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4970Re: [SCA-JML] before kanji?

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  • Anthony J. Bryant
    Jun 17, 2001
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      Gara of Lions Gate wrote:

      > I have a question for the scholars on this list! Did the inhabitants of the
      > Japanese islands have a writing system *before* they borrowed kanji from
      > China??
      >

      Nope, kanji were the roots of the first writing system in Japan.

      There were many neo-nationalist scholars in the Edo period who believed that
      there *had* been a native writing system, called jindai moji (literally:
      "characters from the age of gods" and usually translated as "divine script").
      It was supposed to have existed in the days when the kami were active (your
      Kojiki-days) and into the third and fourth centuries, and was supplanted by
      kanji... but it never existed.


      Effingham
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