Haruo Shirane Faculty Profile






Nihon kokugo daijiten.  Shôgakkan, 1972‑76. 20 vols. Call no.: REF PL675 .N46 1972. 
With 500,000 entries in 20 volumes, this dictionary gives the longest and greatest number of word entries.  Its definitions are elaborate, including examples of historical usage. It is essential for learning the full range of a word's meanings. Now available online (CLIO) in a fast version: go to “Japan knowledge” in CLIO, which will take you to an online link and then click on Nikkoku.       

Gensen, kokugo daijiten
.  Shôgakkan, 1982. Call no.: REF PL675 .K5954 1982.
This is a single‑volume abridgement of the above.  Full references to works cited within entries are given in the back. It features appendices of difficult kanji, tables of Western and Japanese history, etc. The closest desktop substitute for the 20‑ volume set.

Kôjien. Iwanami Shoten. Get the latest edition. Call no.: REF PL675 .S5.
Standard that gives extensive definitions, etymologies, and variant usages for words, places, historical and literary figures.            

. Sanseido, 1988. Call no.: REF PL675 .D34 1988.
A large single‑volume kokugo jiten that may overlap or even supercede Kojien in neologism and gairaigo.  


Kadokawa kogo daijiten.**  Kadokawa shoten, 1999.  5 vols. Call no.: REF PL682 .K32 1982. The largest single kogo dictionary. Strong in kinsei. An encyclopedic dictionary of words and proper nouns which provides historical information on terms and their usage. Includes fictional characters. 

Iwanami kogo jiten.  Iwanami shoten, 1974.  Call no.: REF PL675 .O6. 
Standard desk reference for classical words. Verbs in ren'yokei form rather than the more common shushikei form.       

Nihon kokugo daijiten
.  Shôgakkan, 1972‑76. 20 vols. Call no.: REF PL675 .N46 1972.
Still probably the best for finding premodern words.        

Kogo daijiten
.  Shôgakkan, 1983. Call no.: REF PL682 .K78.
This is the largest single‑volume kogo jiten, compiled from the above 20‑volume Shogakkan Nihon kokugo daijiten

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Jidaibetsu kokugo daijiten jôdaihen.  Sanseidô, 1982. Call no.: REF PL682 .J52 1967        

Jidaibetsu kokugo daijiten Muromachi hen
. Sanseido. Call no.: REF PL682 .J53 1985.  Three volumes available.        

Nihon sengokushi kan-wa jiten. Muraishi Toshio, ed. Murata shoten. 1987. Call no.: REF PL 677.5 .M85 1987.        

Nihon sengokushi kokugo jiten. Muraishi Toshio, ed. Murata shoten, 1991. Call no.: REF PL682.M78 1991.        

Edogo daijiten
. ** Maeda Isamu, ed. Kôdansha. 1974. Call no.: REF PL685.E4 1974. For language in Edo region during the Edo period. Indispensible.

Edogo jiten. Okubo Tadakuni, Kinoshita Kazuko, eds. Tôkyôdô shuppan. 1991. Call no.: REF PL525.5.O38 1991. For language in Edo region during the Edo period.            

Edogo jiten. Miyoshi Ikko. Seiabo. 1971. Call no.: PRENTIS. 818.27 M692.

Kinsei kamigatago jiten
. Maeda Isamu. Tôkyôdô. 1964. PRENTIS. 818.4 M262.
For language in the Kyoto-Osaka region during the Edo period.            

Zappaigo jiten. Suzuki Katsutada. Tokyôdô. 1968. Call no.: REF PL 685 .S853 1968.

Zoku zappaigo jiten. Suzuki Katsutada. Meiji shoin. 1982. Call no.: REF PL 685 .S853 1982.
Sequel (zokuhen) to the first edition. Popular linked verse, haikai, contemporary vocabulary.


Reikai kogo jiten. Sanseidô. 1992. Call no.: REF PL682 .R45 1992
Best compact volume for classical grammar. Designed for high school students but has excellent grammar explanations by top scholars.

Ôbunsha Kogo jiten. Ôbunsha. Also highly recommended for beginners.

Iwanami kogo jiten.  Iwanami shoten, 1974.  Call no.: REF PL675 .O6. 
Standard desk reference for kogo.  Verbs are entered in ren'yokei form rather than the more common shushikei form.        

Kenkyû shiryô Nihon koten bungaku
. Vol. 12. Bunpô, jisho. Yûseidô. Call no.: PL 533 .B86 1983.
Very good for classical grammar, with explanation of different approaches by different scholars and schools.        

