Dictionary fancy, expensive

Artsy publishers Pie Books* have released a new dictionary called 『ぎおんご ぎたいご じしょ』, Giongo Gitaigo Jisho or "Dictionary of Onomatopoeia and Other Mimetic Words". There are a few J-J and J-E dictionaries on that topic in (and out of) print, but this is the most extravagantly illustrated one I've ever seen. Check out the thumbnail of a two-page spread at Pie's site, and note how one page is entirely taken up with whimsical graphics. It's all like that.

It's an interesting idea, and onomatopoeia is certainly an area that can benefit from non-verbal illustration too. Plus, according to the publisher, just looking at the book makes you happy. But 3,000 yen is a bit much for me, especially since I have a fairly good handle on giongo and gitaigo already. I guess I'm doomed to sadness. Shobooon.

Note that on the cover, JISHO is written with an extra ゛-- this is a cute nod to the hiragana for JI, じ.

(Tangentially related: South Korean mimesis at kimchi & me.)

* "Pie" is pronounced "Pi-e", two syllables, not "pie" as in the delicious pastry-and-filling foodstuff. They probably get mistaken for cookbook publishers all the time, though.

Popularity factor: 2


The Japan Times publishes one called the Nihongo gitaigo-jiten. There is one cartoon for each example...they are all pretty funny, especially the massively fat giraffe drawn as the example for buku-buku.

A couple complaints: 1) no pagination even though the index lists the examples by page number, and 2) no example sentences, only straight up definitions.

Definitely interested in checking this one out. My return-to-Japan reading list keeps growing thanks to your site.



Ohh, I think I know that series. All the cartoons have that androgynous spikey-haired character in them, right?

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