From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Koujien)
Jump to: navigation, search
Kōjien second edition (1969)

Kōjien (Japanese: 広辞苑, lit. "Wide garden of words") is a single-volume Japanese dictionary first published by Iwanami Shoten in 1955. It is widely regarded as the most authoritative dictionary of Japanese, and newspaper editorials frequently cite its definitions. As of 2007, it had sold 11 million copies.[1]

Izuru Shinmura[edit]

Kōjien was the magnum opus of Shinmura Izuru, 1876–1967, a professor of linguistics and Japanese at Kyoto University. He was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture and graduated from the prestigious Tokyo University, where he was a student of Kazutoshi Ueda (上田万年, Ueda Kazutoshi, 1867–1937). After studying in Germany, Ueda taught comparative linguistics and edited foreign-language dictionaries in the latter part of the Meiji era. Through his tutelage, Shinmura became involved in Japanese language lexicography. Even Kōjien editions published after his death credit Shinmura as the chief editor.



The predecessor of Kōjien originated during the Great Depression in East Asia. In 1930, the publisher Shigeo Oka (岡茂雄, Oka Shigeo, 1894–1989) wanted to create a Japanese dictionary for high school students. He asked his friend Shinmura to be chief editor, and they chose the title Jien (辞苑 "Garden of words") in a classical allusion to the Ziyuan (字苑, "Garden of characters") Chinese dictionary. Shinmura appointed his son Takeshi Shinmura (新村猛, Shinmura Takeshi, 1905–1992) as an editor, and in 1935, Hakubunkan (博文館) published the Jien dictionary. It contained some 160,000 headword entries of old and new Japanese vocabulary, as well as encyclopedic content, and quickly became a bestseller.

1st edition[edit]

The editors began working on a revised edition, but the 1945 Firebombing of Tokyo destroyed their work. After the war, Shinmura and his lexicographers began anew in September 1948. Iwanami Shoten published the first Kōjien in 1955. It included approximately 200,000 headwords, about 40,000 more than the Jien.

2nd edition[edit]

The 2nd edition (1969) deleted about 20,000 old entries and added about 20,000 new ones, especially scientific terms.

On December 1, 1976, a hoteiban (補訂版 "revised expanded edition") of the 2nd was published.

3rd edition[edit]

The 3rd edition (1983) added 12,000 entries, and was published in CD-ROM format in 1987.

4th edition[edit]

Three major Japanese publishers released new dictionaries specifically designed to compete with the Iwanami's popular and profitable Kōjien: Sanseidō's Daijirin (大辞林 "Great forest of words", 1988), Shōgakukan's Daijisen (大辞泉 "Great fountainhead of words", 1995), and Kōdansha's Nihongo Daijiten (日本語大辞典 "Great dictionary of Japanese" 1989). In response, the 4th edition Kōjien (1991) was a major revision that added some 15,000 entry words, bringing the total to over 220,000. The CD-ROM version was published in 1993 and revised with color illustrations (like the Nihongo daijiten) in 1996.

In 1992, Iwanami published both an e-book format 4th edition and a useful Gyakubiki Kōjien (逆引き広辞苑 "Reverse dictionary Kōjien").

5th edition[edit]

The 5th edition (1998) includes over 230,000 headwords, and its 2996 pages contain an estimated total of 14 million characters. Iwanami Shoten currently publishes Kōjien in several printed and digital formats, and also sells dictionary subscription services for cell phone and Internet access. Various manufacturers of Japanese electronic dictionaries have licensed the digital Kōjien, and it is the core dictionary in many models.

Shinmura's preface to the 1st edition stated his hope that the Kōjien would become regarded as the standard by which other dictionaries would be measured. This has largely been fulfilled; many people regard the Kōjien as the most authoritative Japanese language dictionary on the market. It remains a bestseller in Japan. According to Iwanami, the 1st edition Kōjien sold over one million copies, and the 5th edition brought cumulative total sales to over eleven million in 2000.

