List of «official» Japanese simplified kanji

My kanjigen tool has a button to convert shinjitai (“new character forms”) to their original (kyūjitai) forms. I added it because some Chinese dictionaries used by kanjigen don’t index Japanese shinjitai, & it would be too much of a bother to convert elsewhere.

When going about writing it I decided to restrict myself to “official” or “standard” shinjitai, for… no good reason, really. It’s just something I wanted to do. It was surprisingly difficult to find a reliable source for that information! Matt suggested that I should just use the Jōyō Kanji Table PDF published by the Japanese government, so I did. PDFs are hard to parse and it was really mendokusai, but I extracted the relevant information and made this machine-readable list of official shinjitai-to-kyūjitai mappings.

I thought such information could perhaps be relevant for Unicode, so I sent it to Unihan people and they said it will be included in a later version. Yay!

Of course, there’s the possibility I made some mistake, and you shouldn’t trust my list as much as you’d trust the official document. I double-checked it as well as I could, but triple-checking is always welcome. For reference, here’s how the list was generated:

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John Timothy Wixted on being an Orientalist

At first glance, Wixted’s Reverse Orientalism feels dated; his counter-arguments to Said’s critique of Orientalism by now sounds like uninteresting truisms (e.g. that Asian countries have themselves resorted to orientalist rhetoric, or that they deliberately helped build their own Orientalist images when convenient, or that they constructed Occidentalist images of the U.S. &c.). But reading further I came upon what I find to be fascinating personal (and sour) testimony on what was like to be 20c orientalist. Wixted can paint with a broad brush, so I’m kind of reluctant about quoting him at length; but I have to confess these experiences feel too familiar.

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Comparative kanji etymology tool

As a followup to the previous post, I’ve created a simple tool to check several Chinese character etymology sites simultaneously. Just input a kanji/hànzì and click the search button (or press Enter).

It’s pretty basic right now; hopefully I’ll add more options in the future, but it works, so I figured I’d share.

Opera users might need to disable popup blocking. Internet Explorer might not work at all.