator". The book's author is unknown. Although it is traditionally attributed to the Duke of Zhou, Confucius, or his disciples, scholarship suggests that someone compiled and edited diverse glosses from commentaries to pre-Qin texts the Shijing. Joseph Needham et al. place the Erya's compilation between the late 4th and early 2nd centuries BCE, with the possible existence of some core text material dating back to the 6th century BCE, the continued additions to the text as late as the 1st century BCE.
The first attempts to date the different parts of the Erya separately began when the Tang scholar Lu Deming suggested that the Duke of Zhou only compiled the Shigu chapter, while the rest of the text dated from later. The Japanese historian and sinologist Naitō Torajirō analyzed the Erya text and concluded it originated in the early Warring States period, with the Jixia Academy having a considerable hand in it from c. 325 BCE onwards, the text was enlarged and stabilized during the Qin and Western Han dynasty. Naitō connects the Shigu chapter with the first generations of the Confucian School, places the family relationships and meteorology chapters in the time of Xun Ching 荀卿 with additions as late as 90 BCE, allocates the geographical chapters to the late Warring States and beginning of Han, puts the natural history chapters between 300 and 160 BCE, ascribes the last chapter on domestic animals to the time of Emperor Wen or Emperor Jing of Han; the Erya was considered the authoritative lexicographic guide to Chinese classic texts during the Han Dynasty, it was categorized as one of the Thirteen Confucian Classics during the Song Dynasty.
Although the only ancient Erya commentary that has come down to us is the Erya zhu by Guo Pu, there were a number of others, including the Erya Fanshi zhu by Liu Xin, the Erya Yinyi by Sun Yan, which popularized the fanqie system of pronunciation glosses. Most of these texts about the Erya were still extant in the Tang dynasty but had disappeared by the Song dynasty, when there was a revival of interest in the Erya; the Northern Song dynasty scholar Xing Bing wrote the Erya shu, which quoted many descriptions from both ordinary literature and medicinal bencao texts. A century Lu Dian wrote the Piya and the Erya Xinyi commentary; the Southern Song dynasty scholar Luo Yuan subsequently wrote the Eryayi interpretation. During the Qing Dynasty, Shao Jinhan published the Erya Zhengyi and the naturalist Hao Yixing wrote the Erya yishu. In the history of Chinese lexicography, nearly all dictionaries were collated by graphic systems of character radicals, first introduced in the Shuowen Jiezi. However, a few notable exceptions, called yashu 雅書 "ya-type books", adopted collation by semantic categories such as Heaven and Earth.
The Ming Dynasty scholar Lang Kuijin categorized and published the Wuya: Erya, Xiao Erya, Yiya and Piya. Chinese leishu encyclopedias, such as the Yongle Encyclopedia, were semantically arranged. Needham takes the Erya's derivative literature as the main line of descent for the encyclopedia in China; the Erya has been described as a dictionary, synonymicon and encyclopaedia. Karlgren explains that the book "is not a dictionary in abstracto, it is a collection of direct glosses to concrete passages in ancient texts." The received text contains 2094 entries, covering about 4300 words, a total of 13,113 characters. It is divided into nineteen sections, the first of, subdivided into two parts; the title of each chapter combines shi with a term describing the words under definition. Seven chapters are organized into taxonomies. For instance, chapter 4 defines terms for: paternal clan, maternal relatives, wife's relatives, marriage; the text is divided between the first three heterogeneous chapters defining abstract words and the last sixteen semantically-arranged chapters defining concrete words.
The last seven – concerning grasses, trees and reptiles, birds, wild animals, domestic animals – describe more than 590 kinds of flora and fauna. It is a notable document of natural history
The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China spanning the 7th to 10th centuries. It was followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty; the Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day. The Lǐ family founded the dynasty, seizing power during the collapse of the Sui Empire; the dynasty was interrupted when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Second Zhou dynasty and becoming the only Chinese empress regnant. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people, yet when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by to about 80 million people.
With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian states such as those in Japan and Korea; the Tang dynasty was a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule, until the An Lushan Rebellion and the decline of central authority in the half of the dynasty. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang dynasty maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office; the rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order.
Chinese culture further matured during the Tang era. Two of China's most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, as did many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, Zhou Fang. Scholars of this period compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works; the adoption of the title Tängri Qaghan by the Tang Emperor Taizong in addition to his title as emperor was eastern Asia's first "simultaneous kingship". Many notable innovations occurred including the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s the Emperor Wuzong of Tang enacted policies to persecute Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence. Although the dynasty and central government had gone into decline by the 9th century and culture continued to flourish; the weakened central government withdrew from managing the economy, but the country's mercantile affairs stayed intact and commercial trade continued to thrive regardless.
However, agrarian rebellions in the latter half of the 9th century resulted in damaging atrocities such as the Guangzhou massacre of 878–879. The Li family belonged to the northwest military aristocracy prevalent during the Sui dynasty and claimed to be paternally descended from the Daoist founder, Laozi the Han dynasty General Li Guang and Western Liang ruler Li Gao; this family was known as the Longxi Li lineage. The Tang Emperors had Xianbei maternal ancestry, from Emperor Gaozu of Tang's Xianbei mother, Duchess Dugu. Li Yuan was Duke of Tang and governor of Taiyuan, modern Shanxi, during the Sui dynasty's collapse, caused in part by the Sui failure to conquer the northern part of the Korean peninsula during the Goguryeo–Sui War, he had prestige and military experience, was a first cousin of Emperor Yang of Sui. Li Yuan rose in rebellion in 617, along with his son and his militant daughter Princess Pingyang, who raised and commanded her own troops. In winter 617, Li Yuan occupied Chang'an, relegated Emperor Yang to the position of Taishang Huang or retired emperor, acted as regent to the puppet child-emperor, Yang You.
