- Some Remarks on the Handling of Kanji as Catalog Headings
- No.13, p.47-66
Japanese orthography consists of two entirely different character systems, kanji and kana. Kanji, though borrowed from ancient China, has now two pronunciation systems (both convertible to kana) and cannot be arranged in established order. For the purpose of filing catalog entries, Japanese cataloging rules (NCR) require addition of kana (or romaji) transcriptions at head of each heading (author, title, or subject). Transcription in kana is quite effective in determining filing places in a catalog, but kana alone is not sufficient to fully recognize personal, corporate, and place names or to exact the meaning of subject headings or titles. In addition, the heading thus produced appears awkward and is cumbersome in searching.
On the other hand, the number of kanji to be used in official documents and public education was restricted to ‘1,85’ characters in 1946, and later their individual readings were designated.
Such a situation brings about further questions in catalogs and cataloging. First, a sort of discontinuity of recording and literary assets transfering, and second, complication of transcribing out-of-regulation characters. Japanese family names bear too many extra kanji and too many customary readings. In this regard, it is reasonable to separate author catalog from subject one, and if older books abound in the collection, title catalog should also be separated.
For identification and exacting of meaning, the author suggests the heading in kanji to be followed by kana transcription if necessary.
Arrangement of personal names in kanji (without kana) is not uncommon and the Tokyo telephone directory and the membership roster of the University Club were taken as example of large-and medium-sized name lists, and some details of arrangement were examined, as compared to a part of book-type catalog of the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library. Another example was taken from a collective subject index to the 29-volume of “World History”