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The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan

The State of the Discipline Andrew T. Kamei-Dyche

The notion that Japan is a “nation of readers” has long been supported by Japanese cultural critics and, unsurprisingly, publishing associations.1 Indeed, contemporary Japan represents a wonderland of books, where reading remains one of the most popular pastimes.2 Best sellers and works of scholarship alike are available in pocketbook (bunkobon) format for easy reading on the daily train commute. One of the largest retailers to enjoy enormous and consistent growth throughout Japan’s economic turmoil of the past two decades is Book Off, a big box chain of used bookstores.3 Yet this state of affairs represents in many respects an outgrowth of the publishing explosion and vibrant print culture of the early modern era, while printing itself dates back almost as far as the written language. All of this makes Japan fertile ground for the study of book history and print culture, by Japanese and non-Japanese scholars alike.

A Legacy of Books and Printing To trace the history of books one must first trace the history of writing, and in the case of Japan this is fundamentally bound up with the cultural and literary inheritance from early imperial China. The ancient Japanese remained without a written language until the arrival of written Chinese sometime before the fifth century a.d.4 Adapting Chinese logographs to the radically different grammar of ancient spoken Japanese necessitated the development of particular methods of reading and writing, producing kanbun, a way of writing Japanese completely in Chinese characters.5 The complexity of the system meant that substantial time was required to achieve literacy. By the end of the eighth century, two phonetic syllabaries called kana had been

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


developed from Chinese logographs, while the use of the logographs themselves (kanji) also continued. Tradition has associated the former with women and personal writings, and the latter with men and official records, or “public” writings, but this is a broad generalization. Educated court women knew Chinese characters; men produced works in kana; and works of literature continued to be produced in both. Subsequently, Japanese readers had two types of work accessible to them: works from China and the Korean kingdoms written in classical Chinese, and works produced in Japan written in either kanbun or kobun (classical Japanese, employing kana alone or in combination with Chinese characters).6 This state of affairs remained largely constant until the late nineteenth century, when kanbun ceased to be viable as European languages came to the forefront during Japan’s modernization, and the classical literary language (now called bungo) gradually gave way to the vernacular Japanese now considered the standard. Writing became immensely important to the early Japanese court for several reasons. First, the Chinese written language was accompanied by the canons of Chinese classics of philosophy, history, literature, and Buddhist teachings. Second, both the Chinese intellectual tradition generally and Confucianism and Buddhism in particular were heavily text-based, necessitating literacy. Third, Chinese learning and Buddhist teachings were introduced through the Korean peninsula not so much as intellectual treasures than as political tools that could be used to legitimate kingdoms, something that obviously appealed to the leaders of the fledgling Japanese state.7 Moreover, during the height of the Tang Dynasty (618–907), the Tang Codes and their attendant bureaucratic system were immensely influential across East Asia, and Japan was no exception. From the late Asuka (ca. 550–710) and Nara (710–794) periods, the economic-political system of ritsury¯o, the court culture, and the layout of the capital cities were all inspired by Chinese models. The cultural and political roles of Buddhist ideas and institutions, and the court’s orientation around Chinese politics and court culture, made literacy and familiarity with the classics essential for all elites. The earliest extant writings also date from this time, in the form of mokkan (thin wooden tablets),8 inscriptions on stone or metal artifacts, and the first manuscripts, which were copies of Buddhist sutras and commentaries thereon. As in the rest of East Asia, sutras were copied as a form of religious practice and to invoke spiritual protection for the state. The large scale of some copying projects, which were undertaken by government offices as well as the major Buddhist institutions, is likely the reason for the considerable number of texts that have survived.9 Literary or historical works, despite


