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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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steepholm steepholm
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Japanese Diary 15
My Japanese teacher tells me that, back in the day, Japanese was written mostly in a combination of kanji and katakana, with hiragana being reserved to use by ladies. (Things like The Pillow Book would have been written in that script, I guess.) It's only in recent times - post WWII? - that hiragana has become the standard script to combine with kanji.

Which leads me to wonder - not for the first time - how it was that katakana became the holding pen for linguistic Gastarbeiter that it largely is today. Was this a habit that caught on, or a decree from on high?

Interesting. Do you have any ideas about the date of/reason for the association of katakana with loan words? I suppose it may be that this represents the rump of what was once a far more expansive katakana empire.

I don't -- I ought to, but don't.

---L.