The power of language has come to hold the central position in our conception of human mentality. Today, the man in the street has realised with astonishment how easy it is to be deceived and misled by words. The ‘magical’ power of the word has caught the attention of those who explore the nature of the human mind and the structure of human knowledge. This work by the late Japanese scholar, first published in 1956, tackles this complex and difficult subject. He studies the worldwide belief in the magical power of language, and examines its influence on man’s thought and action.