Compact Monier Williams

John Dunne jdunne at
Fri Jul 21 21:08:42 UTC 1995

As has been mentioned, Jim Hartzell probably seeks the compact edition
produced by Meicho Fukyu Kai, a publishing house located in Tokyo. A few
years ago, I visited a friend in Japan to whom I mentioned my need for the
compact Monier.  I too was unsuccessful in locating an address, for the
dictionary itself lists only the publisher's name. My friend, the head
priest of a Jyoodoshyuu temple, had spent much of his youth as a delivery
boy in Tokyo, and he assured me that we should be able to locate the
publisher without much effort. 

In fact, our efforts took most of the afternoon. Not only did we encounter
much difficulty in obtaining the address, but as with many addresses in
Tokyo, it specified only a vague region and house number. My friend,
referring again to his frantic days as a delivery boy, explained that
only delivery boys and taxi drivers can reliably locate addresses in

Well, we hopped into his car and proceeded to spend the next three hours 
searching for the publisher, only to discover that their official address 
was the home of a private person who seemed confused both by the notion 
that he was a publisher and our strange references to `sansukuritto.'

At last, my friend's deliver-boy genius bloomed forth, and through a
series of machinations which I cannot hope to describe, he managed to
locate the publisher. Once again, we appeared to be in a private
residence, but this time our appeals were answered with polite smiles and
cups of tea. Finally, after they indicated that they were not exactly sure
where the books were being kept, they eventually produced a copy and
explained, "We don't sell very many of these." 

I wonder why.

Unfortunately, I can no longer find the address of Meicho Fukyu Kai (if I
ever had it). Even if you were to obtain it, Jim, I am not sure how
successful you would be in obtaining a copy. As I recall, Michael Witzel
had some trouble when he attempted to obtain this dictionary for some of
his students (it is probably the most convenient dictionary for work on
older Sanskrit materials). I believe that he managed in the end to get
some copies from the publisher a few years ago. He might be able to help
you with your query. 

In any case, Rinsen's compact Apte might serve your purposes equally well.
As a resource for classical Sanskrit, Apte certainly equals
Monier-Williams, and if you are reading philosophical Sanskrit, Apte is
probably preferable. For the beginning student of classical (not vedic)
Sanskrit, Monier-william's only significant advantage is that it lists
derivative words separately. But for a scholar familiar with the
derivation of these forms, Apte is more than adequate. 

If, however, you are working in Vedic or upani.sadic materials, 
Monier-Williams is more useful. 

You are probably already aware of the difference between the 
dictionaries, Jim, but I just wanted to reiterate them in case you had 
not considered the usefulness of the compact Apte. I have found it to be 
convenient and reasonably complete.

The protective box in which Monier-Williams sits (mostly unused) on my
shelf lists a price of 15,000 yen. The back of the dictionary lists
numerous other works offered by the publisher (but no address!!). As has
been mentioned, one of their publications is a compact B"ohtlingk-Roth. 
The price?  A whopping 144,000 yen!!! 

Good luck!

John Dunne
Study of Religion
Harvard University


Original-Received:  by 
PP-warning: Illegal Received field on preceding line
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 16:17:50 -0500
From: edeltraud harzer clear <eclear at>
To: indology at
Subject: Re: compact edition of Monier-Williams
Message-ID: <"">

Dominik, I do not have a straightforward answer. I have
a copy of the Japanese compact edition in front of me.
On the reverse of the title page it says: 
Reprinted photographically in Japan by Akatsuki Art 
Printing Co., Ltd. Published by Oxford University Press,
Tokyo. Distributed in Japan by Meicho Fukyu Kyokai K.K.
I do have a catalogue, but this time it is in my Uni.
office. And did I get my copy? I was lucky enough
that somebody bought it for me while that person was
in Japan. I will be gone for five weeks to England,etc.
I try to get the info before I leave tomorrow, but I am
not sure whether I can do it. Some of our Japanese
colleagues may come to rescue. Cheers, Edeltraud.

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