Dai Nihon hyakka jiten (Encyclopedia Japonica). 23 vols. Shôgakkan,
Call no.: AE 35.2 D3.
Nihon daihyakka zensho (Encyclopedia Nipponica). 25 vols. Shôgakkan,
Call no.: [library does plan to get]
Heibonsha Daihyakka jiten. 16 vols. Heibonsha, 1984-85. Call
no.: AE 35.2 .D24 1984.
IHJ: 1001; Fukuda: A83
Sekai Daihyakka Jiten. 35 vols. Heibonsha, 1988.
Call no.: AE 35.2 .S4 1988.
These four titles are essentially two different basic encyclopedias, one published by Shôgakkan and the other by Heibonsha. The two Heibonsha encyclopedias listed are basically the same work. The increase in the number of volumes for the 1988 edition is largely the result of the thicker paper on which it is printed. Several new supplementary volumes included in the 1988 edition will be discussed below. Otherwise the text of all articles in both editions is the same.
The 1972-73 Shôgakkan work is superseded now by the new revised edition of 1984-1989, but the Starr Library has decided to go rather with Heibonsha. In the older Shôgakkan work, all major articles are signed, and helpful bibliographic references are appended to many articles. In comparison to the new Heibonsha work, the text is less encumbered with references to names of works, authors, and dates, so it is generally easier to use for quick reference.
The new 1988 Heibonsha edition is generally acknowledged to be the most comprehensive and up-to-date encyclopedia in the Japanese language. For purposes of comparison with the Shôgakkan work, the author of the Heibonsha article on utaawase seemed much more scrupulous in providing precise dates, and references to names of authors and works; while ostensibly more objective, he was less successful than the author of the Shôgakkan article in providing a historical viewpoint for his subject. Although all articles are signed, no list of bibliographic references is appended.
The following are some additional features of the 1988 Heibonsha that are not found in the 1984-1985 edition: 1) a world atlas with index in Japanese; 2) an atlas of Japan with an index; 3) a separate volume that gathers a great deal of information in the form of statistics, charts, etc., under categories such as religion, politics, economics, and so on; 4) a 1987 yearbook. Both editions also have a comprehensive index in both wabun and ôbun. The ôbun index is particulary useful as a reference for the proper transliteration of European language names, places, etc. into Japanese, while the wabun index may be used to trace katakana designations back into their original languages. One additional feature of the 1989 edition is an index to color plates. [DB]