On the news of Emperor Yang's murder by General Yuwen Huaji on June 18, 618, Li Yuan declared himself the emperor of a new dynasty, the Tang. Li Yuan, known as Emperor Gaozu of Tang, ruled until 626, when he was forcefully deposed by his son Li Shimin, the Prince of Qin. Li Shimin had commanded troops since the age of 18, had prowess with bow and arrow and lance and was known for his effective cavalry charges. Fighting a numerically superior army, he defeated Dou Jiande at Luoyang in the Battle of Hulao on May 28, 621. In a violent elimination of royal family due to fear of assassination, Li Shimin ambushed and killed two of his brothers, Li Yuanji and Crown prince Li Jiancheng, in the Xuanwu Gate Incident on July 2, 626. Shortly thereafter, his father abdicated in his favor and Li Shimin ascended the throne, he is conventionally known by his temple name Taizong. Although killing two brothers and deposing his father contradicted the Confucian value of filial piety, Taizong showed himself to be a capable leader who listened to the advice of the wisest members of his council.
In 628, Emperor Taizong held a Buddhist memorial service for the casualties of war, in 629 he ha
Shuowen Jiezi was an early-2nd-century Chinese dictionary from the Han Dynasty. Although not the first comprehensive Chinese character dictionary, it was the first to analyze the structure of the characters and to give the rationale behind them, as well as the first to use the principle of organization by sections with shared components, called radicals. Xu Shen, a Han Dynasty scholar of the Five Classics, compiled the Shuowen Jiezi, he finished editing it in 100, but due to an unfavorable imperial attitude towards scholarship, he waited until 121 before having his son Xǔ Chōng present it to Emperor An of Han along with a memorial. In analyzing the structure of characters and defining the words represented by them, Xu Shen strove to disambiguate the meaning of the pre-Han Classics, so as to render their usage by government unquestioned and bring about order, in the process deeply imbued his organization and analyses with his philosophy on characters and the universe. According to Boltz, Xu's compilation of the Shuowen "cannot be held to have arisen from a purely linguistic or lexicographical drive."
His motives were more political. During the Han era, the prevalent theory of language was Confucianist Rectification of Names, the belief that using the correct names for things was essential for proper government; the postface to the Shuowen Jiezi explains: "Now the written language is the foundation of classical learning, the source of kingly government." Compare how the postface describes the legendary invention of writing for governmental rather than for communicative purposes: Cang Jie, scribe for the Yellow Emperor, on looking at the tracks of the feet of birds and animals, realizing that the patterns and forms were distinguishable, started to create graphs, so that all kinds of professions could be regulated, all people could be kept under scrutiny. Pre-Shuowen Chinese dictionaries like the Erya and the Fangyan were limited lists of synonyms loosely organized by semantic categories, which made it difficult to look up characters. Xu Shen analytically organized characters in the comprehensive Shuowen Jiezi through their shared graphic components, which Boltz calls "a major conceptual innovation in the understanding of the Chinese writing system."
Xu wrote the Shuowen Jiezi to analyze seal script characters that evolved and organically throughout the mid-to-late Zhou dynasty in the state of Qin, which were standardized during the Qin dynasty and promulgated empire-wide. Thus, Needham et al. describe the Shuowen jiezi as "a paleographic handbook as well as a dictionary". The dictionary includes 15 chapters; the first 14 chapters are character entries. Xǔ Shèn states in his postface that the dictionary has 9,353 character entries, plus 1,163 graphic variants, with a total length of 133,441 characters; the transmitted texts vary in content, owing to omissions and emendations by commentators, modern editions have 9,831 characters and 1,279 variants. Xu Shen categorized Chinese characters into 540 sections, under "section headers": these may be entire characters or simplifications thereof, which serve as components shared by all the characters in that section; the number of section headers, 540, numerologically equals 6 × 9 × 10, the product of the symbolic numbers of Yin and Yang and the number of the Heavenly Stems.
The first section header was 一 and the last was 亥. Xu's choice of sections appears in large part to have been driven by the desire to create an unbroken, systematic sequence among the headers themselves, such that each had a natural, intuitive relationship with the ones before and after, as well as by the desire to reflect cosmology. In the process, he included many section headers that are not considered ones today, such as 炎 and 熊, which modern dictionaries list under the 火 or 灬 heading, he included as section headers all the sexagenary cycle characters, that is, the ten Heavenly Stems and twelve Earthly Branches. As a result, unlike modern dictionaries which attempt to maximize the number of characters under each section header, 34 Shuowen headers have no characters under them, while 159 have only one each. From a modern lexicographical perspective, Xu's system of 540 headings can seem "enigmatic" and "illogical". For instance, he included the singular section header 409 惢, with only one rare character, instead of listing it under the common header 408 心.
The typical Shuowen format for a character entry consists of a seal graph, a short definition, a pronunciation given by citing a homophone, analysis of compound graphs into semantic and/or phonetic components. Individual entries can additionally include graphic variants, secondary definitions, information on regional usages, citations from pre-Han texts, further phonetic information in dúruò notation. In addition to the seal graph, Xu included two kinds of variant graphs when they differed from the standard seal, called ancient script and Zhòu script; the Zhòu characters were taken from the no-longer extant Shi