[KS] Hiraishi Ujindo/Ujihito in An Junggeun trial

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Mon Jun 20 19:22:56 EDT 2016

Hello Jim, and All:

> Hiraishi Ujindo 平石氏人 (1864-?)
> Despite the seeming accuracy of the who's who text entry (attached), 
> I believe Hiraishi's given name should be read Ujihito--not Ujindo.

And you did check that in O'Neill's _Japanese Names_ dictionary?
(My copy is still in storage, accidentally so ... wrong box.)

I think he could pretty much decide himself how that reading should be. 
The _Who's Who in Japan_ consistently transcribes his name as "Hiraishi 
Ujindo" in several editions from 1906 to 1915. (The last reference to 
him that I found by the way, in another publication, was from 1921 -- 
seems he was still alive then.)
Various _Japan Year Book_ editions also list him exactly this way.
I can only find NEW publications that "misread" (disrespect, probably 
unwillingly so) his given name's reading as "Ujihito" -- e.g. an 
article in Berkeley's _Cross-Currents_ and in one German language 

I know nothing about Japanese name rules ... but, but, but Hirashi, as 
these short biographic entries suggest, is from a Samurai family -- and 
he is born at the beginning of the Meiji period, when personal names 
were just introduced, more or less. So, his given name may not even go 
by the exact same rules as those of commoners. And so I can imagine 
that the "氏" silently stands there with honorific meaning without 
being read -- as that is what Hiraishi may have decided; so, only the 
人 is read, so that ACTUALLY it would be better understood as "平石氏" 
+ "人" -- for a Samurai that SEEMS to make sense to me.

Am I totally off here?


Frank Hoffmann

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