Concept

Shina (word)

Summary
is a largely archaic Japanese name for China. The word was originally used neutrally in both the Chinese and Japanese languages, but came to be perceived as derogatory by the Chinese during the course of the Sino-Japanese Wars. As a result, it fell into disuse following World War II and is now viewed as offensive, with the standard Japanese name for China being replaced by Chūgoku. Names of China#Names in non-Chinese records and Chinas The Sanskrit word Cina (चीन tɕiːnɐ), meaning China, was transcribed into various forms including (Zhīnà), 那 (Zhīnà), 那 (Zhīnà) and 那 (Zhìnà). Thus, the term Shina was initially created as a transliteration of Cina, and this term was in turn brought to Japan with the spread of Chinese Buddhism. Some scholars believe that the Sanskrit Cina, like Middle Persian Čīn and Latin Sina, is derived from the Qin state or dynasty (, Old Chinese: *dzin) which ruled China in 221–206 BC, and so Shina is a return of Qin to Chinese in a different form. The Sanskrit term for China eventually spread into China, where its usage was closely related to Buddhism. A Tang Dynasty (618–907) poem titled Ti Fan Shu (題梵書, literally "topic of a Sanskrit book") by Emperor Xuanzong of Tang uses the term in Chinese Zhīnà (支那) to refer to China, which is an early use of the word in China: The Latin term for China was Sinae, plural of Sina. When Arai Hakuseki, a Japanese scholar, interrogated the Italian missionary Giovanni Battista Sidotti in 1708, he noticed that "Sinae", the Latin plural word Sidotti used to refer to China, was similar to Shina, the Japanese pronunciation of 支那. Then he began to use this word for China regardless of dynasty. Since the Meiji Era, Shina had been widely used as the translation of the Western term "China". For instance, "Sinology" was translated as "Shinagaku" (支那學). At first, it was widely accepted that the term "Shina" or "Zhina" had no political connotations in China. Before the Chinese Republican era, the term "Shina" was one of the names proposed as a "generalized, basically neutral Western-influenced equivalent for 'China.
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