Book History

their importance, were not the subject of major state-sponsored copying projects, and so their chances of survival were considerably less. This era, when Japan transitioned from a primarily oral society to a primarily literary one, saw the creation of pivotal early texts—such as the two major court-ordered chronicles, Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters, 712) and Nihon shoki (Chronicles of Japan, 720), and the first poetry anthologies, Kaif¯us¯o (Fond Recollections of Poetry; Chinese-style poetry, 751) and Man’y¯osh¯u (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves; Japanese-style poetry, ca. 759)—but the oldest complete surviving copies of these masterpieces date from centuries later.10 The standard form of manuscripts was the scroll (kansubon), consisting of a length of cloth or joined sheets of paper, the latter having been introduced sometime during the Asuka period. Scrolls were used for written manuscripts, for illustrations, and occasionally for printed works as well. They continued to be used until the Edo period (1603–1868), when they were gradually replaced by bound volumes (sasshibon). The Nara period also witnessed the earliest Japanese printing, likely introduced via the Korean peninsula, which represents some of the earliest printing in the world. At the command of Empress Sh¯otoku (reigned 764–770), a vast number of copies (according to the official chronicle of her reign, 1 million) of a dharani (Buddhist invocation) text were printed, with each put inside a miniature pagoda, and given to temples across the realm.11 While the form of printing that became dominant in later eras employed xylography, scholars have tended to assume that the dharani were printed with metal plates because the texts do not show much evidence of the deterioration that would be expected from repeated use of woodblocks. In any event, this enormous undertaking would appear to be unparalleled in early print history. In modern times, Japanese scholars celebrated the surviving texts as the oldest printed items in the world,12 although still earlier examples have since been found on the mainland. Incredibly, Japan embarked on this truly massive printing project only three centuries after developing a written language. However, these printed texts were intended not to be read, but to be produced and sealed in their containers as an act of religious faith, as in China and Korea. Nor did Japan embark on a print revolution centuries ahead of the rest of the world; rather, the technology languished, monopolized almost entirely by Buddhist temples, and even they printed materials for their own use rather than for a broad audience. Only in the early modern era would a mass print culture finally emerge. In the meantime, manuscripts remained the staple of the cultural and official world, and their production

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


continued into the nineteenth century. This was not, contrary to one longrunning argument, simply because manuscripts were far cheaper to produce than printed works. Rather, as Peter Kornicki has shown, it was primarily because manuscripts continued to meet a need, be it for artistic qualities, limiting access to a text, copying a borrowed printed text, or (perhaps most important) circumventing official censorship.13 The Heian period (794–1185), regarded as the apex of classical Japanese court culture, saw a flourishing of literature, producing many of the most famous works in the classical literary canon. Murasaki Shikibu’s Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji) and Sei Sh¯onagon’s Makura no s¯oshi (The Pillow Book) were both authored between about 1000 and 1010, and are now well known around the globe.14 Like their Nara predecessors, these works were not printed, but instead transmitted through manuscript. Writing was an integral part of court culture, where courtiers carried paper in their sleeves ever ready to jot down a poem, and literary skill could help advance one’s political career and social standing. Paper had evolved into a wide range of different types, with decorative styles and a range of colors and textures, which were used depending on purpose, occasion, and taste. Illustrated scrolls (emaki) also came into their own during this era. Printing, meanwhile, remained limited to Buddhist institutions, and content was limited to the philosophy, history, and poetry of the Chinese intellectual tradition.15 This situation continued into the medieval era, but there was an expansion of printing within those boundaries. Sects now printed works not only as a devotional practice but also to instruct new recruits and aid in proselytization, most notably in the case of the J¯odo-sh¯u and J¯odo-Shinsh¯u sects of Pure Land Buddhism. There was also geographic expansion, as more temple complexes outside of the city of Nara took up printing, most notably the Five Mountains cluster of Zen monasteries near Kyoto, which produced works later called gozanban (Five Mountain editions). While temple complexes retained copies of printed works, and the palace library stored official documents, works of literature produced in manuscript form were saved by private book collectors, most famously the poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1162–1241). He worked furiously to produce manuscript copies, which are now among the most celebrated in Japan.16 By the end of the fifteenth century, Japan descended into the Sengoku (Warring States) era. The accompanying chaos, however, also saw the arrival of moveable type from two distinct sources at the end of the sixteenth century, when a series of hegemons struggled to unify the country. When the


