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The Japanese-German Dictionary: Katsu Kaishū’s praise

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

May of the 10th year of the Meiji era (1877)


 Hibiya Kenjirō (日比谷健次郎) (1836–1886) published Japan's first Japanese-German dictionary (Wadoku-taiyaku-jirin 和獨對譯字林) which was highly praised by Katsu Kaishū (勝海舟) as a valuable tool for instruction.

 Katsu Kaishū (1823–1899) was a former vassal of the Shogunate and remained popular among the public and private sectors as a leading figure after the Meiji period (1868–1912).

His childhood name and nickname were Rintarō (麟太郎) while his official name was Yoshikuni (義邦).

 After the Meiji Restoration (1869), he changed his name to Yasuyoshi (安芳), which he signed the present work as, avoiding the name of Katsu Awa (勝 安房), which refers to military title at the end of the Edo period, as himself said it can also be read as ahō, which means "idiot". Kaishū was a nickname which he took from a piece of calligraphy, Kaishū Shooku (海舟書屋), by Sakuma Shōzan (佐久間象山) (1811–1864).


All Japanese names in this translation follow the Japanese order: surname-name, and all Japanese names and words follow the Hepburn romanization method.


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