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Etymology There are numerous theories about this. Japanese: The theories restricted to Japanese origins all revolve around the ideas of some larger geographic area that was split into "upper" (-kami or -gami) and "lower" (-shimo) halves. The main theories listed at the JA Wikipedia article on 武蔵国 (Musashi no Kuni) and at the Nihon Jiten page here ...


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Why did they choose exactly these kanji characters for spelling these countries' names? It's hard to tell exactly why, because these are mixture of various transliterations done by Japanese and Chinese (of course different between Mandarin or Cantonese or other dialects) speakers that happened to hear the sound for the first time. For example, there ...


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General phonetic "rules" For a lot of words that are now written using Katakana, there was a tiny amount of logic to it. 亜 transcribed ア virtually exclusively, 伊 is a very common kanji for transcribing イ, 加 for カ, 利 for リ, and generally the kanji from which Katakana come is a good rule, though far from perfect (as noted with ア, and in タ which is usually ...



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