Book History

great hegemon Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536/37–1598) launched an invasion of Korea from 1592 to 1598, his forces captured a printing press and related materials and brought them back to Japan, possibly along with captive Korean printers. Moveable type had a long history in Korea, beginning with wooden type adapted from China, and culminating in the thirteenth-century development of metal type forged from lead. Meanwhile, the Jesuits, who beginning with Francis Xavier had established missions in Japan from the mid-sixteenth century, brought with them European printed works, and in 1590 Alessandro Valignano arrived in Nagasaki with a press he had transported from Europe. The Jesuit missionary press, employing both a roman character typeset and a kana one cast soon after arriving in Japan, produced a wide variety of texts for the Jesuits and their Japanese converts, including not only religious texts but also works of European and Japanese literature. The press was shut down and its products scattered or destroyed during the persecution of Christians in subsequent decades, but a significant number of works survived and now represent a treasure trove for scholars. Yet just as the early development of printing in Japan did not lead to a flourishing print culture, so, too, did moveable type fail to have the effects that one might expect based on the European experience. The Edo period, which saw a relatively stable Japan cut off from most Western influences develop under the centralized rule of the Tokugawa Bakufu (shogunate), did undergo a profound printing revolution, but one based on woodblocks. However, a brief but intense period of moveable type printing by the court and bakufu, using the Korean technology, at the start of the seventeenth century may have legitimized nontemple printing and inspired private individuals to become printers.17 Precisely why printers then “reverted” to the older technology is not very well understood, although the fact that woodblock printing was well established and had continued during the Japanese experiment with moveable type likely helps explain the phenomenon, as might the complexity and cost of creating numerous calligraphic fonts for both kana and large numbers of Chinese logographs. With the advent of commercial printing by private individuals in the seventeenth century, a wide range of texts, including classic Japanese literature and new works, were made available to urban audiences for the first time. The cho¯nin (townspeople, consisting primarily of merchants and some urban craftsmen) drove the market with their demand for literary entertainment, and new genres of literature developed to meet this need and to appeal to merchant sensibilities. Prominent authors included Ihara Saikaku (1642–1693), who started out writing poetry but expanded into

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


popular stories of love and town life like K¯oshoku gonin onna (Five Women Who Loved Love, 1685); the eccentric Jippensha Ikku (1765–1831), who produced hundreds of stories about the pleasure quarters and the foibles of daily life; and Kyokutei Bakin (1767–1848), best known for the enormous epic Nans¯o Satomi hakkenden (Chronicle of the Eight Dog Warriors of the Satomi, 1814–1842).18 The expansion of literacy and development of a popular market for literary entertainment in the towns in turn fueled the emergence of a private commercial publishing sector. The central element of this new print culture was the bound book, consisting of a stack of paper stitched together through a soft cover. In most cases, these were not single-volume texts, but were spread across several volumes that would be stacked together as a set. The format was also used for handwritten books, forms of stitched manuscripts having existed since the Heian period. Unlike the earlier printed works produced by Buddhist temples, which had used illustrations only infrequently, Edo works often sported impressive images. While beautiful painted illustrations tend to be a fixture in the Western imagination of premodern Japan, these were prepared on scrolls, with illustration not being considered an important facet of printing until the Edo period. Occasionally, illustrations were colored by hand, most notably in the tanrokubon, which featured popular stories and folktales. Early modern print culture was not limited to books. News broadsides called kawaraban (slate prints) were sold in the street. Sellers would read them aloud to attract attention from passersby, giving rise to the term “yomiuri” (to sell by reading), which later gave its name to one of Japan’s biggest modern newspapers, Yomiuri Shinbun. It has been argued that kawaraban represented forerunners of the Western-style newspapers that developed in the late nineteenth century.19 There were also numerous how-to books, picture books, maps, city guides for visitors, advertisements, and, of course, the beautiful artistic prints of people and landscapes that so bewitched Westerners in later years. Such prints, known as ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world,” a reference to the fleeting beauty and joy of life as represented by entertainment and the pleasure quarters), were transformed by the mid-eighteenth-century development of multicolored woodblock printing, enabling truly stunning works of art to be mass-produced cheaply. The print revolution was also bound up with cultural ferment, for intellectuals were encouraged by the marketplace for ideas and the ready accessibility of philosophical texts, even if much of their own scholarship was copied by hand. Profound works on Neo-Confucian philosophy by thinkers like


