2007 年 2008 巻 40 号 p. 69-85
At the beginning of 2007, a miraculous find was made at a book market for secondhandbook sellers. Junichi Nagumo, owner of an antiquarian bookstore, discovered part of the draft of the first published English-Japanese dictionary in Japan. This volume, entitled “A Pocket Dictionary of English and Japanese Language (sic.)”, was first published 145 years ago. Also found by Mr. Nagumo of Taskasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, was a part of the proof-ready manuscript of the second edition.
The manuscripts appear to be authentic and include the following :
1. Twenty-one draft sheets of the first edition, published in November of 1862. The sheets are handwritten, with corrections made in vermilion ink.
2. A proof-ready manuscript of 124 pages to be appended to the first edition. These additions were to be used in a second edition, published in January of 1866.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss these newly-unearthed manuscripts as well to take a philosophical look at the role of dictionaries in general during the 19th century in Japanese history. This was a time when Japan was just beginning to open its doors to more foreign countries.
A modernization process could be found through these newly-found manuscripts : i.e., not only the Japanese language itself, but also the whole experience of the opening of our country.