Writings > Lexical Leavings


Today, at a used book sale near my home, I picked up, for a thousand yen, a large English-Japanese dictionary published in 1888. The Japanese title is 附音挿圖増補英和字彙. and the English title is An English and Japanese Dictionary, Explanatory, Pronouncing, and Etymological, Containing All English Words in Present Use, with an Appendix. The lead authors are M. Shibata (柴田昌吉) and T. Koyasu (子安峻).

The leather cover is disintegrating and some of the final pages are worm-eaten, but otherwise the book is in good condition. In 1888, there still seemed to be hesitation about writing Japanese horizontally, for the Japanese definitions are all turned ninety degrees.

Below are some sample pages. (The color variation is an artifact of the lighting and the digital camera.)

(November 29, 2003)