References on Japanese writing

My references on Japanese writing

Decent dictionaries

Coming someday.

Books on idioms and current usage

  • みんなで国語辞典!―これも、日本語 北原保雄編修。大修館書店。 2006年
  • これだけは知っておきたい!大人の「国語力」 話題の達人倶楽部 編。青春出版社。 2007年
  • 大人の「国語力」が面白いほど身につく! 話題の達人倶楽部 編。青春出版社。 2006年
  • オトナ語の謎 糸井重里監修。ほぼ日刊イトイ新聞。 2003年

Books on dead words/dated words

Coming someday


  • 何でもわかる 言葉の知識百科 三省堂編修所編、三省堂、1995 (my edition, anyway) ISBN4-385-15066-4, 832pp, about ¥3,000. Don’t be fooled by the "何でもわかる" part of the title: it’s a very solid book.
  • 日本語の作文技術 本多勝一著、朝日文庫, ori. ed. 1982, must be in its upmteenth printing by now as it’s considered a classic. ISBN4-02-260808-0, ca. 330pp, about ¥500)
  • 実戦・日本語の作文技術 本多勝一著、朝日文庫, 1994. A sequel that elaborates even further. ISBN4-02-261053-0, 302pp, ¥560)
  • 仕事文の書き方 高橋昭男著、岩波新書 新赤版517, 1997. ISBN4-00-430517-9 C0295, 218pp, ¥630. The author’s a techincal writer with over 30 years’ experience in teaching and in the field.
  • 理科系の作文技術 木下是雄著、中公新書624, 1981初版 (mine’s dated 1991 and is listed as the 30th printing). ISBN4-12-100624-0 C1240, 244pp, ¥580.

These ought to be good for starters. Let me know if you’d like to see a more complete list, though I can only offer what I have on-hand.

Books for teachers and learners of Japanese

If you’re teaching Japanese, books by 森田良行 Morita Yoshiyuki might be of interest to your students. His works are descriptive of current usage:

  • 日本語の類意表現-Which is which? How to Express Yourself in Japanese (創拓社 1988, ISBN4-87138-064-5 C0081, 467pp + a good index)
  • 基礎日本語辞典 ( 角川書店 1989, ISBN4-04-022100-1 C0581, 1262pp, about ¥5,000)
  • 日本人の発想、日本語の表現-「私」の立場がことばを決める (中公 新書1416, 1998, ISBN4-12-101416-2 C1281, 241pp, ¥700)
  • 日本語を みがく—思いをうまく伝えるために (PHP研究所 1998, ISBN4-569-60347-5 C0081, 267pp, ¥1286).

Go to Amazon and plug his name into the search engine to see which of his titles are currently available.

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