The Emergence of the Modern Sino-Japanese Lexicon

Seven Studies


Editor: Joshua A. Fogel
It has long been known that the modern Chinese language inherited numerous terms from Japanese and that Japanese coined many of those terms in the last decades of the 19th century. These seven essays address the actual processes by which a discreet number of terms came into being, how they outdistanced competitors, and the persons and texts involved in the process. Rather than relying on received tropes of translation heritage, these essays delve much deeper into the particularities of their cases. They set a standard for subsequent scholarship.
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Biographical Note

Joshua A. Fogel, Ph.D. (1980), Columbia University, is Canada Research Chair and Professor of History at York University in Toronto. He has published over 50 books (monographs, edited volumes, and translations).

Review Quotes

"These seven studies provide a veritable wealth of information concerning the actual process of Sino-Japanese appropriation of
the terms in the second half of the nineteenth century, together with how they evolved to become linguistic vehicles carrying ideas from the West to Japan and then to China...Through his introduction and translation of these seven studies, Joshua A. Fogel, as a well-established scholar devoted to Sino-Japanese cultural relations, brings to light scholarly practice in Japan and the achievements accomplished by these three Japanese scholars."
Limin Bai, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies (June 2017)

Table of contents

Introduction: Seven Japanese Studies on the Modern Sino-Japanese Lexicon

1. Saitō Tsuyoshi, The Creation of the Term Kojin (Individual)

2. Saitō Tsuyoshi, The Formation of the Term Shakai (Society)

3. Suzuki Shūji, Religion (shūkyō) and Freedom (jiyū)

4. Yanabu Akira, Liberty-Freedom: Yanagita Kunio’s Resistance

5. Yanabu Akira, The Concept of “Rights”

6. Suzuki Shūji, Terminology Surrounding the “Tripartite Separation of Powers”

7. Suzuki Shūji, Dreams of “Science” and “Truth”


Students and scholars working in modern Chinese and Japanese history, especially those interested in comparative history and interactions between the two countries—also, trans-national history—and especially linguists and anyone interested in language planning.