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Japanese Names


A distinct Japanese language has been known to exist from at least the 5th century AD although its eastern roots can be traced back far beyond the common era. The older Mandarin Chinese has considerably influenced the language, particularly in the use of Kanji, which was adopted by the Japanese about 1500 years ago. Japanese, however, is probably most directly related to the Korean.

Japanese is written in a triple system that allows names replete with meaning and imagery: Kanji, are characters that express chief meaningful words or ideas, Hirangana are used to represent the items which have a grammatical function, and Katakana represent or transcribe foreign words.


This page was last modified on 16 May 2003.

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