Writings > Lexical Leavings


I recently learned that, during the Second World War, the second edition of Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary (研究社 新和英大辞典) was published in unauthorized editions in the United States and Great Britain. Several copies were available from online booksellers, so I immediately ordered one.

The accompanying photograph shows the legitimate edition on the left and the American pirated edition, dated 1942, on the right:

Japanese and American editions

The pirated edition has the following introduction:
   The present war has necessitated the publication in the United States of a new edition of Kenkyusha's Japanese-English Dictionary because this country is cut off from the former source of supply of the dictionary and because the demand and need for all Japanese dictionaries has greatly increased. To meet this need, the Department of Far Eastern Languages of Harvard University has undertaken the project of publishing in the United States this dictionary as well as other essential Chinese and Japanese dictionaries, and the Rockefeller Foundation has supplied the necessary funds for this enterprise.
   This American edition of the dictionary has been reproduced by a photolithographic process from the eight-second printing of 1939. No changes have been made in this edition except to increase slightly the size of the print and the book as a whole.
In fact, however, the reprint omits some front and back matter that appears in the ninety-first printing of 1941, including the introduction in Japanese, separate lists of Chinese and Manchurian place names, a combined list of Chinese and Manchurian personal names, and several pages of advertisements for Kenkyusha dictionaries and magazines.

(February 21, 2004)