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The Simplification of Characters in Japan and Communist China

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Title: The Simplification of Characters in Japan and Communist China
Authors: Admire, Leslie Jean
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: This paper is the product of the hypothesis that Japan, after centuries of borrowing from other countries – and China in particular – had at last become a donor; she had given China her simplified characters. This would have been a unique reversal, since Japan had originally borrowed the use of characters from China over thirteen centuries ago. Unfortunately, the hypothesis was incorrect. In compiling a character index of the Chinese Communist simplified characters which was to give Japanese equivalent character for any Japanese major doing research in the original Communist works, I realized the inadequacy of the hypothesis. The great majority of the Chinese simplified characters had not been simplified in Japanese. Moreover, those that had been simplified were often – although not always – of a different form. Indeed, many of the Chinese characters would be completely incomprehensible to a Japanese. With the realization that my hypothesis had served its purpose, that is, that it had led to a better questions, I undertook a comparison of the routes taken by these two nations in dealing with the reform of their writing systems. The index which was already completed became of the major bases of this comparison.
Pages/Duration: vii, 83 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/32228
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for East Asian Languages and Literature



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