Tokyo: 大修館書店 (Taishukan Shoten), 1955-1960. First edition. Hardcover. Octavos. 13,757pp. (Vols.1-12) + 1101pp. (Index). Brown cloth boards with gilt lettering and blue labels on the spines. Red ribbon markers. The monumental work is considered the definitive Japanese dictionary of Kanji (Chinese characters) and is the largest and most comprehensive ever published. The set contains a total of 50,000 character entries and 530,000 compound words/terms, focusing on classical Chinese literary Chinese vocabulary. It also provides encyclopedic information on poetry, book titles, historical figures, names of places and Buddhist terms as well as modern expressions. The work took more than thirty years to complete between the time it was originally conceived and its ultimate publication.
Upon traveling to China to study Chinese in 1917, Morohashi was struck by the fact that there was no comprehensive dictionary of characters to serve his needs, and that those that existed were frustratingly organized in a way that was not beneficial to his methods of study. When Morohashi returned to Japan in 1919, he had 20 notebooks filled with Chinese vocabulary. In 1925, Ippei Suzuki (鈴木 一平), president of the Taishukan publishing house, asked Morohashi to edit and compile a comprehensive kanji dictionary of unprecedented scale. The first editions of the initial volumes were finally completed and published in 1955.
Bindings of some volumes with light to moderate bowing to the covers. Minor scratches and smudges to some covers. Light water stains along the top of a few of the book blocks, and some minor rubbing to corners. A few of the interior front covers with minor damp staining or offsetting. Bindings in very good- to near fine. Interiors in very good+ to near fine condition overall. vg- to near fine. Item #43850
Tetsuji Morohashi (諸橋轍次 1883 –1982) was a linguist and sinologist, who was pioneering in the field of Japanese language, best known for the Dai Kanwa Jiten dictionary of Kanji. Morohashi was awarded the Order of the Chrysanthemum in 1957 and the Order of Culture in 1967 for his contributions to sinology and lexicography. Often the Dai Kanwa Jiten is simply referred to as "the Morohashi".
*2 supplemental volumes were published in 1990 and 2000.