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While I understand the meaning of 怪獸 - Monster, it does not seems to be a word used in ancient time. Moreover, it seems to be related to Japanese culture (kaij). Is this term originate from Japan?

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Although the current usage of 怪兽 is dominated by the Japanese 'kaiju' concept, the word is probably not a Japanese creation.

Sima Xiangru (司马相如) used it in one of his works, 封禅文 (2nd century BC):

然后囿驺虞之珍群,徼麋鹿之怪兽,䆃一茎六穗于庖,牺双觡共抵之兽,获周馀珍、放龟于岐,招翠黄、乘龙于沼。

The modern word 怪兽 was probably reintroduced into Chinese by Japanese filmmaking, as this word only shows up in Chinese after the late 1930s, which coincides with the emergence of the Japanese kaiju movies.

Google Ngram and Wikipedia:

enter image description here

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    thanks! Also do you mean the word is not seen until later 1930, which has a chance that it might have a chance it really comes from Japan kaiju movie? Jun 22 '15 at 21:31
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    Google Ngram is not comprehensive, of course. But try searching for something that has this word and is not related to movies, video games and other pop culture, and preferably predates the 1930s.
    – imrek
    Jun 22 '15 at 21:38
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    @MyLifeforAuir OK, actually, I take that back. There are some sources between the 2nd century BC and the 1930s, using this word (e.g. 镜花缘, 1827) In this case, the Japanese movies at least contributed to the popularity of the word, but this proves that the very word is not a loan word from Japanese, just as I pointed out in my answer.
    – imrek
    Jun 22 '15 at 21:43
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    very clear, that's indeed what I would like to confirm. Chinese language has been influenced by Japanese culture in nowadays, it is hard to tell sometimes if a word is a loan word from Japanese or not. Jun 22 '15 at 21:58

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