明治検定期読本における平仮名字体

要旨

一八八六年、文部省は尋常小学校読書科の教科書(読本)における平仮名字体の導入段階を整理し、ふたつの段階を設け、見本となる読本も刊行を始めた。まず、いろは歌手本に用いられる平仮名を学び、ついでそのほかの平仮名字体を導入したのである。民間出版者の読本も数年内にこの順序に従った。従来注意されてこなかったこの方針は、八六年前後の読本の平仮名字体の観察からあきらかになった。文部省著作教科書にまず現れたこの方針に、すべての民間出版者が自発的に従ったわけでないことは、八六年以降もこの順序どおりでない読本があること、そのなかに検定で不適と指摘されたもののあることから分る。これらの検定意見が採用されなかったことは、この方針が全面的に受け入れられるまでに数年を要したことを説明する。根拠となる法の欠如と消極的な検定により強制しがたかったのである。この方針の確立は一九〇〇年の平仮名字体統一の先蹤と位置附けられる。

キーワード: 国語教科書、いろは仮名、異体仮名、国語国字政策

Abstract

1886 saw the Ministry of Education introduce a novel policy for elementary school reading books, in order to give a more sophisticated introduction to the hiragana graphemes. This was to divide the introduction into two stages: first, irohagana, a hiragana grapheme set particular to the Iroha-uta copybook, was to be learnt, and other graphemes would be introduced later. Within a few years, reading books produced by private sectors came to follow the same order. This previously unnoticed policy became clear through a closer inspection of the hiragana graphemes in reading books around that year. The two-stage introduction first appeared in ministry’s reference reading books, Introduction to Reading and Writing (1 vol., 1886, Yomikaki Nyūmon) and Reading Books for Ordinary Elementary School (7 vols., 1887, Jinjō Shōgaku Tokuhon). It is clear that not all private sectors spontaneously enacted the phased introduction, as shown by the fact that even after 1886, some reading books contained no stages and consequently some received adverse comments in an authorisation review, which took effect in 1886. The fact that these comments were never reflected in updates to the textbooks shows why it took some years before the policy was fully adopted: the lack of support for substantive enactments and the passive direction of the authorisation reviews made it difficult to enforce. Ultimately, however, the success of the policy lead to the 1900 hiragana grapheme reformation, making it the beginning of a fourteen year-long process of standardising the hiragana graphemes.

Keywords: Irohagana, Itaigana, Language and Script Policy, National Language Textbooks

This article is written in Japanese.

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