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A Handbook of Place Names in Japan: Their History and Significance
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A Handbook of Place Names in Japan: Their History and Significance

ISBN ISBN 978-1-912961-23-8

John C Maher

This is a comprehensive guide to place-names in Japan. It lists the names in English and Japanese, their literal translation in English, as
well as the folk-etymologies of all Japan’s cities and many towns. It is the first detailed description of place-names in Japan in any world language other than Japanese. Approximately 5000 place-names are arranged alphabetically covering historic and tourist-site towns, and important rivers and mountains. Entries are arranged alphabetically by prefecture following the 47 prefectures todōfuken 都道府県.

Place- names are icons of local and national identity and are also signs of cultural traditions and popular beliefs – part of everyday life and conversation, politics, food names, jokes, proverbs and song. Importantly, too, they reflect the history of Japan from the beginning of the modern period.