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before kanji?

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  • Gara of Lions Gate
    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??
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 16 3:18 AM
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      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??

      If so, what was it, and is there anywhere online that I can read about that?

      Thanks!
      Gara
    • Barbara Nostrand
      Lady Gara! Greetings from Solveig! There is no known Japanese writing system before the introduction of kanji. Writing is actually a fairly rare ex-nillo
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 16 9:58 PM
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        Lady Gara!

        Greetings from Solveig! There is no known Japanese writing system
        before the introduction of kanji. Writing is actually a fairly
        rare ex-nillo invention. Once the concept of writing has been
        introduced, people are fairly proficient at inventing new writing
        systems.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar
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      • Anthony J. Bryant
        ... 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*
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 17 12:45 PM
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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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