6th edition[edit]

The sixth edition was released on January 11, 2008, includes more than 10,000 new entries, bringing the total to approximately 240,000. It also contains an additional 1,500 quotations.[1]


By Iwanami Shoten[edit]

  • Jien (辞苑)
    • ?th printing (1935-??-??)
  • Kōjien 1st edition (広辞苑)
    • ?th printing (1955-05-25)
  • Kōjien 2nd edition (広辞苑 第二版) (ASIN B00GD6NHXM)
    • ?th printing (1969-05-16)
  • Kōjien 2nd revised edition (広辞苑 第二版補訂版)
    • ?th printing (1976-12-01)
  • Kōjien 3rd edition (広辞苑 第三版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080001-3):
    • ?th printing (1983-12-06)
  • Kōjien 4th edition: Includes 220,000 entries, 2500 illustrations.
    • regular edition (広辞苑 第四版 普通版) (ISBN 4-00-080101-5/ISBN 978-4-00-080101-0):
      • ?th printing (1991-11-15)
    • desktop edition (広辞苑 第四版 机上版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080102-7): B5 page size.
      • ?th printing (1991-11-15)
    • reverse index regular edition (逆引き広辞苑 普通版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080106-5)
      • ?th printing (1992-11-17)
    • reverse index desktop edition (逆引き広辞苑 机上版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080107-2): B5 page size.
      • ?th printing (1992-11-17)
    • leather edition (広辞苑 第四版 総革装) (ISBN 978-4-00-080103-4)
      • ?th printing (1992-11-17)
    • EPWING CD-ROM edition (広辞苑 第四版 CD‐ROM版 EPWING規約準拠) (ISBN 978-4-00-130015-4): CD-ROM includes 84 bird sounds, 234 colour samples, search engine.
      • ?th printing (1993-03-01)
    • Electronic Kōjien 4th edition (電子広辞苑 第四版) (ISBN 978-4-00-130017-8): Sold by NEC Home Electronics. Includes CD‐ROM dictionary, search software in 3.5 and 5.25-inch floppies. Supports PC‐9800 series MS-DOS CD‐ROM Extensions Ver. 2.0 and Japanese MS‐DOS 3.1.
      • ?th printing (1993-03-20)
    • Macintosh edition (マック広辞苑) (ISBN 978-4-00-130020-8): Sold by Qualitas Japan. CD‐ROM includes index software, KanjiTalk 7.1 compatibility.
      • ?th printing (1994-07-01)
    • EPWING V2 CD-ROM edition (広辞苑 第四版 CD‐ROM(カラー)版 EPWING規約(第2版)準拠) (ISBN 978-4-00-130030-7): CD-ROM includes 84 bird sounds, 234 colour samples, 650 new colour photos, search engine.
      • ?th printing (1995-11-15)
    • CD-ROM colour edition (広辞苑 第四版 CD-ROM(カラー)版 「こととい」パック) (ISBN 978-4-00-200971-1): Includes Windows/Mac OS CD-ROM.
      • ?th printing (1996-01-25)
    • e-book edition (電子ブック 広辞苑 第四版 電子ブック(補訂)版) (ISBN 978-4-00-130035-2): Includes CD-ROM. CD-ROM includes 40 bird sounds, keyword search engine.
      • ?th printing (1996-12-16)
    • EPWING V3 CD-ROM multimedia edition (広辞苑 CD-ROM マルチメディア版 EPWING規約第3版準拠) (ISBN 978-4-00-130051-2): Includes CD-ROM. CD-ROM includes 1800 colour illustrations, 15 animations, 84 bird sounds, 234 colour samples, 542 literature information.
      • ?th printing (1996-12-16)
    • EPWING V3 CD-ROM multimedia edition (広辞苑 第四版 CD-ROM(マルチメディア)版検索ソフト(「ことといV2」)付 EPWING規約(第3版)準拠) (ISBN 978-4-00-200972-8): Includes 2 CD-ROM. CD-ROM includes 1800 colour illustrations, 15 animations, 84 bird sounds, 234 colour samples, 542 literature information, Kototoi Ver.2 index software.
      • ?th printing (1996-12-16)
  • Kōjien 5th edition: Includes 230,000 entries.
    • regular edition (広辞苑 第五版) (ISBN 4-00-080111-2/ISBN 978-4-00-080111-9)
      • ?th printing (1998-11-11)
    • desktop edition (広辞苑 第五版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080112-6): B5 page size.
      • ?th printing (1998-11-11)
    • EPWING V5 CD-ROM edition (広辞苑 第五版 CD-ROM版 EPWING規約(第5版)準拠) (ISBN 978-4-00-130072-7): Includes CD-ROM.
      • ?th printing (1998-11-11)
    • e-book edition (電子ブック 広辞苑 第五版 電子ブック版) (ISBN 978-4-00-130074-1): Includes mini CD-ROM.
      • ?th printing (1999-04-26)
    • reverse index (逆引き広辞苑 第五版対応) (ISBN 978-4-00-080116-4)
      • ?th printing (1999-10-15)
    • goat leather edition (広辞苑 第五版 総革装) (ISBN 978-4-00-080113-3)
      • ?th printing (1999-10-15)
  • Kōjien 6th edition: Includes 240,000 entries, 2800 illustrations.
    • regular edition (広辞苑 第六版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080121-8): 2 volumes (1+1 index).
      • ?th printing (2008-01-11)
    • desktop edition (広辞苑 第六版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080122-5): B5 page size. 3 volumes (2+1 index).
      • ?th printing (2008-01-11)
    • EPWING V5 DVD-ROM edition (広辞苑 第六版 DVD-ROM版) (ISBN 978-4-00-130161-8): B5 page size. Includes Windows Vista/MacOS X 10.3 DVD-ROM. DVD-ROM includes Kototoi Light Ver3.5. Windows Vista support requires an updated Kototoi installer.[2]
      • ?th printing (2008-01-11)
    • goat leather edition (広辞苑 第六版 総革装) (ISBN 978-4-00-080123-2)
      • ?th printing (2009-01-20)
    • goat leather desktop edition (広辞苑 第六版 総革装 机上版) (ISBN 978-4-00-080124-9): B5 page size.
      • ?th printing (2009-01-20)
    • Mobile edition: It is a monthly subscription service.[3]
    • Iwanami library 225 Kōjien wo 3 bai tanoshimu (岩波科学ライブラリー 225 広辞苑を3倍楽しむ) (ISBN 4-00-029625-6/ISBN 978-4-00-029625-0): An essay on science of authors active in various fields.
      • ?th printing (2014-04-25)

By Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press[edit]

  • Kōjien 5th edition:
    • regular edition (广辞苑 第五版) (ISBN 7-81-095442-3)
      • ?th printing (2006-10-01)
  • Kōjien 6th edition:

Lexicographical characteristics[edit]

The Kōjien, like most Japanese dictionaries, writes headwords in hiragana syllabary and collates them in gojūon ("50 sounds") order. Baroni and Bialock (2005) describe the Kōjien as "an old standard that gives extensive definitions, etymologies (as always take care with these), and variant usages for words, places, historical and literary figures, and furigana for difficult or old terms."

This dictionary is notable for including current Japanese catchphrases and buzzwords. For instance, the 4th edition added furītā (フリーター "a part-time worker by choice"), which blends two loanwords: furī (フリー "free", from English, as in furīransu フリーランス "freelance") and arubaitā (アルバイター "part-time worker", from German Arbeiter "worker").

The Kōjien dictionary had a censorship policy before it became politically correct (see kotobagari), and omitted taboo words such as sexual slang or offensive terms. It includes encyclopedic information such as 2700 illustrations and maps, and mini-biographies of notable people (both living and dead foreigners, but only deceased Japanese). The appendices include Japanese grammar notes, kanji with difficult readings, Japanese calendar and Gregorian calendar charts, and lists of gairaigo acronyms.

Gally (1999) says, "Koujien is a fine dictionary with a sterling reputation. Because it gives definitions in historical order, it is the best single-volume choice for people interested in how the meanings of words have changed over time." However, he notes, "In my experience as a translator of contemporary Japanese, though, I have found Koujien less useful than Daijirin."



External links[edit]