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ISSN : 1229-9618(Print)
ISSN : 2671-7506(Online)
Chinese Studies Vol.52 pp.1-5

Japanese official characters and its problems


I would like to explain the current situation and problems of the Japanese official characters "jōyō kanji", by taking into consideration their predecessor "tōyō kanji". There are some examples, where simplifying the shape of the character, has caused the original meaning to become lost. This is because simplification is conventionally relied on handwriting. When you think of the shape of characters, it is important to separate them into the characters that are used in handwriting and those that are used in printing. That is because when simplifying the characters, cases where the radical of the character also completely changes are being generated. It also causes confusion in the learning process when the radicals of the kanji are different in different dictionaries. If one thinks about the flow that has been used with dictionary compiling, which is inherited from the past standards, it is considered to be better to unify it to the standards shown by the traditional "Kangxi dictionaries". Also, with the development of today’s electronic information devices, there is less chance of handwriting. When one is writing characters by hand, from the view point of writing fast and easy, there is no other way than for the character to lose some of its original meaning and its relationship to other characters. But when it comes to printed characters, it is considered much better for the character to retain its original shape, where one can explore the meaning of the word