The Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (English Edition)
The Kodansha Kanji Dictionary-a revised, expanded edition of Jack Halperns groundbreaking New Japanese-English Character Dictionary-is the most complete, linguistically accurate, and up-to-date dictionary of its kind. The culmination of more than twenty years of labor-some one hundred man-years-this authoritative and easy-to-use dictionary has been celebrated the world over by students and teachers of the Japanese language for its wealth of detailed information on the meanings and usages of Sino-Japanese characters.
One of the unique features that has made this dictionary so popular is the core meaning, a concise keyword that facilitates an instant grasp of the fundamental concept of each kanji. Along with detailed character meanings, the core meaning helps learners decode unfamiliar compound words from the meanings of their components.
Another unique feature is the System of Kanji Indexing by Patterns (SKIP), a revolutionary indexing system that makes it possible to locate entries as quickly and as accurately as in alphabetical dictionaries. With SKIP, all you need to do to find a kanji is identify the geometrical pattern to which it belongs, then count the strokes in each part of that pattern-a much speedier process than searching by traditional methods such as by radical.
Updates include the integration of 5,458 entry characters-almost 20 percent more than in the first edition. This includes all the government-prescribed Joyo and Jinmei Kanji, as well as extensive coverage of old and alternative character forms. The new edition also features more readings, meanings, synonym articles, usage notes, and vocabulary items than before. And, in keeping with modern Japanese-language curricula, character and compound readings are shown in kana instead of romanized Japanese.
With its wealth of detailed and up-to-date information on kanji meanings, readings, and usages, its accessible new design, its convenient lookup methods (six including SKIP), and its added content, this dictionary is certain to satisfy the needs of students, teachers, scholars, translators-anyone who uses the Japanese language.
Japanese Core Words and Phrases: Things You Cant Find in a Dictionary
Some Japanese words and phrases, even though they lie at the core of the language, forever elude the students grasp. They are not explained satisfactorily in dictionaries or textbooks for the simple reason that they cannot be conveniently defined. Japanese Core Words and Phrases brings these recalcitrants to bay.
The book is divided into two parts, each of which is arranged in alphabetical order. The first part is devoted to words indicating physical as well as psychological distance—roughly equivalent to this, that, that over there, and where, but quite different in usage. Physical distance is covered in most textbooks, but psychological distance—every students nemesis—is not.
The second part of the book covers a variety of idiomatic expressions, many of which appear in Japanese proficiency tests. Each entry word or phrase is not simply explained but exemplified in sentence form, clarifying its meaning (in the case of many students) for the very first time.
Japanese Core Words and Phrases has a great deal to offer the beginning student and much to offer the intermediate student. Little more can be asked of a book on the Japanese language.
Previously published in the Power Japanese series as Core Words and Phrases: Things You Cant Find in a Dictionary.
Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era
The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman.
Miyamoto Musashi was the child of an era when Japan was emerging from decades of civil strife. Lured to the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 by the hope of becoming a samurai–without really knowing what it meant–he regains consciousness after the battle to find himself lying defeated, dazed and wounded among thousands of the dead and dying. On his way home, he commits a rash act, becomes a fugitive and brings life in his own village to a standstill–until he is captured by a weaponless Zen monk.
The lovely Otsu, seeing in Musashi her ideal of manliness, frees him from his tortuous punishment, but he is recaptured and imprisoned. During three years of solitary confinement, he delves into the classics of Japan and China. When he is set free again, he rejects the position of samurai and for the next several years pursues his goal relentlessly, looking neither to left nor to right.
Ever so slowly it dawns on him that following the Way of the Sword is not simply a matter of finding a target for his brute strength. Continually striving to perfect his technique, which leads him to a unique style of fighting with two swords simultaneously, he travels far and wide, challenging fighters of many disciplines, taking nature to be his ultimate and severest teacher and undergoing the rigorous training of those who follow the Way. He is supremely successful in his encounters, but in the Art of War he perceives the way of peaceful and prosperous governance and disciplines himself to be a real human being.