Nihon bunpô daijiten
. ** Matsumura Akira, ed. Meiji Shoin, 1971. Call no.: REF PL 533.M29 1971.
This is a useful dictionary for both modern and premodern grammar. Changes in use and meaning over time are carefully delineated, along with kanbun equivalents.       

Nihon bunpô jiten
.  Kitahara Yasuo, Suzuki Tanjirô, Takeda Kô, Masubuchi Tsunekichi, Yamaguchi Yoshinori, ed. Yûseidô shuppan. 1981. Call no.: PL 535 .N448 1981.
Good all-around grammar dictionary for modern and classical.        

Nihon gogaku kenkyū jiten
** Meiji shoin, 2007. Eds. Hida Yoshifumi, et. al. Call no.: PL515 .N54 2007
Research encyclopedia of Japanese linguistics. Excellent.

Bungo Manual: Selected Reference Materials for Students of Classical Japanese. Helen Craig McCullough. Cornell University Press, 1988. Call no.: DS501 .C62 no.48. A useful guide.        

Classical Japanese, A Grammar. Haruo Shirane (Columbia University Press, 2005). Call no.: PL 531.3 .S55 2005.
Functions as both a textbook and a handy reference, with examples taken from Nihon koten bungaku taikei.        

Koten taishō goihyō. Kasama shoin, 1992. Miyajima Tatsuo, ed. Kasama sakuin sōkan series. Call no.: PL 685. M49 1992.
Excellent for seeing how many times a word appears and where.


Dai kanwa jiten. Murohashi Tetsuji. Taishukan, 13 vols. Call no.: REF PL681 .C5 M861 1984.
This is the definitive dictionary of the Chinese language and one of the great dictionaries of the world.  There is currently available a reduced‑size edition; pirate editions from Taiwan are also in circulation in reduced‑size format. Vol. 13 is a character index, and there is a vocabulary index volume (Dai kanwa jiten goi sakuin).        

Kô kanwa jiten
. Taishukan 1981‑2, 4 vols.
This abridgment of Morohashi has 20,000 characters and 120,000 words (versus 45,000/527,000 in the original).  

Kadokawa kanwa chûjiten.  Kadokawa shoten, 1959.  ¥3,000. Call no.: REF PL681 .C5 K3 1967.
Although superceded in some ways by Shinjigen (see following entry), this dictionary includes many Japanese compounds not included there. More oriented to Japanese than Chinese.        

.  Kadokawa shoten, 1968. Call no.: REF PL675 .K35 1984. 
This dictionary focuses primarily on Chinese rather than Japanese compounds. It includes more characters than the above, but has left out compounds regarded as self‑evident. Provides Mandarin pronunciation in Roman script for each character. Although there are many kanwa jiten in this price/size range, this one seems to be the accepted standard.

Daijigen. Kadokawa. Call no.: REF PL677.5.K327 1992.
Best one volume, large kanwa, character dictionary. Historically sensitive character dictionary.


Waka daijiten.***  Inukai Kiyoshi and others.   Meiji Shoin, 1986. 1201p. Call no.: REF PL 728. 81 .W3 1986. 
The standard dictionary on classical waka. Very useful for providing information on poetic associations of flowers, place‑names.         

Waka bungaku daijiten
. Kubota Utsuho, et. al. Meiji shoin 1962. Call no.: REF PL728 .W32 1962.  

Tenkyo kensaku, Shin meika jiten. Nakamura Kaoru, ed. Meiji shoin, 2007. Great index and concordance for searching noted waka. Call no.: PL 728.81 .N35 2007.
Very good for looking at the reception of a poem, to see where the poem shows up in subsequent periods in Japanese literature.       

Utakotoba utamakura daijiten.*** Kubota Jun and Baba Akiko, eds. Kadokawa shoten, 1999. Call no.: REF PL728.116 K83 1999.
Superb poetic word and literary place (utamakura) dictionary with wide range of entries and numerous examples.

Utamakura utakotoba jiten
. Katagiri Yôichi, ed.  Kadokawa Shoten, 1983. Call no.: REF PL726.2 .K27.
In this helpful and easy‑to‑use guide, short essays on the history and associations of particular poetic words and place names.  Indexes include a list of utamakura by province, a condensed biographical dictionary of poets cited, and a general index.  Utamakura utakotoba jiten. ** Katagiri Yôichi, ed.  Kasama shoin. 1999. Call no.: REF PL726.2 .K272 1999. Revised and expanded edition of the above. Indispensible.        