Book History

Fujiwara Seika, Hayashi Razan, and, most famously, Ogyu¯ Sorai, as well as detailed studies of topics in medicine and biology, circulated in manuscript form, and some were printed as well. Lending libraries, which operated for profit (and continued to do so into the late nineteenth century), enabled city residents to read a wider range of works than they could afford to own. There was thus greater access to knowledge among a wider range of people, men and women, than at any prior time. The role of the state in the print revolution was complex. On the one hand, the Tokugawa Bakufu supported printing and encouraged the commercial printing sector. On the other hand, a severe censorship policy was imposed, although in practice this was not uniformly carried out, and the extent to which it was actually enforced has been overstated. For example, it was forbidden to publish anything concerned with contemporary politics, even if it was in fact supportive of the government, but the kawaraban printers were usually able to get away with their work, and writers of plays or stories would use pseudonyms for political figures, often humorously. There were also certain restrictions on importing foreign texts, primarily aimed at preventing Christian proselytizing, but many foreign works were imported from Europe by the Dutch (who alone out of the Europeans were able to continue to trade with Japan during this period) and were important in inspiring the work of Rangaku (Dutch studies) scholars.20 Some Japanese works also found their way overseas, most notably via the travels of Isaac Titsingh, who took to Europe several Japanese texts, including a work by one of the famed Hayashi historians, a chronicle of Japanese sovereigns that he translated into French.21 The Meiji Restoration of 1868, which saw the defeat of the Tokugawa Bakufu and the establishment of a modern imperial system, is often treated as a major turning point in Japanese history, but focusing on change and the emergence of modernity can blind one to strong continuities, for Japanese society did not transform overnight. A strong emphasis on the emergence of modern fiction, for example, has obscured the fact that at the end of the nineteenth century, many of the most popular books were still works of literature from the Edo period or earlier. Perhaps these works were seen as somehow more enduring than the modern fiction serialized in newspapers, which only gradually emerged to dominate the market at the start of the twentieth century. The emergent popular press played a defining role in Meiji politics, but only slowly came to resemble the sophisticated journalistic system in Europe and North America. The shift away from woodblock printing was slow in coming, and it was only in the 1890s that industrialization took hold, with steam presses and modern moveable type based

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


on Western models becoming standard. Moreover, the Meiji state, like its Tokugawa predecessor, both encouraged the publishing industry and sought to control it, but modern bureaucratic tools made Meiji prepublication censorship far more effective. Meanwhile, book publishers fed an information-hungry market translations from European languages. The boom in “Western learning,” so often compared to ancient Japan’s tutelage under China, covered not only science and philosophy but also works of fiction from English, French, German, and Russian.22 The establishment of Western-style universities, beginning with Tokyo Imperial University in 1877, also created a demand for works in the original European languages. Western scholars were recruited to teach in Japan, and they and their Japanese students obtained key European texts from specialist bookstores that sprang up in response. Many of these Western teachers not only shaped the next generation of Japanese intellectuals and political and economic leaders but also played a role in conveying knowledge about Japan back to the West.23 The desire to learn from the West, and the range of works available, has contributed to the notion that the roots of modern Japan lay in importing Western knowledge, but Japan was also a knowledge exporter. Japanese rapidly became the lingua franca of the learned in East Asia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Students from China and elsewhere studied Japanese in order to emulate Japanese success at modernization and to discover literature and knowledge from the West, which was more easily accessible to them in Japanese translation than in the original European languages.24 New words that Japanese had coined from Chinese characters to represent novel Western concepts then passed back into China and became part of the modern Chinese language. By the 1920s, improved printing technology made mass-produced cheap books and magazines possible for even the lower classes, and simultaneously the Ky¯oy¯oshugi self-cultivation movement directly associated culture and character development with reading. While Ky¯oy¯oshugi has tended to be treated as new, individualistic, and Western-focused, it in many respects represented continuity with Confucian ideals of personal cultivation and community. Although Western works were an important part of the Ky¯oy¯oshugi canon, it also included Japanese and Chinese classics. The most popular works were those that fused the novel ideas of the West and the established Japanese intellectual tradition, such as Natsume S¯oseki’s novel Kokoro, a landmark expression of the Meiji spirit in a form inspired by modern English fiction, and Nishida Kitar¯o’s philosophy, which combined German idealism and Zen Buddhism.25


Book History

The literature boom accompanying the Ky¯oy¯oshugi movement buoyed not only established mass-market publishers like K¯odansha but also upstarts focused on the intellectual market like Iwanami Shoten. Presenting its publications as a canon that no cultured individual could be without, Iwanami became a fixture in modern Japanese intellectual culture. It developed bunkobon pocketbooks based on the German Reclam’s Universal-Bibliothek, and shinsho (new softcovers), which quickly became standards across the Japanese publishing industry. The 1925 Peace Preservation Law and subsequent censorship crackdowns put pressure on book and magazine publishers, which peaked during the war years (1937–1945).26 Some went out of business or were put out of business; some resorted to only publishing works deemed nonpolitical or innocuous; some attempted to resist the rising authoritarianism; and others went along with the tide and enthusiastically endorsed imperial ventures and the war effort. The early postwar period under American occupation (1945–1952) saw continued censorship but also the rumblings of a resurgent publishing industry, leading to a boom in popular and academic works. The 1960s witnessed the thorough modernization of the magazine trade and the expansion of the manga (comics) industry, which in the 1990s penetrated China, Korea, North America, and Europe.27 Japanese publishers continued to play a key role in academia, producing scholarship, zensh¯u (collected works) of influential writers, and large standardized canons of primary texts in literature and philosophy.28 In contrast to North American practice, these canons are almost always assembled and edited in-house by the publisher’s editorial staff rather than by university scholars, a practice that has recently received increasing criticism among Japanese academics.29 Japanese publishers have also recently begun grappling with the issues posed by digitization and ebooks, debates that have inspired scholars to rethink the Japanese experience of books and printing.

