The Daijisen (大辞泉, "Great fountain of knowledge(wisdom)/source of words") is a general-purpose Japanese dictionary published by Shogakukan in 1995 and 1998. It was designed as an "all-in-one" dictionary for native speakers of Japanese, especially high school and university students.


Shogakukan intended for the Daijisen to directly compete with Iwanami's popular Kōjien desktop dictionary, which was a bestseller through three editions (1955, 1969, 1983). The Daijisen followed upon the success of two other Kōjien competitors, Sanseido's Daijirin ("Great forest of words", 1988, 1995, 2006) and Kōdansha's color-illustrated Nihongo Daijiten ("Great dictionary of Japanese", 1989, 1995). All of these dictionaries weigh around one kilogram and have about 3000 pages.

The 1st edition Daijisen (1995) included over 220,000 entries and 6000 all-color illustrations and photographs. The chief editor Akira Matsumura (松村明, Matsumura Akira, 1916–2001) was also chief editor of the directly competing Daijirin dictionary. Other Daijisen editors included Akihiko Ikegami (池上秋彦), Hiroshi Kaneda (金田弘), and Kazuo Sugizaki (杉崎一雄). Shogakukan also released a CD-ROM version (1997) of the 1st edition.

The "enlarged and revised" edition Daijisen (1998) was more of a revision than an enlargement, with 2978 pages versus 2938 in the 1st edition. Both editions claim "over 220,000 headwords".


The Daijisen and Daijirin have much more in common than Matsumura's lexicographical supervision and similar ("Great fountain/forest of words") titles. These two dictionaries share many features of design and content. Both arrange word meanings with the most frequent ones first (like the American Heritage Dictionary), in contrast to the Kōjien tradition of arranging with the oldest recorded meanings first (like the Oxford English Dictionary). Compare their two respective definitions of hyōsetsu (剽窃 "plagiarize").

  • Daijirin: 他人の作品・学説などを自分のものとして発表すること。"To take another person's works, theory, etc. and publish it as one's own."
  • Daijisen: 他人の作品や論文を盗んで、自分のものとして発表すること。"To steal another person's works or writing and publish it as one's own."

Some similarities between these dictionaries are obvious: Matsumura's 2nd edition Daijirin (1995) added some full-color illustrations, including a chart of 168 color names (色の名) and his Daijisen (1995) included a color chart of 358 (カラーチャート色名).

The Daijisen is not wholly derivative of the Daijirin and has some notable differences. Daijisen improvements include visually appealing designs, more contemporary usage examples, and some helpful layout features. For instance, special columns indicate usage notes for topics including synonyms, suffixes, and even uncommon kanji pronunciations (nanori 名のり "special readings for names" and nandoku 難読 "difficult to read").


Print editions

  • 1st edition (ISBN 9784095012117) (1995-12-01)
  • Revised edition (ISBN 9784095012124) (1998-?-?)
  • 2nd edition (大辞泉【第二版】) (ISBN 9784095012131) (2012-11-02): Includes 250,000 entries, Windows DVD-ROM. 2 volumes.

Online search engines

Daijisen contents have been used in other dictionary sites, including:

  • Yahoo! Jisho (Yahoo!辞書)
  • goo Jisho (goo辞書)
  • kotobank (デジタル大辞泉)

The database versions are marked for April, August, December of every year, with updates delivered in approximately every 4 months.

Electronic versions

  • DVD edition: Included with the second edition of the printed book.
  • Ver.1.00 (2012-11-02)
  • Ver.2.00 (2013-10-03)
  • Ver.3.00 (2014-10-08)
  • Ver.4.00 (2015-11-26)
  • Downloadable versions: Available for au Smart Pass, Android, iOS, Windows. The database versions and update schedules are same as the search engine versions.


The Japanese lexicographer Tom Gally (1999) analyzes the Daijisen,

This dictionary seems in many ways a clone of Daijirin. Not only is the same Tokyo University professor listed as editor – though it is important to note that the names appearing on the covers of Japanese dictionaries often have little relation to the people who actually did the work; one case in point being Koujien, even the most recent editions of which list as editor one 新村出 Shinmura Izuru, who has been dead since 1967 – but the definitions in Daijisen follow closely those of Daijirin as well. It also follows Daijirin's practice of putting the contemporary meanings first in its definitions. The two chief differences I've noticed are that Daijisen has color pictures while Daijirin uses line drawings – a rather obvious difference – and that the example sentences and phrases in Daijisen are more often typical of the contemporary language rather than citations from classical literature. This latter point makes Daijisen my first choice when I am writing Japanese and I want to check how words are used in context.