Dai saijiki
. ** Ed. Yamamoto Kenkichi.  4 vols.  Shôeisha, 1989. Call no.:  REF PL732 .H3 D34.
An extremely useful compendium of information on kigo (seasonal words), utamakura (poetic place names), and haimakura.  The first two volumes are guides to kigo: volume one is devoted to spring and summer, and volume two covers fall, winter, and the new year.  Entries are rounded out by illustrative poems ranging from Man'yô to modern times (including waka, kanshi, renga, haikai, haiku, and tanka). Heavily illustrated. Volume three gives similar treatment to utamakura and haimakura: they are organized by region. 

Man’yô no utakotoba jiten. Inaoka Koji, Hashimoto Tatsuo, eds. Yûhikaku sensho. 1982. Call no. PL 728.16 M28 1983. Small but convenient.        

Kago reika jiten
. Torii Kimihiro, ed. Seibunsha, 1988. Call no.: PL 758 .T67 1988.
Includes modern tanka, with emphasis on the sample poems. Explanations are abbreviated.

Bungaku iseki jiten
. 2 vols. Takeshita Kazuma, ed. Tôkyôdô, 1971. Call no.: REF PL724 .B86 1968.
If you need to know anything about the literary associations of place‑names, this is one of the best places to look. The first volume deals with place‑names that appear in poems and songs, while the second is devoted to those from prose works (also nô and kyôgen). To illustrate, the editor has quoted generously from the established canon. This is a very useful and detailed resource. 


Bungei yôgo no kiso chishiki.  Shibundo, 1985, 1988. Call no.: PL700 .K651
This is a dictionary of critical and theoretical jargon, organized in gojûon order, and including gairaigo in katakana form, words that have been adopted from other languages and translated into kanji, and words created in Japan to describe new ideas. The entries explain the origin of the word, how and when it appeared in Japan, its alternate translations, what it meant originally in the original language, what it has come to mean in Japanese, etc. The entries not only cover recent additions, but also include Sanskrit‑derived Buddhist terms, etc.        

Kadokawa gairaigo jiten
. Kadokawa shoten, 1977 (2nd edition). Call no.: REF PL684 .A72 1977. This standard loanword dictionary contains more than 27,000 words, chosen from a variety of sources. An extremely useful dictionary with very informative entries.        

Gendai yôgo no kiso chishiki
.  Jiyû Kokuminsha, 1948‑.  Annual. Call no.: PL684.G38 1983 (813.09 J56 for pre‑1982 editions).
The oldest annual of new and current terms in Japanese, useful for finding recent terms and great fun for browsing. Although there is considerable overlap from one year to the next. terms are eventually dropped when no longer current.  There is no cumulative index.   Imidasu.  Shûeisha, 1987‑. Annual. Call no.: REF PL684 .I44. IHJ: 1364. A new rival to the previous entry, with which it is competing hotly.        

Ateji gairaigo jiten
.  Kashiwa shobô, 1979. Call no.: REF PL684 .A84 1979.
This is a useful dictionary, especially for anyone using Bakumatsu‑Meiji texts.  It contains foreign words and phrases that have been transliterated into kanji; they are organized by stroke count, with readings given in katakana (there is also a gojûon index of readings at the back).  Place names and personal names (e.g. Adam Smith) are included, and the language of origin is given for each word.

Ingo jiten. ** Umegaki Minoru, ed.  Tôkyôdô, 1956. Call no.: REF PL695 .U4.
Includes slang, jargon and dialect words in common use from the Nara period until "gendai." Entries give basic definitions, a code for the group using the word (farmers, merchants, thieves, wives/courtesans, samurai, and so on), and a code for the periods in which it was used. Words can be looked up by reading, by topic (sex, people, equipment/tools, money, prisons, and so on), and by group. This is a useful resource when looking up unusual words or investigating suspected "double entendres."


Koji zokushin kotozawa daijiten.  Shôgakkan, 1982. Call no.:  REF PN6519 .J3 K565.
The most comprehensive dictionary of its type, and now the accepted standard. Includes source texts, meanings, and some notes on usage.

Chûgoku koji seigo jiten.  Kadokawa shoten, 1979. Call no.: 823.05 K15 (in Annex).
Provides Japanese reading, meanings, explanations, original context, variants and related sayings, and references for Chinese proverbs used in Japanese contexts.  Focuses on the original Chinese meaning where possible, but explains Japanese usage as well.

Chûgoku koji seigo daijiten.  Tôkyôdô, 1992. Call no.: REF PN6519 .J3 S45.
Larger dictionary aimed at daily‑use expressions.  Although entries are arranged in gojûon order by Japanese reading of the expression, the index is arranged by stroke count of the first character in Chinese order, making it possible to look up expressions for which you do not know the kundoku reading.