Japanese-Language Scholarship As long as there have been books, there has been writing about books, and Japan is no exception. Court literature is alive with references to favorite works and the joy of reading poetry and prose alike. In The Tale of Genji, the titular character himself pokes fun at women for wasting their time with their frivolous romances (which would include, naturally, the very work in

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


which he appears), before good-naturedly admitting that they have some value after all.30 The daughter of Sugawara Takasue, in the early eleventh century, wrote in her diary of adoring The Tale of Genji to the point of praying to the Buddha for a complete set of its many volumes, and of her unbridled joy when her aunt presented her with one. Having acquired her heart’s desire, she promptly sealed herself in her room to devour them, much as present-day children do with Harry Potter.31 Other diaries mention reading groups, and readers often wrote of their favorite works and their responses to them. Writing on the history of books per se is harder to pin down. A case could be made that some of Fujiwara no Teika’s writings, and those of his successors who worked to maintain his carefully cultivated manuscript collection, represent early studies in bibliography.32 Certainly by the late medieval era literary elites were becoming interested in the transmission of texts, and by the end of the Edo period tracking textual descent had become a regular tool in the box of literary scholars. One could argue that the sophisticated and entrenched role of bibliography (shoshigaku) in classical Japanese literary studies has shaped the development of book history by positing sharp academic divisions between the spheres of inquiry appropriate to historians and literary scholars.33 Classical Japanese literary scholars even today clearly demarcate “literary” texts (such as Tosa nikki and The Tale of Genji) from “historical” texts (such as Nihon shoki and Azuma kagami), and claim that the latter fall outside of their jurisdiction. Likewise, the identification of “good” texts and “bad” (corrupted) texts is regarded as one of the major roles of Japanese bibliography. Scholars of modern Japanese literature, on the other hand, tend to lack strong bibliographic foundations and are more open to Western theory and methodology. The modern era saw the arrival of dedicated academic study of the history of books and printing earlier than in the West, and in a way quite distinct from that established in the West by Lucien Febvre, Henri-Jean Martin, and Robert Darnton. In Japan, the primary category of analysis has been shuppan bunka, literally “publishing culture,”34 as distinct from insatsu bunka (print culture), a term that is little used. Shuppan bunka is understood to cover the history of books and printing technology, publishing, bookselling, and the culture connected to these activities. Given this similarity to Western conceptions of “print culture,” it is rational to render shuppan bunka as such. Most Japanese scholars working on related topics situate themselves within shuppan bunkashi, or the history of print culture. More recently, works explicitly identified as the “history of books” (shomotsushi,


Book History

or shosekishi) have begun to appear, but these remain a minority. Shuppan bunkashi generally focuses on the evolving technology of printing, but incorporates an awareness of cultural context and the social role of printed works, thus avoiding (usually) technological determinism. Case studies of particular printed works constitute the bulk of the studies. This approach has its share of conceptual problems. Because of the emphasis on printing and the act of publication, it normally excludes written works, despite the long-running and important role of manuscripts in Japanese history. Some scholars are aware of this difficulty: Nakano Mitsutoshi and his colleagues call for studies of books that include handwritten works, address the gap in perceived value (handwritten works are treasured by bibliographers while woodblock printed works are valued far less), and warn against the conflation of publishing as an economic activity and as a means of cultural production.35 Another long-running problem is an emphasis on works produced in Japan, meaning that books imported from China tend to be overlooked. One of the first full-length studies to emerge was Makino Zenb¯e’s A Consideration of Books from the Era of the Tokugawa Bakufu in 1912, but in-depth academic study only began twenty years later with the work of Kobayashi Zenpachi.36 Having completed a work on the general world history of printing techniques and technology in 1930, Kobayashi turned his attention to Japan and how it had been shaped by printing technology from both the Asian mainland and the West, publishing in 1938 his magnum opus, A History of Japanese Print Culture.37 At well over a thousand pages, Kobayashi’s work is a behemoth that covers almost every major work printed during every period from the inception of printing up through the end of the Edo period. It also covers imported works (a relative rarity among later scholars in the field), ink and paper, and historical issues that shaped the development of printing. While the bulk of the work is dedicated to the Edo period, it also has considerable coverage of the Meiji era. The extremely wide coverage, including long sections just listing published works and authors, is necessarily superficial, but was clearly intended to enable the work to function as a general overview. Kobayashi in effect set out to create a foundation for a field of inquiry that would combine the history of printing with a range of other issues in academia and society, and in so doing created shuppan bunkashi.38 The new field began to attract attention from other literary scholars, most notably Okano Takeo, whose studies of Meiji literature led him to focus on books themselves as an object of scholarly inquiry.39 His landmark work was published in 1954 under precisely the same title as Kobayashi’s, A

