East Asian

East Asian nations

Dōngyáng (東洋) and Dōngyíng (東瀛) – both literally, “Eastern Ocean” – are Chinese terms sometimes used to refer to Japan exotically when contrasting it with other countries or regions in eastern Eurasia; however, these same terms may also be used to refer to all of East Asia when contrasting “the East” with “the West”. The first term, Dōngyáng, has been considered to be a pejorative term when used to mean “Japan”, while the second, Dōngyíng, has remained a positive poetic name. They can be contrasted with Nányáng (Southern Ocean), which refers to Southeast Asia, and Xīyáng (Western Ocean), which refers to the Western world. In Japanese and Korean, the Chinese word for “Eastern Ocean” (pronounced as tōyō in Japanese and as dongyang (동양) in Korean) is used only to refer to the Orient (including both East Asia and Southeast Asia) in general, and it is not used in the more specific Chinese sense of “Japan”.

In China, Japan is called Rìběn, which is the Mandarin pronunciation for the hanzi 日本. The Cantonese pronunciation is [jɐt˨ pun˧˥], the Shanghainese (a dialect of Wu Chinese) pronunciation is Zeppen [zəʔpən], and the Min Nan (Hokkien) pronunciation is Ji̍t-pún. This has influenced the Thai name for Japan, Yipun (ญี่ปุ่น). Hong Kong, as English is also spoken there, uses the word “Japan” when speaking English, but in Chinese, the Cantonese name is used. In Korean, Japan is called Ilbon (일본/日本), which is the Korean pronunciation of the Sino-Korean name, and in Sino-Vietnamese, Japan is called Nhật Bản (also rendered as Nhựt Bổn). In Malay it is called Jepun, and in Indonesian Jepang, during Japanese occupation in Indonesia (1942—1945) the Japanese introduced Nippon or Dai Nippon into Indonesian language, however Jepang is more common.

Ue-kok (倭國) is recorded for older Hokkien speakers.  In the past, Korea also used 倭國, pronounced Waeguk (왜국).