World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Nihon Kokugo Daijiten

Article Id: WHEBN0002763400
Reproduction Date:

Title: Nihon Kokugo Daijiten  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Nippo Jisho, Japanese dictionaries, Shit stick, Edamame, Kanjin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Nihon Kokugo Daijiten

The Nihon kokugo daijiten (日本国語大辞典), often abbreviated as the Nikkoku (日国) and sometimes known in English as Shogakukan's Japanese Dictionary, is the largest Japanese language dictionary published. In the period from 1972 to 1976, Shogakukan published the 20-volume first edition. The 14-volume second edition was published in the period from November 2000 to December 2001. It includes substantial additions to and improvements over the first edition.


  • Composition 1
  • Uses 2
  • Problems 3
  • Evaluation 4
  • Online 5
  • External links 6


The first edition of 1972-76 included some 450,000 entries in 20 volumes, while the second edition reduced the number of volumes to 13 (by making each volume much bigger) and added 50,000 entries. The Second edition is the largest Japanese dictionary published with roughly 500,000 entries and supposedly 1,000,000 example sentences. It was composed under the collaboration of 3000 specialists, not merely Japanese language and literature scholars but also specialists of History, Buddhist studies, the Chinese Classics, and the social and physical sciences, over the course of 40 years.

Entries are listed by kana, in the gojūon (五十音) order (the native alphabetical order of the Japanese syllabary). They provide the most common kanji used to write the word, the part of the speech, the various definitions, some early examples of the use of the word, and notes on the pronunciation. The first edition required the use of a slim supplementary pamphlet to track down the date and author of the historical works cited, but the dates have now been incorporated into the actual entries in the second edition, a major convenience. A supplementary volume includes an index of kanji, dialect words, and greater detail of the historical citations.


The Nikkoku, because of its size, has many features normally found only in specialized dictionaries. These include: definitions and etymologies of foreign loan words (gairaigo, 外来語), highly recent words (gendai yōgo, 現代用語), archaic words (kogo, 古語), idiomatic compound phrases (jukugo, 熟語), words that can be written using more than one possible Chinese character to produce subtle differences in meaning (dōkun iji, 同訓異字), and Chinese characters that are written differently but have the same pronunciation (iji dōkun, 異字同訓), some slang (ingo, 隠語), and words used only in regional dialects (hōgen, 方言). Certain specialized dictionaries may have a few entries that do not exist in the Nikkoku, and many specialized scholars will need to rely on specialized dictionaries, but it is certainly sufficient for most general reference needs.


Shogakukan has compared its Nikkoku dictionary to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) because the Nikkoku represents the largest and most thorough dictionary of the Japanese language, and also provides etymologies and historical citations for its entries. Most entries contain citations from early known usages of the word in a text.


The cost and size of this dictionary make it somewhat unsuitable as a desktop reference; however, it is essential for learning the full range of a word's meanings. For those who wish to have their own copy, the first edition can often be found in Japanese used book stores or on the internet for a reasonable price.


On July 2, 2007, the dictionary became available online via Japan Knowledge. For a monthly fee, it is accessible to individuals and institutions.

External links

  • (Japanese)Nihon kokugo daijitenIntroduction to
  • Shogakukan homepage (English)
  • Online edition
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.