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


History of Japanese Print Culture.40 Also like Kobayashi, he argued that the history of printing in Japan was a synthesis of Western and Eastern culture. However, Okano’s approach significantly differed from that of his predecessor. First, his chronological coverage was much tighter, reflecting his modern orientation: whereas Kobayashi focused on the Edo period but still invested considerable time in premodern Japan, Okano began with Edo, seeking the origins of modern print culture, and spent the most space on Meiji and, to a lesser extent, the early twentieth century. Second, Okano concentrated on key cultural developments rather than attempting to include as much as possible: in place of Kobayashi’s extensive publication lists he recorded publications in annotations along the top of every page. He went beyond mere chronology to employ categories of analysis—books that were sold, books that were read, books that were banned, and so on—and he considered other forms of print culture, such as translations and magazines. In the wake of Okano’s work, the field experienced its first (limited) blossoming in the mid-1950s and 1960s. Some of this reached a popular audience: the newspaper Asahi Shinbun published an accessible history of the publishing industry by emerging scholar Sugimura Takeshi; the National Diet Library held a 1956 exhibition on print culture; and works with a local industry focus were supported and/or published by publishing associations.41 These popular endeavors were mainly focused on the modern era. Academic studies on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japan continued to appear, but the main scholarly thrust was focused on the Edo period. When the field underwent a second, much larger expansion beginning in the 1980s, the Edo period continued to attract attention, and particularly the city of Edo itself, which had served as the political center of the Tokugawa order. Edo showcased a vibrant, multidimensional print culture that flourished before the arrival of modern Western printing technology; because the modern publishing industry was so heavily concentrated in Tokyo, the printing world of the city’s early modern incarnation naturally attracted interest. Scholarship on the era therefore considered both how Edo print culture differed from its modern counterpart and the ways in which the former represented a foundation upon which the latter was constructed. Nakamura Kiyoz¯o’s pioneering work on printing laws was joined by Suzuki Toshio’s study of bookstores, Konta Y¯ozo’s ¯ on banned books, and a selection of monographs covering printing in other major centers, such as Munemasa Is¯o’s study of print culture in Kyoto.42 In 1983, Kawase Kazuma published a set of introductory lectures on the rapidly developing field of the history of print culture, now firmly established as an area of scholarly inquiry at precisely the same time that the course of


Book History

book history was being transformed in the English-language world by the work of Robert Darnton and others.43 Kawase’s lectures shifted attention to premodern printing, despite the dearth of full-length studies. Bucking the trend in general works, he began with Nara printing, spent as much time on the medieval era as the early modern, and ended before reaching the modern era. Kawase discussed the economic and material aspects of printing, and he cautioned against reading too much into publication dates, particularly in the premodern era when the canon of works printed by temples was relatively constant. In this regard he sought to warn young arrivals to the field of the danger of seeing the content of early printed works as directly linked to the cultural or economic circumstances of the era. This did not mean that scholarship on modern print culture had been marginalized. Rather, by the late 1980s and early 1990s the field had begun to develop in new directions, with studies appearing on topics such as best sellers and advertisements, while the marketing and selling of books received more sophisticated treatments.44 Shiozawa Minobu completed what was in all likelihood the first monograph on the history of postwar print culture.45 Much as the 1868 Meiji Restoration was long understood to represent a clean break with the past, the end of the Pacific War in 1945 has been treated as a breakwater through which little of prewar Japan penetrated. Modern historians have had to struggle against these assumptions, uncovering the often deep and multilayered continuities that underlay these pivotal turning points in political history. This is no less true in historical studies of print culture, where scholars have been at pains to locate the key turning point in the modern transformation of printing technology, shifting attention from the Restoration to the end of the nineteenth century when industrialization became widespread. Increasingly, scholars working on both the early modern and modern periods together shaped the field, most notably Yayoshi Mitsunaga. Yayoshi had begun working on the history of late Edo and Meiji print culture in the mid-1950s when he was already middle-aged, which was not unusual since the field was still relatively new and depended on drawing recruits from bibliography and literary studies. His early work was primarily concerned with book collections and libraries, and already by the late 1970s a festschrift had been published in his honor.46 In the 1980s, he was recognized as the leading scholar of the day, proving himself a worthy successor to Kobayashi and Okano through a barrage of important publications. One of Yayoshi’s major contributions was to shift the focus to the popular experience of print in everyday life, in People and Printing in the Edo Period (1980) and People and Printing in the Meiji Period (1982).47 He

