Let me be more specific. Why is the Japanese word translated as 'prefect' and not 'sheriff' or 'administrator' or 'governor'? I can understand why France has prefects, but why does Japan, with no historical connection to the Roman Empire, have prefects? Who decided to translate this word to 'prefect' and when did they do it?
That is a very interesting question, neveu. It just so happens that there is a Japanese man at my conference who seems to be very knowledgeable about both our cultures. I will ask him if he knows or if he at least knows where I can find out.
Why is the Japanese word translated as 'prefect' and not 'sheriff' or 'administrator' or 'governor'?
The Japanese word is KEN, Unicode glyph 0x770C, only has the translation prefecture or district in of Kenkyusha's. It seems in keeping with other Latinate translations, e.g., Imperial Diet for parliament. I couldn't find the corrsponding character in my Chinese dictionary, but it is pronounced xiàn.
I looked up Diet and from the MW dictionary definition it sounds like it was Holy Roman Empire term rather than a classical Roman term. Is that correct?
Did the imperial terms for Japanese entities (Emperor as opposed to King, Diet as opposed to legislature or parliament, prefecture as opposed to province) come into use after Japan actually began expanding into Asia in the 20th century, or were they used when the Empire of Japan consisted of nothing but Japan?
Well, the Diet came into existence recently, but the term translated as emperor was used a long time ago. It's a question of who first translated these terms into English, I suppose. Though diet was a HRI thing, the word comes from (Medieval) Latin.This message has been edited. Last edited by: jheem,
Is the Japanese character for Emperor the same as the Chinese character for Emperor?
Yes, the two kanji for emperor, tenno, are the same same the two Chinese characters pronounced tianhuáng, which is the Chinese word for the Emperor of Japan. Both mean literally 'heavenly monarch'. The usual Chinese word for emperor is huángdì, literally 'monarch emperor'. The two characters are Unicode are 0x5929 and 0x7687.