Nihon-shiki romanization

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Nihon-shiki, or Nippon-shiki Rōmaji (Japanese: 日本式ローマ字, "Japan-style," romanized as Nihon-siki or Nippon-siki in Nippon-shiki itself), is a romanization system for transliterating the Japanese language into the Latin alphabet. In discussion about romaji, it is abbreviated as Nihon-shiki or Nippon-shiki. Among the major romanization systems for Japanese, it is the most regular one and has a one-to-one relation to the kana writing system. In practice, however, Nippon-shiki has been largely supplanted by Hepburn romanization.[citation needed]

History[edit]

It was invented by physicist Aikitsu Tanakadate (田中館 愛橘) in 1885,[1] with the intention to replace the Hepburn system of romanization.[2] Tanakadate's intention was to replace the traditional kanji and kana system of writing Japanese completely by a romanized system, which he felt would make it easier for Japan to compete with Western countries. Since the system was intended for Japanese people to use to write their own language, it is much more regular than Hepburn romanization, and unlike Hepburn's system, it makes no effort to make itself easier to pronounce for English-speakers.[citation needed]

Nippon-shiki was followed by Kunrei-shiki, which was adopted in 1937, after a political debate over whether Nihon-shiki or Hepburn-shiki should be used by the Japanese government.[1] Kunrei is otherwise nearly identical, but it merges syllable pairs di/zi ぢ/じ, du/zu づ/ず, dya/zya ぢゃ/じゃ, dyu/zyu ぢゅ/じゅ, dyo/zyo ぢょ/じょ, wi/i ゐ/い, we/e ゑ/え, kwa/ka くゎ/か, and gwa/ga ぐゎ/が; their pronunciations in modern standard Japanese have become identical. For example, the word かなづかい, rendered kanadukai in Nippon-shiki, is pronounced as kanazukai in modern Japanese, and is romanized as such in Kunrei.

Nippon-shiki is considered the most regular of the romanization systems for the Japanese language because it maintains a strict "one kana, two letters" form. Because it has unique forms corresponding to each of the respective pairs of kana homophones listed above, it is the only formal system of romanization that can allow (almost) lossless ("round trip") mapping, but the standard does not mandate the precise spellings needed to distinguish ô 王/おう, ou 追う/おう and oo おお. (See the hiragana article for more details.)

Nippon-shiki has been established by the International Organization for Standardization in the ISO 3602 strict form. The JSL system, which is intended for use instructing foreign students of Japanese, is also based on Nippon-shiki.

Nipponsiki—ISO 3602 Strict[edit]

gojūon yōon
あ/ア a い/イ i う/ウ u え/エ e お/オ o (ya) (yu) (yo)
か/カ ka き/キ ki く/ク ku け/ケ ke こ/コ ko きゃ/キャ kya きゅ/キュ kyu きょ/キョ kyo
さ/サ sa し/シ si す/ス su せ/セ se そ/ソ so しゃ/シャ sya しゅ/シュ syu しょ/ショ syo
た/タ ta ち/チ ti つ/ツ tu て/テ te と/ト to ちゃ/チャ tya ちゅ/チュ tyu ちょ/チョ tyo
な/ナ na に/ニ ni ぬ/ヌ nu ね/ネ ne の/ノ no にゃ/ニャ nya にゅ/ニュ nyu にょ/ニョ nyo
は/ハ ha ひ/ヒ hi ふ/フ hu へ/ヘ he ほ/ホ ho ひゃ/ヒャ hya ひゅ/ヒュ hyu ひょ/ヒョ hyo
ま/マ ma み/ミ mi む/ム mu め/メ me も/モ mo みゃ/ミャ mya みゅ/ミュ myu みょ/ミョ myo
や/ヤ ya ゆ/ユ yu よ/ヨ yo
ら/ラ ra り/リ ri る/ル ru れ/レ re ろ/ロ ro りゃ/リャ rya りゅ/リュ ryu りょ/リョ ryo
わ/ワ wa ゐ/ヰ wi ゑ/ヱ we を/ヲ wo
ん/ン n
voiced sounds (dakuten)
が/ガ ga ぎ/ギ gi ぐ/グ gu げ/ゲ ge ご/ゴ go ぎゃ/ギャ gya ぎゅ/ギュ gyu ぎょ/ギョ gyo
ざ/ザ za じ/ジ zi ず/ズ zu ぜ/ゼ ze ぞ/ゾ zo じゃ/ジャ zya じゅ/ジュ zyu じょ/ジョ zyo
だ/ダ da ぢ/ヂ di づ/ヅ du で/デ de ど/ド do ぢゃ/ヂャ dya ぢゅ/ヂュ dyu ぢょ/ヂョ dyo
ば/バ ba び/ビ bi ぶ/ブ bu べ/ベ be ぼ/ボ bo びゃ/ビャ bya びゅ/ビュ byu びょ/ビョ byo
ぱ/パ pa ぴ/ピ pi ぷ/プ pu ぺ/ペ pe ぽ/ポ po ぴゃ/ピャ pya ぴゅ/ピュ pyu ぴょ/ピョ pyo
くゎ/クヮ kwa
ぐゎ/グヮ gwa

Notes[edit]

  • Letters in red are obsolete in modern Japanese.
  • When he へ is used as a particle, it is written as he, not e (Kunrei-shiki/Hepburn).
  • When ha は is used as a particle, it is written as ha, not wa.
  • When wo を is used as a particle, it is written as wo, not o.
  • Long vowels are indicated by a circumflex accent: long o is written ô, unlike Hepburn, which uses a macron.
  • Syllabic n ん is written as n before consonants but as n' before vowels and y.
  • Geminate consonants are always marked by doubling the consonant following the sokuon (っ).

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gottlieb, p. 78
  2. ^ Kent, et al. "Oriental Literature and Bibliography." p. 155.