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book question


13 Aug 2003
Hi there,
Just returning from spending Christmas with my family. When I was there, my father gave me a book, which he picked up for cheap. He didn't know if it is Japanese or Chinese or whatever (well, it is Japanese), but he picked it up anyway if I'm interested in it.
But I've to admit: my Japanese is far faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar to bad to understand a single word of that book.
Would anyone be so kind as to have a look at the title what it's about? I mean, having old Japanese books on the bookshelf looks intellectual, but I don't want to have porn when I have Japanese visitors. :)
thx for any replies

My husband says it is Chinese and not Japanese. He thinks it might be a Chinese-Chinese dictionary, because of the last two characters that say "jiten", which means "dictionary for letters". Is there a character missing at the top that got cut off when you took a picture of it?
Chinese? aaaaaaaaahhhhhh how embarrassing.....
Sure Chinese? But it's having the Japanese numbers and all that... Chinese have the same numbers as Japanese too? Doh..... 😊 I thought they have different numbers, and thus I thought its Japanese. Ah well... I'm still learning Japanese, so I guess I don't have to know everything. And it had kanji that were having, according to my dictionary, the old writing form. I thought that's different too. Ah well...
I hope my Japanese prof from university doesn't visit this forum, or I will never pass the exam :eek:

oh, and the 4 kanji are all. There is no 5th. I added a shot of the first page.
That book, too, has some pictures of some dragon and fishermen and stuff, so I thought it might be something more interesting than a dictionary. but ty anyway. :)

Oh, I too wondered how old a book is if it uses kanji written in the old fashion. I mean, 20 years? 30? 50? more?
My father collects books from 200 to over 400 years of age, and thus he will ask me how old it is...

According to my Japanese dictionary anyway, it may be part of the ツ康テ?窶?ナスナ。窶弋 47,000 character dictionary published in China in 1716.....

Do these kanji appear to match the first four on the spine?
I seem to have the wrong font installed. I don't see any kanji in front of the 47.000 of yours :(
They're the same characters on the spine of that book. I'm glad we have a librarian on board... ;)
can I see somewhere what edition it is? or when it was published? I tried to search for numbers on the first and last few pages, which might be something like publishing date, but I didn't find any.
If only I could read Chinese as well, though :p. Does your copy look like it might have come from the early 18th century, maji? The only other part I can make out is that it was issued by the Spring Moon (?) Publishing Co in Shanghai. You could have a real find here.....;).
I don't know how old it is. It looks rather old. uuuhm... especially the cover is in no real good condition. The pages themselves are in rather a good condition, though all are yellow of age.
As said, I'm interested in old books but don't know much about them. My personal guess is: about 100 years old. But it could be older. It makes me doubt that it is ancient because one of the first pages is having a coloured dragon on it is really great quality and stuff. That makes me doubt that it's ancient. I doubt any bookseller would give him an expensive book for cheap.
But I have to say that it looks newer on the photos than in reality. The dragon is the only coloured part. The first few pages are in red writing with a red drawing, and the rest is all in black writing.

Oh, and thx already for all the replies. A good friend of mine is Chinese, but she is right now in shanghai for Christmas, so I can't ask her.

Oh, and I don't know where and when it was published because I don't find any part of the book where it mentioned. And I know nothing at all about Chinese. Yes, even less than about Japanese. 😊

As I am already in the presence of a librarian: when was the time that some symbols were written in that old fashion? The kanji for "sea" is having those two dots in it instead of that line?

Oh, and I tried to take a shot of a page in the middle of the book. But I doubt it makes much sense. Around each page is a black double border with some writing at the side. The kanji inside the border is sooooooo tiny and so many that even if I try hard, I can't make them readable anyway.

Couldn't it be possible that the dragon drawing was added later on for some reason? Although that could probably devalue it...
Are the last two kanji on the bottom line of the spine 窶敕?催篠?That would be the year of the edition, but if you say there's nothing below.....The first line after the title I believe is "Marine" in both Chinese & Japanese and then something that looks like the office where it was issued. I'm no expert on this either, but the calligraphic style doesn't look to me all that different from today. You may just want to email one of the Chinese speakers here if no one comes along soon. :)
I found at the bottom of the page with the dragon tiny, tiny writing. It's so tiny that I can't really read it myself without touching the book with my nose. I tried to take a shot with the cam in the highest resolution, but the cam was nearly touching the writing either. So I took a bad shot but tried to make the letters more readable with some graphics program's help. Maybe that gives a clue. I don't know.

but the calligraphic style doesn't look to me all that different from today.
now don't tell me that I'm not suddenly rich. I already bought stocks and a house and a card from the money I will get when I sell the book. :)
but seriously: after I found out what the "ocean means", I had the energy to look up some more kanjis of it, and some of them were stressed as being in some old style. I wonder why the book doesn't say what it means with "old". Ah well...
some knowledge is too powerful to be found out by simple humans like me. :) I should start telling friends that its a forbidden book and the one who reads it through without a pause opens the gates to heaven or hell... :)

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