The bibliographer and cataloguer Yasuko Makino (2002) describes the Daijisen,

Over 220,000 words including archaic words, technical terms, geographical and personal names, and other proper names as well although focus is on modern words, are in this easy-to-use dictionary. Numerous examples of usage, explanation of delicate difference in the usage of each words, abundant inclusion of synonyms, and 6,000 all-color illustrations are a few of its strengths. One of the unique features of this dictionary is a listing of last elements, which functions as reverse-order dictionary. Includes detailed color charts. This works as kokugo jiten [Japanese–Japanese dictionary], kanwa jiten [Chinese–Japanese kanji dictionary], kogo jiten [Classical Japanese dictionary], katakanago jiten [katakana loanword dictionary], and encyclopedia.

This depiction echoes Shogakukan's blurb that the Daijisen is an "all-in-one, multi-functional dictionary" (オールインワン多機能辞典).


A Daijisen commercial (あなたの言葉を辞書に載せよう。) was listed as an ACC finalist in 2014 54th ACC CM Festival under the interactive division.[1]


  1. ^ インタラクティブ部門 入賞作品リスト


  • Gally, Tom, (1999), Kokugo Dictionaries 国語辞書, review article.
  • Makino Yasuko, (2002), General Reference Works, Harvard University.
  • Matsumura Akira (松村明), ed., (1995), Daijisen (大辞泉), Shogakukan, ISBN 4-09-501211-0. CD-ROM version, (1997), ISBN 4-09-906862-5.
  • Matsumura Akira, ed., (1998), Zoho shinsoban Daijisen (増補・新装版大辞泉, "Enlarged and revised Daijisen), Shogakukan, ISBN 4-09-501211-0.

External links

Online dictionaries

Dictionary software

Ariwara no Narihira

Ariwara no Narihira (在原 業平, 825–880) was a Japanese courtier and waka poet of the early Heian period. He was named one of both the Six Poetic Geniuses and the Thirty-Six Poetic Geniuses, and one of his poems was included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu collection. He is also known as Zai Go-Chūjō, Zai Go, Zai Chūjō or Mukashi-Otoko.

There are 87 poems attributed to Narihira in court anthologies, though some attributions are dubious. Narihira's poems are exceptionally ambiguous; the compilers of the 10th-century Kokin Wakashū thus treated them to relatively long headnotes.

Narihira's many renowned love affairs have exerted a profound influence on later Japanese culture. Legends have held that he had affairs with the high priestess of the Ise Grand Shrine and the poet Ono no Komachi, and that he fathered Emperor Yōzei. His love affairs inspired The Tales of Ise, and he has ever since been a model of the handsome, amorous nobleman.

Chūgoku Mountains

Chūgoku Mountains (中国山地, Chūgoku Sanchi) is a mountain range in the Chūgoku region of western Japan. It runs in an east-west direction and stretches approximately 500 km (311 mi) from Hyōgo Prefecture in the east to the coast of Yamaguchi Prefecture. The range also reaches under the Pacific Ocean.The two tallest mountains in the group are Daisen and Mount Hyōno, which are 1,729 m (5,673 ft) and 1,510 m (4,954 ft), respectively. Many other mountains in the ranger are also over 1,000 m (3,281 ft), while some of the smaller mountains are less than 500 m (1,640 ft). Granite is the most common stone found among the mountains, much of which has been exposed through erosion.

Fujiwara no Kiyosuke

Fujiwara no Kiyosuke (藤原清輔, 1104-1177) was a Japanese waka poet and poetry scholar of the late Heian period.He was the second son of Akisuke (顕輔), compiler of the Shika Wakashū.

Fusō Ryakuki

The Fusō Ryakuki (扶桑略記) is a Japanese historical text compiled at the end of the twelfth century. It is also called the Fusō-ki (扶桑記) or Fusō-shū (扶桑集).

Haboro, Hokkaido

Haboro (羽幌町, Haboro-chō) is a town located in Rumoi Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan.As of September 2016, the town has an estimated population of 7,338. The total area is 472.49 km². The town administers the two islands of Yagishiri and Teuri.

Haboro was officially designated a town in 1921. The villages of Teuri and Yagishiri were merged into Haboro in 1955 and 1959, respectively.


Hebesu or hebezu (平兵衛酢) is a small Japanese citrus fruit. It is green in color, rich in acid and reported to have high amounts of a specific flavonoid which supposedly has anti-cancer properties.The fruit is considered a local delicacy of Hyūga, Miyazaki. It has been claimed it is similar to both kabosu (Citrus sphaerocarpa) and sudachi (Citrus sudach) but the fruit is not as well known outside Miyazaki Prefecture. Supposedly, the fruit was initially found during the Edo period by a Chōsokabe Heibei, from whom the fruit got its name (which means "Hebe's vinegar"). Chōsokabe began growing it on his land in what is now the Nishikawauchi Tomitaka area of Hyūga city.Hebesu are grown in greenhouses are available from June, while those grown outdoor ship between the end of July until October.The essential oils of the peel of the fruit have been studied, as well as an oxygen effects study.


