Library and Information Science Society Home → English page

三田図書館・情報学会誌論文(論文ID LIS004181)

A Study of Concordances of the Japanese Classical Literature
No.4, p.181-200

Concordances, or verbal indexes, of Japanese literature are not many in number and haven't been developed satisfactorily because of having lacked the custom of recording adequate quotations to include entry words. The author tried to clarify existing problems of preparing Japanese concordances, as well as to emphasize the importance of concordances for the study of individual literary works and of word usage. He also explained the principles to compile a Japanese concordance in the ideal form for its future development.

The author first clarified the notion of the word “concordanc” according to various definitions, and then explained its structure based upon the characteristics found in the concordance compiled by J. Strong and that by J. Bartlett.

He pointed out that the lack of adequate Japanese concordances has caused it difficult to compile dictionaries to be used for etymological studies based upon basic source materials.

After differentiating the verbal index, or concordance, from the real index, the author listed 27 concordances of Japanese classics compiled after the Meiji Restoration (l868) with annotations and comments. Of these, structure and function of each were examined through analytic method and the general characteristics of Japanese concordance were listed accordingly.

The author finally tried to list the basic elements to be considered and grouped them into two categories, namely those related to human factor and those of format. As for the first; he discussed the attitude of compilers, the necessity of social recognition of the importance of concordances together that of the specific field developed in Japanese literary world. As for the second, he explained the necessity of selecting texts, of deciding the length of quotations, of arranging entries, of formalizing entries, etc. In concluding the article, the author mentioned his sincere wish for the furtherence of the study of this field together with ways and means of realizing it.

(Department of Mathematical Engineering and Instrumentation Physics Library, University of Tokyo)