横書きの成立--日本語表記のエポック [in Japanese] Introduction of Horizontal Writing : An Epoch in Japanese Writing System [in Japanese]
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Japanese has a unique writing system, which allows you to write horizontally as well as vertically. It was not until late Edo Period or Early Meiji Period (around 1860 -1870) that horizontal writing was introduced. Before then there was only vertical writing. This paper examines the reasons why the horizontal writing was possible to occur in these periods. The reasons are: 1. When a language with a different direction of writing contacts another, it is not unusual that they influence each other and produce variants. 2. However, it is not easy for a variant to settle in an already existing language. In order for it to settle down, there should be some conditions in which the new variant would be socially accepted in the speech community. 3. Horizontal writing may have been accepted as part of the extensive Westernization that was carried out in those periods. This would be a reason why the innovation in the direction of Japanese writing occurred in the middle of the 19th century.
- Annals of the Institute for Comparative Studies of Culture,Tokyo Woman's Christian University
Annals of the Institute for Comparative Studies of Culture,Tokyo Woman's Christian University 64, 23-40, 2003
Tokyo Woman's Christian University