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Shin'yaku Kegonkyō Ongi Shiki

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The Shin'yaku Kegonkyō Ongi Shiki (新訳華厳経音義私記?) is a Japanese annotation of the Avatamsaka Sūtra. It is the oldest Japanese ongi, or collection of difficult to interpret words showing their pronunciation and meaning[1], and is a National Treasure of Japan[2].


The text is two fascicles in length[3][4]. The compiler is unknown but is presumed to have related to Tōdai-ji[2]. It is an annotation of the 80-volume Avatamsaka Sūtra. As the original was written in Chinese, the annotation contains a list of words and expressions from the original and glosses them with Japanese readings and meanings. The orthography of the Japanese suggests that it is a late Nara period text[3][4]. However, the manuscript contains a number of errors and is judged to be a copy of an earlier original[3][4]. There is only one known existing manuscript.


The text is viewed as a valuable reference for Old Japanese linguistics[3][4]. The Japanese annotations are written in Man'yōgana and, with the exception of /to1, to2/[3], distinguishes between Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai. It contains a total of 162 Japanese words, many of which are the oldest extant citations[3][4]. In addition, it also contains the oldest example of a long vowel[3] as well as a number of Japanese-specific readings (慣用音) to kanji[4].


  1. Kindaichi (1988:74)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yoshida (2001: 128)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Omodaka (1967: 880-881)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten (1985: 512-513)


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