He becomes a reluctant hero to a host of people whose lives he has touched and been touched by. And, inevitably, he has to pit his skill against the naked blade of his greatest rival.
Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely. Full of gusto and humor, it has an epic quality and universal appeal.
The novel was made into a three-part movie by Director Hiroshi Inagai. For more information, visit the Shopping area
Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan
In the tempestuous closing decades of the sixteenth century, the Empire of Japan writhes in chaos as the shogunate crumbles and rival warlords battle for supremacy. Warrior monks in their armed citadels block the road to the capital; castles are destroyed, villages plundered, fields put to the torch.
Amid this devastation, three men dream of uniting the nation. At one extreme is the charismatic but brutal Nobunaga, whose ruthless ambition crushes all before him. At the opposite pole is the cold, deliberate Ieyasu, wise in counsel, brave in battle, mature beyond his years. But the keystone of this triumvirate is the most memorable of all, Hideyoshi, who rises from the menial post of sandal bearer to become Taiko–absolute ruler of Japan in the Emperors name.
When Nobunaga emerges from obscurity by destroying an army ten times the size of his own, he allies himself with Ieyasu, whose province is weak, but whose canniness and loyalty make him invaluable. Yet it is the scrawny, monkey-faced Hideyoshi–brash, impulsive, and utterly fearless–who becomes the unlikely savior of this ravaged land. Born the son of a farmer, he takes on the world with nothing but his bare hands and his wits, turning doubters into loyal servants, rivals into faithful friends, and enemies into allies. In all this he uses a piercing insight into human nature that unlocks castle gates, opens mens minds, and captures womens hearts. For Hideyoshis passions are not limited to war and intrigue-his faithful wife, Nene, holds his love dear, even when she must share it; the chaste Oyu, sister of Hideyoshis chief strategist, falls prey to his desires; and the seductive Chacha, whom he rescues from the fiery destruction of her fathers castle, tempts his weakness.
As recounted by Eiji Yoshikawa, author of the international best-seller Musashi, Taiko tells many stories: of the fury of Nobunaga and the fatal arrogance of the black-toothed Yoshimoto; of the pathetic downfall of the House of Takeda; how the scorned Mitsuhide betrayed his master; how once impregnable ramparts fell as their defenders died gloriously. Most of all, though, Taiko is the story of how one man transformed a nation through the force of his will and the depth of his humanity. Filled with scenes of pageantry and violence, acts of treachery and self-sacrifice, tenderness and savagery, Taiko combines the panoramic spectacle of a Kurosawa epic with a vivid evocation of feudal Japan.
Seppuku: A History of Samurai Suicide
This astonishing book charts the history and practice of ritual samurai suicide from ancient times until the 20th century through primary sources, both literary and historical, many of them never before translated into English. The author has worked from documents such as medieval war tales, records of the samurai domains, and execution handbooks. The book benefits from an extensive introduction, footnotes, and bibliography, but is written also to appeal to the general reader. It is divided into four basic sections: History to 1600 looks at cases of ritual suicide taken from historical texts from the 8th to the 17th century. The Seppuku Ritual draws on previously untranslated seppuku manuals from the 18th and 19th centuries to explain the correct procedure and etiquette, as well as the different stomach-cutting procedures, types of swords, attire, location, and even the refreshments served at the seppuku ceremony. History after 1600 focuses on famed cases up to and including the 20th century, and Paradigms offers a selection of short quotations from authors and commentators down the centuries that sum up Japanese and non-Japanese attitudes to seppuku. As for when to die, make sure you are one step ahead of everyone else. Never pull back from the brink. But be aware that there are times when you should die, and times when you should not. Die at the right moment and you will be a hero. Die at the wrong moment, and you will die like a dog. — Izawa Nagahide, The Warriors Code, 1725.