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Notes on some former Kashihonya books in the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009

Extract

Most collections of Japanese wood-block printed books contain some items that were once in the possession of the circulating libraries known as kashihonya and the library of the School is no exception. Kashihonya were certainly in existence by the Genroku period (1688–1704), for the collection Haikai sugatanazo, which was published in 1703, includes the verse, Karihon no kakidashi ga kuru toshizakai ‘The year's end—when the bills come in for books borrowed’. Thenceforward they thrived on the growing literate population and in the Tokugawa period they reached their peak during the first half of the nineteenth century. It is from this time that almost all the former kashihonya books in the School date. The books contain the usual range of seals and admonitory labels attesting to their use by kashihonya, but I list only those with sufficient information to be of interest.

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Copyright
Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies 1980

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References

2 Quoted in Chiyoji, Nagatomo, ‘Kashihonya no yakuwari’, in Tsutomu, Ogata, Osamu, Matsuda, Yukio, Hattori and Ai, Maeda (ed.), Kinsei no bungaku, Tokyo, 19761977, II, 137Google Scholar.

3 I refer to the number of the item in Chibbett, D. G., Hickman, B. F., and Matsudaira, S., A descriptive catalogue of the pre-1868 Japanese books, manuscripts, and prints in the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Bibliographies, London Oriental, vol. IV, London, 1975Google Scholar. I give characters and, where available, publication details only in the few cases of works not mentioned in the Catalogue.

4 The compilers of the Catalogue read the author's name as Koeda Shigeru and this seems to be the reading adopted by Kuniharu, Yokoyama in his Yomihon no ketikyū, Tokyo, 1974Google Scholar; more recently, however, the compilers of Kokusho sōmokuroku choshabetsu sakuin, Tokyo, 1975, have opted for Saeda (p. 367) and I have followed this readingGoogle Scholar.

5 For general accounts of Daisō, see ‘Kashihonya Daisō no kenkyū’, in Chokutarō, Andō, Kyōdo bunka ronshū, Nagoya, 1973, 361Google Scholar, and Haruhiko, Asakura, Kashihonya Daisō (Kotsūmamehon, 32, Tokyo, 1977)Google Scholar. Seals used by Daisō at various stages of its existence are illustrated in Asakura, pp. 64 f.

6 Several entries in Yōsai's zuihitsu diary Kankyō manpitsu demonstrate quite clearly that Daisō did sell books from time to time: Nagoya sōsho, 26 volumes (Nagoya, 19591965), XX, 176Google Scholar; XXI, 308; XXII, 24; etc.

7 A hostile letter had appeared in the Tōkyō nichinichi shinbun on 4 March 1876. See my ‘Kashihonya ni hantai suru hitotsu no koe—Meiji kashihonya shi no ichidanpen’, Kashihon bunka, 7, March 1979, 6 f.

8 See Chiyoji, Nagatomo, ‘Kinosaki onsen kashihonya no kenryō’, Ōsaka furitsu toshokan kiyō, 1, 1964, 220Google Scholar, and the addenda in Kashihon bunka, 3–4, October 1977, 27–9.

9 For kashihonya and yomihon and the circulation of books from one kashihonya to another, see Keisuke, Hamada, ‘Bakin ni okeru shoshi, sakusha, dokusha no mondai’, Kokugo kokubun, 22, IV, 1953, 2930Google Scholar.

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