From: Ben Monroe (email@example.com)
Date: Mon May 19 2003 - 06:52:08 EDT
Andrew C. West wrote:
> Zhina is the pinyin representation of the characters U+652F
> ZHI and U+90A3 NA which in days gone by the Japanese used to
> call China (as an ideographc representation of the English
> word China). This Japanese appellation for China is
> considered highly insulting by the Chinese, and I am sure
> that the Chinese government would never have advocated its
> use internationally.
Modern usage is generally derogatory, but the term does not seem to be Japanese in origin. Nor does it seem to be "the Japanese ideographic representation of the English word China". Several J-J dictionaries at hand indicate that U+652F U+90A3 (支那) first appears in Indian literature and is generally thought to be a transliteration from U+79E6 (秦), or Qin (http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=79e6 ).
One online reference (in Japanese) is from Daijirin: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/search.php?MT=%BB%D9%C6%E1&kind=jn&mode=0
["An expression used by foreigners to refer to China. Thought to come from 秦 (J: shin) [U+79E6]. The transliteration for the term used in India found in China for Chinese translations of Buddhist scriptures. Used in Japan from the middle of the Edo period to the end of World War II."]
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