The text offers a new German translation of Kūkai’s famous text Shōjijissōgi, An Interpretation of the terms ‘voice’, ‘sign’ and ‘real marks’. The translators make ample use of earlier translations of the text into English and German, but put more emphasis on the historical context of Kūkai’s early work. The Shōjijissōgi is often praised as an original contribution to the Buddhist discourse about language. Most modern commentators neglect, however, that Kūkai wrote his text as a response to the dominance of the Hossō School in Kūkai’s times and thus refers to this school in many different ways. These direct and indirect references are discussed in the footnotes of this new translation, but the new approach to the text’s historical background also influenced the translation of the text’s technical vocabulary. This new translation, therefore, opens up new perspectives on an important text of Japan’s intellectual history and on the history of the Buddhist discourse on language.