The Kadokawa Great Dictionary of Japanese Place Names (51 volumes) is outstanding in the history of Japanese dictionaries and the remarkable achievement of a huge editorial committee consisting of researchers in place names, geography and history, as well as local historians from all parts of Japan. The digital edition of this great dictionary, the largest of its kind in Japan, a compilation of place names from all 47 Japanese prefectures, is now available. This is an exhaustive dictionary of ancient to modern place names organized according to prefecture by surveys of and with reference to all kinds of place-name geographical source materials. This dictionary clarifies the origin and transformation of place names as well as the history of the area.
Including not only historical administrative place names throughout successive historical periods, the dictionary also contains a wealth of names of geographical features, such as mountains, hills, rivers, lakes and marshes, roads, highways, railways. Using the "serial entries (for a list of place names for a place from ancient times to the present day)" it is possible to display a list of place names from the current to the ancient ones.

The JK edition includes the roughly 260,000 place-name entries from all volumes, based on the DVD-ROM containing data on the great Heisei era municipal mergers of cities, towns and villages. The place names covering extensive regions, which exceed the prefectural boundaries in the book version, are shown in each of the prefectural volumes.
While it is naturally possible to conduct entry and full-text searches of this vast amount of data by individual searches, it is also possible to narrow down searches by prefecture, historical period and former country name. Furthermore, we recommend the bookshelf, which can be browsed by each city, ward, town and village, if the user wishes to enjoy a careful inquiry into the transformation of the place names of a region.

This comprehensive place-name dictionary of unprecedentedly ambitious scale and content is a work that transmits Japan’s ethnic inheritance to future generations.

Contents information

Original books 『角川日本地名大辞典』地名編
『新版 角川日本地名大辞典 DVD-ROM版』
Publisher KADOKAWA
Publication date Hardback edition: October 27,1978 - December 8, 1990
DVD-ROM edition: October 25, 2011
Number of volumes Hardback edition: 51 volumes (49 volumes are available on JapanKnowledge)
Book price Hardback edition: Base price ¥829,391 + tax
DVD-ROM edition: Base price ¥280,000 + tax
Release date of JK April 1, 2018
Number of entries 564,000 entries (Overall entries 262,000 / Serial entries 302,000)
Number of characters 113,400,000 characters
About search Advanced Search and Book Shelves features available
Frequency of update
(as of April 2018)
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