Top Japanese Dictionary Includes the Term ‘LGBT’, Carelessly Misdefines It

Asahi Shimbun Digital 2018/1/15

It has been discovered that the Kōjien Dictionary, the latest edition of which became available for sale on January 12th of this year after its once-a-decade revision, contains an error in its entry for the term LGBT. Publisher Iwanami Shoten is investigating the online claims and is considering a revision. 

The definition was written as “individuals whose sexual orientation differs from the majority.”

Netizens pointed out that the definition only describes the ‘LGB’ portion of the acronym which refers to sexual orientation, as the ‘T’ refers to sexual identity.

The Iwanami Shoten Editorial Department stated that in response to information gathered by Asahi Shimbun, it is “looking into revising the definition.”

Last January, Kanazawa University Associate Professor of Gender Studies Iwamoto Takeyoshi and his team found over ten troubling entries in the dictionary, including one defining ‘love’ as “a feeling of yearning between a man and woman,” implying that love is limited as only being between heterosexual individuals. In the 7th Edition, the definitions for the terms for ‘love’ (ai, koi), placed “between a man and woman” in parentheses.

The Kōjien Dictionary once defined homosexuality as “a type of sexual abnormality.” According to Nagayasu Shibun, a member of the Japan Association for the Lesbian & Gay Movement (also known as Occur), the group petitioned for the revision of this entry in May of 1991, and the passage was removed from the 4th Edition of the dictionary, released in November later the same year.

Endou Mameta, a transgender individual who identified the error in the definition of LGBT stated, “The definitions contained in the Kōjien Dictionary hold authority and are often used for reference, so I hope that they revise it as soon as possible. This incident reflects the fact that while the usage of the term LGBT has spread, it’s still not well understood.”

Source – 新広辞苑、「LGBT」の説明に誤り 岩波、修正を検討

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