2007 年 2008 巻 40 号 p. 87-103
At the beginning of 2007, Mr. Junichi Nagumo, owner of an antiquarian bookstore in Taskasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, discovered a part of the draft of the first published English-Japanese dictionary entitled “The Pocket Dictionary of English and Japanese Language (sic.)”, that was published in 1862, and a part of the proof-ready manuscript of the second edition that was done in 1866.
Hitherto the first English-Japanese Dictionary was considered to be based on Picard's Pocket Dictionary of English-Dutch Languages of the second edition published in 1857, but, an examination of the recently found manuscripts makes clear that the translation works started with Picard's Dictionary - First Edition of 1843 and switched to that of the second edition of 1857 during a late stage of translation.
For more than 250 years, Japan was closed to any foreign countries except Holland and China. Once the door opened, new ideas and sciences of the western world flooded into Japan. As a result, a modernization process occurred in the Japanese language. Translators needed to cope with these new ideas. The newly-found manuscripts demonstrate how Japanese words had to be laboriously corrected by several editing steps.