The following comments from Bathrobe in this thread are so interesting I thought they deserved greater prominence:
But in fact there are also cases where the Chinese have borrowed purely Japanese words into Chinese. The mechanism of borrowing is fairly simple: the Japanese write many native Japanese words with Chinese characters; the Chinese feel free to adopt them into Chinese precisely because they are written in characters. Well-known examples are 手続き te-tsuzuki ‘procedures, formalities’, borrowed as 手续 shǒuxù, and 取り消す tori-kesu ‘cancel’, borrowed as 取消 qǔxiāo. In looking at bird names, I’ve also discovered that quite a few Japanese bird names have been borrowed into Chinese, again based on kanji usage — including cases where the Japanese applied existing characters to different birds from the original Chinese, or where they created new characters that didn’t originally exist in Chinese. All of these have been taken into Chinese as though they were Chinese words.
One example that mystified me for a long time was 鶯 yīng. In Chinese this traditionally refers to the oriole or 黃鶯 huáng-yīng. But modern Chinese dictionaries give as a second meaning ‘member of the Sylviidae’ (i.e., the warblers). The extension of the word for ‘oriole’ to the warblers makes a certain kind of sense, but is still mystifying — until you look at the Japanese.
What seems to have happened is that the Japanese took the character 鶯 and applied it to their own cultural equivalent of the oriole, namely the uguisu (scientifically known as the Cettia diphone), a bird celebrated in Japanese poetry for its beautiful song. Thus, the word uguisu came to be written with the character 鴬 in Japanese. The uguisu eventually gave its name to the whole family of Sylviidae, 鴬科. Under Japanese influence, Chinese ornithologists then appear to have applied the character 鶯/莺 to the Sylviidae and thus to the many species of warbler. Since 鶯/莺 is an old Chinese character, this kind of influence from Japanese goes right under the radar of most Chinese.
I had known about words like denwa ‘telephone’ made from Chinese components that were borrowed as wholes into Chinese, but this was completely new to me and is an excellent example of the less obvious influences of the Sinitic writing system on linguistic development.