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


followed these up with several other studies, while also compiling key documents in the history of printing, producing reference works, and editing classic works of scholarship for republication in order that newcomers and students might gain a sense of how the field had developed.48 Some of these were extensive series, such as the eight-volume Japanese Print Culture According to Unpublished Historical Documents. By the time of his death in 1996, Yayoshi had invigorated the field with a wide range of studies, primary materials, and classic works of scholarship. Since the late 1990s the field has expanded rapidly. Local studies on the early modern era have continued to flourish,49 as have investigations of libraries and readership, while some literary scholars are now incorporating print culture into their own studies.50 Scholarship on the modern era now includes topics such as women’s history and editing.51 A number of essay collections have been published, such as Meiji Print Culture (2002) and Edo Printing (2005).52 Relevant to the history of print culture proper is a broad and growing interest in the history of “mass media” and “mass culture.” Studies of the history of modern newspapers produced in the prewar and immediate postwar eras were largely disconnected from the history of print culture, with major works by scholars like Ono Hideo, Nishida Taketoshi, and Oka Minoru leading the field in the 1960s.53 While there was a recognition of historical antecedents to newspapers, they did not receive much attention from writers on newspapers, and there was little effort to link up these studies with work being done by historians of print culture. More recent years, however, have seen the history of newspapers situated under the framework of media studies. Arguing that printing technology and widespread literacy represented something akin to an information revolution, scholars now see in early modern print culture a precursor to modern mass media—for example, Fuji Akio in Edo Literature and Print Media (2001) and Kan Satoko in The Age of Media: The Situation of Meiji Literature (2001).54 There are even collections of reproduced materials, such as Yoshida Yutaka’s reading guide for kawaraban news broadsheets, which feature modern transcription and annotations to assist contemporary readers.55 The spread of literacy plays an important role in several of these studies. For example, Yoshida describes the temple schools (which taught kana reading and writing) as contributing to the development of mass literacy in the late Edo period, providing the groundwork for modern mass culture. Meanwhile, Sato¯ Takumi and Takeuchi Y¯o have studied connections between print culture and intellectual life in the twentieth century.56


Book History

A second development to consider is the recent emergence of works specifically concerned with the history of books as opposed to the history of print culture. A leading figure here is Nagatomo Chiyoji, whose Books and Reading in the Edo Period (2001) is representative of this trend.57 For Nagatomo, the production of books is just one element of a broader picture, rather than the central element. He considers printing as a business, and examines the role of books in study, entertainment, and lifestyles. He retains the focus on particular works from the history of print culture scholarship, but spends as much time considering how these were received at the time, and articulates the varied and at times conflicting roles and images of different books rather than positing a single social space for print. While his approach comes off as somewhat scattershot, it more closely resembles recent European and American studies in book history than it does prior Japanese scholarship on the history of print culture. Nagatomo has also produced breakthrough work on topics like book circulation.58 While Nagatomo and others like Wakao Masaki have forged a Japanese “history of books” for the early modern and modern eras, there have been similar studies of the premodern era as well.59 T¯ono Haruyuki’s A History of Ancient Writing (1994), one of the first, considers a range of early written sources—mokkan, manuscripts, and especially inscriptions—and what they can collectively tell us, while touching on comparisons with other ancient civilizations such as Persia.60 Gomi Fumihiko’s Medieval History through Books (2003) broadly examines books in the medieval era and their historical development.61 Gomi’s approach is innovative because, by his own admission, the study of books as a whole has been hindered in Japanese academia by the long-entrenched genre categories, which (as discussed above) are linked to sharp divisions between academic fields.62 Arguing that this has obscured the connection between books, Gomi attempts to examine the various types of books produced and read during the medieval era, and the social forces at work behind them. As evidenced by the range of popular works available, the history of books and printing in Japan is not a closed academic enterprise, but rather an arena in which intellectuals from outside the academy—most prominently, perhaps, Oda Mitsuo—can influence debate, and in which publishers and publishing associations undertake their own historical projects.63 Much of the trailblazing historiography of modern print culture was initiated by nonacademics, and organizations like the Japanese Association of Book Publishers (Nihon Shoseki Shuppan Ky¯okai) continue to both encourage and carry out historical research studies.64 The premier forum for the study of books and publishing, the Japan Society for Publishing Studies (Nihon