The Hibagon (ヒバゴン) or Hinagon (ヒナゴン) is the Japanese equivalent of the North American Bigfoot or the Himalayan Yeti. Sightings have been reported since the 1970s around Mount Hiba in the Hiroshima Prefecture.


Hitomaru-eigu (人丸影供) was a type of ritualistic waka composition popular in medieval Japan.

Ki no Iratsume

Ki no Iratsume (紀女郎) was a Japanese noblewoman, princess consort and waka poet of the Nara period.

Kuni no miyatsuko

Kuni no miyatsuko (国造), also read as "kokuzō" or "kunitsuko", were officials in ancient Japan at the time of the Yamato court.

Nihongo Daijiten

The Nihongo Daijiten (日本語大辞典, "Great dictionary of Japanese") (English title: The Great Japanese Dictionary) is a color-illustrated Japanese dictionary edited by Tadao Umesao and published by Kodansha in 1989 and 1995 (2nd edition).


The Niiname-sai (新嘗祭, also read Shinjō-sai and Niiname-no-Matsuri) is a Japanese harvest ritual.

The ritual is celebrated by the Emperor of Japan, who thanks the Shinto deities for a prosperous year and prays for a fruitful new year. It takes place in the imperial palace and several large Shinto shrines.

In pre-modern Japan, the date of the Niiname-sai was moveable, taking place on the last Day of the Rabbit of the eleventh month of the old Japanese lunar calendar, but in the Meiji period the date was fixed at November 23, and this date became a national holiday, Labor Thanksgiving Day, in the Shōwa period after World War II.


Obake (お化け) and bakemono (化け物) are a class of yōkai, preternatural creatures in Japanese folklore. Literally, the terms mean a thing that changes, referring to a state of transformation or shapeshifting.

These words are often translated as ghost, but primarily they refer to living things or supernatural beings who have taken on a temporary transformation, and these bakemono are distinct from the spirits of the dead. However, as a secondary usage, the term obake can be a synonym for yūrei, the ghost of a deceased human being.A bakemono's true form may be an animal such as a fox (kitsune), a raccoon dog (tanuki), a badger (mujina), a transforming cat (bakeneko), the spirit of a plant—such as a kodama, or an inanimate object which may possess a soul in Shinto and other animistic traditions. Obake derived from household objects are often called tsukumogami.

A bakemono usually either disguises itself as a human or appears in a strange or terrifying form such as a hitotsume-kozō, an ōnyūdō, or a noppera-bō. In common usage, any bizarre apparition can be referred to as a bakemono or an obake whether or not it is believed to have some other form, making the terms roughly synonymous with yōkai.

Princess Kagami

Princess Kagami (鏡王女 Kagami-no-ōkimi) was a Japanese princess and waka poet of the Asuka period.

Sagami (poet)

Sagami (相模, dates unknown, but born c. 1000), also known as Oto-jijū (乙侍従), was a Japanese waka poet of the mid-Heian period. One of her poems was included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. She produced a private collection, the Sagami-shū.


The Samebito (鮫人, shark man) is a creature that appears in "The Gratitude of the Samebito", a short story by Lafcadio Hearn. It is described as a shark-like humanoid with inky black skin, emerald green eyes, a face like a demon's, and a beard like a dragon's.


Shōjo, shojo or shoujo (少女, shōjo) is a Japanese word for "girl". The word is derived from a Chinese expression written with the same characters. The Chinese characters (少 and 女) literally mean little and woman respectively. In Japanese, these kanji refer specifically to a young woman approximately 7–18 years old.


A shōjō (猩々 or 猩猩, heavy drinker or orangutan) is a kind of Japanese sea spirit with a red face and hair and a fondness for alcohol. The legend is the subject of a Noh play of the same name. There is a Noh mask for this character, as well as a type of Kabuki stage makeup, that bear the name. The Chinese characters are also a Japanese (and Chinese) word for orangutan, and can also be used in Japanese to refer to someone who is particularly fond of alcohol.

Tokyo Bay

Tokyo Bay (東京湾, Tōkyō-wan) is a bay located in the southern Kantō region of Japan, and spans the coasts of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Bay is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Uraga Channel. Its old name was Edo Bay (江戸湾, Edo-wan). The Tokyo Bay region is both the most populous and largest industrialized area in Japan.

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