K?jien 7th edition(2018)displayed at a bookstore in Tokyo
K?jien second edition (1969)
K?jien (Japanese: , lit. "Wide garden of words") is a single-volume Japanese dictionary first published by Iwanami Shoten in 1955. It is widely regarded as the most authoritative dictionary of Japanese, and newspaper editorials frequently cite its definitions. As of 2007, it had sold 11 million copies.
The predecessor of K?jien originated during the Great Depression in East Asia. In 1930, the publisher Shigeo Oka (, Oka Shigeo, 1894-1989) wanted to create a Japanese dictionary for high school students. He asked his friend Shinmura to be chief editor, and they chose the title Jien ( "Garden of words") in a classical allusion to the Ziyuan (, "Garden of characters") Chinese dictionary. Shinmura appointed his son Takeshi Shinmura (, Shinmura Takeshi, 1905-1992) as an editor, and in 1935, Hakubunkan () published the Jien dictionary. It contained some 160,000 headword entries of old and new Japanese vocabulary, as well as encyclopedic content, and quickly became a bestseller.
The editors began working on a revised edition, but the 1945 Firebombing of Tokyo destroyed their work. After the war, Shinmura and his lexicographers began anew in September 1948. Iwanami Shoten published the first K?jien in 1955. It included approximately 200,000 headwords, about 40,000 more than the Jien.
The 2nd edition (1969) deleted about 20,000 old entries and added about 20,000 new ones, especially scientific terms.
On December 1, 1976, a revised and expanded version (hoteiban ()) of the 2nd edition was published.
The 3rd edition (1983) added 12,000 entries, and was published in CD-ROM format in 1987.
Three major Japanese publishers released new dictionaries specifically designed to compete with the Iwanami's popular and profitable K?jien: Sanseid?'s Daijirin ( "Great forest of words", 1988), Sh?gakukan's Daijisen ( "Great fountainhead of words", 1995), and K?dansha's Nihongo Daijiten ( "Great dictionary of Japanese" 1989). In response, the 4th edition K?jien (1991) was a major revision that added some 15,000 entry words, bringing the total to over 220,000. The CD-ROM version was published in 1993 and revised with color illustrations (like the Nihongo daijiten) in 1996.
In 1992, Iwanami published both an e-book format 4th edition and a useful Gyakubiki K?jien ( "Reverse dictionary K?jien").
The 5th edition (1998) includes over 230,000 headwords, and its 2996 pages contain an estimated total of 14 million characters. Iwanami Shoten currently publishes K?jien in several printed and digital formats, and also sells dictionary subscription services for cell phone and Internet access. Various manufacturers of Japanese electronic dictionaries have licensed the digital K?jien, and it is the core dictionary in many models.
Shinmura's preface to the 1st edition stated his hope that the K?jien would become regarded as the standard by which other dictionaries would be measured. This has largely been fulfilled; many people regard the K?jien as the most authoritative Japanese language dictionary on the market. It remains a bestseller in Japan. According to Iwanami, the 1st edition K?jien sold over one million copies, and the 5th edition brought cumulative total sales to over eleven million in 2000.
The sixth edition was released on January 11, 2008, includes more than 10,000 new entries, bringing the total to approximately 240,000. It also contains an additional 1,500 quotations.
The seventh edition was released on January 12, 2018. Changes include 10,000 new words were added from 100,000 words collected by its editors firstly, including "apuri"(app), "Isuramu-koku"(Islamic State), LGBT, "hanii torappu" (honey trap), "jidori" (selfie) and "diipu raningu" (deep learning). Other changes include citing available source literature for a given explanation of a term, listing changes of the usages of a term, addition of 140 pages without adding book thickness.
However, the definition of LGBT in the edition was written as "individuals whose sexual orientation differs from the majority." Some netizens criticized that the definition only describes the "LGB" portion of the acronym which refers to sexual orientation, while the "T" refers to sexual identity.
Electronic K?jien 4th edition ( ) (ISBN978-4-00-130017-8): Sold by NEC Home Electronics. Includes CD-ROM dictionary, search software in 3.5 and 5.25-inch floppies. Supports PC-9800 series MS-DOS CD-ROM Extensions Ver. 2.0 and Japanese MS-DOS 3.1.
EPWING V5 DVD-ROM edition ( DVD-ROM?) (ISBN978-4-00-130161-8): B5 page size. Includes Windows Vista/MacOS X 10.3 DVD-ROM. DVD-ROM includes Kototoi Light Ver3.5. Windows Vista support requires an updated Kototoi installer.
iOS 9 edition ( ): Uses Shuei Mincho font by Morisawa Inc.
Version ? (2018-01-12?)
Windows/Mac OS edition: Mac OS version supports Mac OS 10.9-10.13 for Intel Mac, Microsoft Office 2011. Windows version supports Windows 7-10, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Office 2007-2016, Ichitaro 2013-2017, .NET Framework 4 for Microsoft Office plugin. Uses LogoVista electronic dictionary browser.
Windows/Mac OS DVD box edition ( ) (ISBN 494802251192-9)
The K?jien, like most Japanese dictionaries, writes headwords in hiragana syllabary and collates them in goj?on ("50 sounds") order. Baroni and Bialock (2005) describe the K?jien as "an old standard that gives extensive definitions, etymologies (as always take care with these), and variant usages for words, places, historical and literary figures, and furigana for difficult or old terms."
This dictionary is notable for including current Japanese catchphrases and buzzwords. For instance, the 4th edition added fur?t? ( "a part-time worker by choice"), which blends two loanwords: fur? ( "free", from English, as in fur?ransu "freelance") and arubait? ( "part-time worker", from German Arbeiter "worker").
The K?jien dictionary had a censorship policy before it became politically correct (see kotobagari), and omitted taboo words such as sexual slang or offensive terms. It includes encyclopedic information such as 2700 illustrations and maps, and mini-biographies of notable people (both living and dead foreigners, but only deceased Japanese). The appendices include Japanese grammar notes, kanji with difficult readings, Japanese calendar and Gregorian calendar charts, and lists of gairaigo acronyms.
Gally (1999) says, "Koujien is a fine dictionary with a sterling reputation. Because it gives definitions in historical order, it is the best single-volume choice for people interested in how the meanings of words have changed over time." However, he notes, "In my experience as a translator of contemporary Japanese, though, I have found Koujien less useful than Daijirin." This criticism is based on his use of the fourth edition, though, and he concedes that later editions seem to have improved in this regard.
As part of the publication of Kojien 7th edition, Kojien University () seminars were held in 2018-01-12 and 2018-01-14. Second round of the seminars were planned in 2018-02-10.