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Also, how does 発刊 fit into all of this?

Is it that 発行 can be used for magazines, newspapers and books while 刊行 can't be used for newspapers?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are also 出版, 印行. Their uses are as follows

  • 出版 is the process of printing, binding and distributing (does not include newspapers)
  • 発行 refers to the process of printing something of value (books, money, stamps, etc.) and distributing it
  • 刊行 is usually the process of publishing something at a fixed interval, e.g. daily (like newspapers), monthly (like magazines), etc.
  • 発刊 is starting a new publication of something to be published frequently, e.g. 雑誌の発行 is the start of a new magazine (whereas 雑誌の出版 would be referring to the publication of a particular issue)
  • 印行 is a contraction of 印刷 and 発行, i.e. the process of printing and circulating

(This is a summary of the following sources: Yahoo 知恵袋, goo辞書)

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v impressive answer! – Tim Sep 29 '12 at 10:09
Thanks for the detailed answer! Just to clarify, though, in the sentence 「以降、毎月刊行中!」, can I substitute 「刊行」 with 「発刊」? Can 「発刊」 only be used for the first issue (such as in 「集英社、「○○」という新雑誌を発刊!」) or can we use the word the way I did to mean "published every month"? – Chiro-kun Sep 29 '12 at 14:10
@Chiro-kun 発刊 cannot be used for "published every month". It means starting a new publication (series). 刊行 is the best candidate for the concept of publishing every month/day/year/whatever... – Earthliŋ Sep 30 '12 at 17:53

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