八紘一宇

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
Grade: 1 Jinmeiyō Grade: 1 Grade: 6

Etymology[edit]

八紘 (hakkō, eight corners) + 一宇 (ichiu, one roof) “the eight corners of the earth [united] under a single roof”

The concept originates from a passage in the Nihon Shoki (720): 兼六合以開都、 掩八紘一而為宇, in which Emperor Jimmu declares Kashihara to be the capital of the lands. Originally limited to context of Japan as a whole, but in 1903 Tanaka Chigaku first used it in reference to world unification. Widely used around 1937 during the Sino-Japanese War, the phrase was later included in the July 26, 1940 national policy known as Kihon Kokusaku Yōkō (基本国策要綱) during the Fumimaro Konoe administration.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

八紘一宇 (hiragana はっこういちう, romaji hakkō ichiu)

  1. unifying and controlling the whole of world as a single house
  2. during World War II, used as a nationalistic slogan to rationalize oversea expansion