CIA documents from the 1940s, such as this declassified biography of Kim Il Sung, annotate the Chinese characters used in Korean names with numeric "Ueda" codes, like this:

enter image description here

Kim Sung-ju is 金成柱 and Kim Il Sung is 金日成, so we can infer that 12380 = 金. But who/what is "Ueda", and where can I find the full list of these character codes?

Disclaimer: Korean is obviously not Japanese, but Korea was under Japanese rule at the time and "Ueda" is almost certainly Japanese. My working hypothesis is that this is some sort of Daijiten-style reference to characters used across China, Japan and Korea.

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    They could be numbers assigned to Chinese characters in Ueda Daijiten.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 4:23
  • 6
    本当だ… dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/950499/1172
    – naruto
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 4:36
  • 3
    @aguijonazo Looks like you've found it! Please go ahead and post that as an answer. Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 4:41
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    @aguijonazo コメントで済ますと未回答扱いになるため、ずっと未回答キューに残ったり、数ヶ月後に質問が機械的に浮上してきたり、回答率が低いサイトと統計上扱われてサイトの存続が不利になったりしますので、短くても回答にして頂けると助かります。しばらく待って未回答の場合は、こちらでCommunity Wikiで回答を作らせてください。
    – naruto
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


@aguijonazo found the source, and @naruto contributed by finding the exact page hosted on the National Diet Library Digital Collections. (If the page doesn't work for you, try a different web browser). It's been a year, so I'm posting an answer as a community wiki. I hope either of the contributors posts their answer, then proper reputation can be made.

Anyway, these numbers are most likely from Ueda's Daijiten (WorldCat page, cinii), authored by 上田萬年 (Kazutoshi Ueda) and published by Harvard University Press in 1942. The book is apparently a translation from 大字典 published from 啓成社 in 1917 (it even has an entry in a dictionary!), which seems to be taken over by 講談社 in later years. The author/editor, 上田萬年 (wikipedia) seems to have had a significant impact at that time and also have studied abroad. The author and the dictionary itself being influential, it is no surprise if the U.S. government used it for internal purpose.

The numbers themselves are explained in the book as follows:

本書採録の文字には、其頭にアラビヤ数字を附し、之を以って検索に使ならしめたり。 (I have added Arabic numerals on top of the characters included in this dictionary, so that they can be utilised for lookup.)

and it seems to be sequential, the first character in the dictionary gets 1, 2nd 2, etc.

So , are numbered as such...

金 12380

  • 1
    – naruto
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 16:33
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    @naruto 未回答一覧にあるのを見つけて,当時パッと回答が出たのに結構びっくりしていたのを思い出して,その時の感動の勢いでまとめてしまいました.こちらこそいつもありがとうございます
    – Yosh
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 16:43

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