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Old November 6th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #1

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original japanese name of Japan


Japan what we call is an exonym for it and people of Japan called it 日本(NIHON). 日 - ON YOMI - (HON) , 本- ON YOMI ( HON). The ONYOMI of Japanese Kanji is taken for from the pronunciation of the Chinese Character which closely resembled the Japanese sounds. The Ancient Chinese dynasties called the Japanese as 倭 meaning "dwarf; short person" has possible cognates in ǎi 矮 "short person; midget, dwarf; low", 踒 "strain; sprain; bent legs", and 臥 "lie down; crouch; sit (animals and birds)"**. What did the Japanese call themselves during the ancient times before the introduction of the Kanji?


** source wikipedia
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Old November 6th, 2011, 06:24 AM   #2

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In Italy there is something curious about "Japan" and "Japanese".

There is a double way through which the name "Japan" came here.

And there are two different names in some languages.

For example while Japan in Italian is Giappone [from "Jipango" or Cipango coming from the Chinese Jepenkwo a word heard by the Venetian explorer Marco Polo] the original term Nihon has survived in the adjective.

In Italian to say "Japanese" we can say "Giapponese" or "Nipponico"
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Old November 6th, 2011, 06:34 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
In Italy there is something curious about "Japan" and "Japanese".

There is a double way through which the name "Japan" came here.

And there are two different names in some languages.

For example while Japan in Italian is Giappone [from "Jipango" or Cipango coming from the Chinese Jepenkwo a word heard by the Venetian explorer Marco Polo] the original term Nihon has survived in the adjective.

In Italian to say "Japanese" we can say "Giapponese" or "Nipponico"
These Nippon, Giapponese, Zippen are derived form the Chinese dialects but not from the Japanese language.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #4

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One of the old names for Japan is "Yamato", which is the name of the old province around Nara, one of the ancient capitals (the later capital Kyoto was in Yamashiro province). It is speculated that Yamato means "mountain door", and the Japanese people are sometimes referred to as "the people of Yamato".

The word is encountered in phrases such as "Yamato damashii" (Japanese spirit) or "Yamato nadeshiko" (the perfect Japanese woman).

Of course, the native (kunyomi) reading of Nihon is hi no moto.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 10:37 PM   #5

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日本 literally means the origin of the sun. Considering the eastern most geographic location of Japan in ancient time, it is quite understandable.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 11:15 PM   #6
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One of the old names for Japan is "Yamato", which is the name of the old province around Nara, one of the ancient capitals (the later capital Kyoto was in Yamashiro province).
When Kyoto is not the oldest capital, one can easily understand how old is Japan...
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #7

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When Kyoto is not the oldest capital, one can easily understand how old is Japan...
The history of Japanese civilisation doesn't actually stretch that far back, certainly not as far as China does.

Discounting the prehistoric Yayoi period and before, the recorded history only really goes back as far as the 3rd-4th century AD. Kyoto became the capital during the late 8th century.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:16 AM   #8
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The history of Japanese civilisation doesn't actually stretch that far back, certainly not as far as China does.

Discounting the prehistoric Yayoi period and before, the recorded history only really goes back as far as the 3rd-4th century AD. Kyoto became the capital during the late 8th century.

Well, 3rd - 4th century is not recent. Certainly, comparing to China or India, it is, but it actually confirms the long history of the archipelago. I always was fascinated by that distant and so different culture. My father had been there when he was in the commercial float of a Greek company. I still have some postcards he left me from Kyoto. Perhaps those postcards I was seeing as a kid with almond trees and Fuji Yama and Geishas is the source of this admiration. Or perhaps the devotion, self-denying and extreme sense of duty of Japanese people. Or some historical events, as Hiroshima-Nagasaki. Certainly myths and legends, living and dead, such as Kurosawa. Even the sound of Japanese and the completely different grammar of it and some names. Tragically enough, Fukushima-Daishi is one such name...
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:34 AM   #9

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Fuji Yama
Fuji-san, not Fuji-yama.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:45 AM   #10
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Fuji-san, not Fuji-yama.
Ahhh! 富士山. Those postcards were deceiving then!

(i will though keep that name in my memory -you know, childhood memories always persist)
ありがとうございます。
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