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In the fourth century A.D., through contact with Korea, Japan adopted the Chinese writing system which had been sweeping through Asia along with the newBuddhist religion. Modern Japanese writing uses three main scripts: kanji (Chineseideograms), which are used for proper names, for nouns, and for verb roots; hiragana(deriving from the terms hira, common, and kana borrowed character), used for adding to and distinguishing from sequences of Japanese grammar; and katakana (from kata, part, and kana, borrowed character or rather, partially borrowed character), which is used to denote foreign pronunciations or to write terms borrowed from foreign languages. With large depictions and clear step-by-step instructions, Mandel illustrates all 48 sounds in Japanese, presented in the traditional iroha order, in hiragana, katakana, and kanji forms, and each entry is accompanied with its roma-ji, orRoman phonetic spelling. The author clearly indicates the correct sequence for writing the individual strokes, and provides each kana, or character, with theChinese kanji from which it was derived. He relates a concise history of Japanese writing, and provides the reader with charts of the Japanese and Chinese numbers,the hiragana and katakana contractions, and the keys or radicals that make up the Japanese kanji. A comprehensive guide to all of the characters of the Japanese alphabet, this is an ideal primer for the beginner, as well as a convenient reference for a more advanced student. Joining Abbeville's Chinese Calligraphy, Maya Script,and Arabic Script, Japanese Alphabet is an exhaustive compendium of the Japanese writing system and indispensable addition to any Japanese linguist's library.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780789209597
ISBN-10: 0789209594
Format: Hardback
(244mm x 175mm x 22mm)
Pages: 148
Imprint: Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S.
Publisher: Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S.
Publish Date: 21-May-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Gabriel Mandel

Gabriele Mandel is a university instructor, painter, writer, and psychologist. He is the author of several books, including Abbeville's Arabic Script. As a student, he received a scholarship for Japanese language at the University of Milan. Currently, he is the director of the psychology department at the European University of Brussels.