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Shin'yaku Kegonkyō Ongi Shiki

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The Shin'yaku Kegonkyō Ongi Shiki (新訳華厳経音義私記) is a Japanese annotation of the Avatamsaka Sūtra. Dated to 794,[1] it is the oldest Japanese ongi, or collection of difficult to interpret words showing their pronunciation and meaning,[2] and is a National Treasure of Japan.[3]


The text is two fascicles in length.[4][5] The compiler is unknown but is presumed to have related to Tōdai-ji.[3] It is an annotation of the 80-volume Avatamsaka Sūtra. As the original was written in Chinese, the annotation contains a list of words and expressions from the original and glosses them with Japanese readings and meanings. The orthography of the Japanese suggests that it is a late Nara period text.[4][5] However, the manuscript contains a number of errors and is judged to be a copy of an earlier original.[4][5] There is only one known existing manuscript.


The text is viewed as a valuable reference for Old Japanese linguistics.[1][4][5] The Japanese annotations are written in Man'yōgana and, with the exception of /to1, to2/,[4] distinguishes between Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai. It contains a total of 162 Japanese words, many of which are the oldest extant citations.[1][4][5] In addition, it also contains the oldest example of a long vowel[citation needed] as well as a number of Japanese-specific Kan'yō-on readings of kanji.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Takeuchi (1962:133–134)
  2. ^ Kindaichi (1988:74)
  3. ^ a b Yoshida (2001: 128)
  4. ^ a b c d e f Omodaka (1967: 880–881)
  5. ^ a b c d e f Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten (1985: 512–513)


  • Kindaichi, Haruhiko; Ōki Hayashi; Takeshi Shibata (1988). Nihongo Hyakka Daijiten (in Japanese). Tōkyō: Taishūkan Shoten. ISBN 4-469-01218-1.
  • Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten Henshū Iinkai (1986). Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten (in Japanese). Vol. 3. Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4-00-080063-9.
  • Omodaka, Hisataka (1967). Jidaibetsu Kokugo Daijiten: Jōdaihen (in Japanese). Sanseidō. ISBN 4-385-13237-2.
  • Takeuchi, Rizō (1962). Nara Ibun: Volume 3 (in Japanese). Tōkyō: Tōkyōdō Shuppan. ISBN 4-490-30010-7.
  • Yoshida, Kanehiko; Hiroshi Tsukishima; Harumichi Ishizuka; Masayuki Tsukimoto (2001). Kuntengo Jiten (in Japanese). Tōkyō: Tōkyōdō Shuppan. ISBN 4-490-10570-3.