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


Shuppan Gakkai), was founded through the efforts of publishers, and the organization contains numerous industry employees alongside scholars and interested third parties. Moreover, the field enjoys popular support, not the least because of the aesthetic appeal of scrolls and bound books as material objects. In sum, recent Japanese scholarship has not only witnessed the continued expansion of the established field of the history of print culture but has also seen attempts to correct the limitations of that field. It seems likely that in the near future there will be a more substantial role in Japanese academia for scholars aware of trends in international scholarship on the history of the book and working to a considerable extent within a similar framework. Japanese scholars have written on print culture and the history of books in other countries, first and foremost China but also Europe and elsewhere.65 Given that the most recent generation of Japanese scholars continues to work on topics abroad and is aware of developments in the history of the book elsewhere, Japanese scholarship should continue to develop in innovative directions.

English-Language Scholarship Almost as soon as Westerners arrived in Japan in the mid-nineteenth century, they developed a fascination with Japanese books and printing. Pursuing traces of “traditional” Japanese culture, but for the most part unable to read the language, they approached books as aesthetic items. They were interested not in print culture or the role of books in Japanese society, but rather in the history of books and other printed items as material objects. Though paper and bindings were considered, by far the primary interest was in illustration, particularly the impressive ukiyo-e woodblock prints with their evocative imagery of people and places.66 While for foreigners ukiyo-e represented an image of a traditional Japan now disappearing before the forces of modernization, contemporary Japanese understood them as cheap, disposable, mass-produced entertainment, and were originally befuddled by Western interest. They happily sold them to foreign visitors, and as a result today the vast majority of these often exquisite prints are held in overseas collections.67 The central position of ukiyo-e prints in the Western imagination of Japanese printing at the time is evident in the earliest writings from the late nineteenth century, such as Edward F. Strange’s Japanese Illustration: A History of the Arts of Wood-Cutting and Color Printing in Japan


Book History

(1897) and Wm. Dallam Armes’s The Color-Prints of Old Japan (1901).68 The topic has continued to fascinate up to the present day, in David Chibbett’s The History of Japanese Printing and Book Illustration (1977), Allen Hockley’s The Prints of Isoda Kory¯usai (2003), and Andreas Marks’s Japanese Woodblock Prints (2010).69 The first scholarly treatment of Japanese books and printing was almost certainly Ernest M. Satow’s short monograph The Jesuit Missionary Press in Japan (1888).70 Like their Japanese colleagues, Western scholars recognized the significance of the Jesuit press in the history of Japanese publishing (though Japan’s brief early modern flirtation with moveable type had been carried out with Korean rather than European technology), and they were also no doubt inspired by the early example of East-West cultural exchange that it represented. An ongoing interest in the mission press is manifest in the work of Johannes Laures and others, encouraged by the Jesuit-founded Sophia University in Tokyo.71 For the most part, however, early Western studies of Japanese printing focused less on books than on print journalism, perhaps influenced by Japanese scholars who had emphasized the political role of the press in the Meiji period. The first monograph, Kawabe Kisabur¯o’s The Press and Politics in Japan (1921), considered Meiji newspapers as both tools of communication and a political force.72 Kawabe explained how newspapers shaped public opinion, examined relations between political figures and the press, and discussed specific commercial and independent newspapers, ending with a chapter celebrating the press as an agent of progressive social change. While Kawabe’s work was the only book-length academic treatment of Japanese newspapers for many decades, the issues he emphasized—the effect of the press on political discourse, and conversely government attempts to control the press—became established concerns that continued to inform historical writing on newspapers.73 While scholarship on print journalism continued to emerge over subsequent decades,74 the next book-length treatments did not appear until 1980, in the form of two biographies of major Meiji figures: John D. Pierson’s study of the famous journalist Tokutomi Soh¯o, and James L. Huffman’s study of newspaper editor Fukuchi Gen’ichir¯o.75 Both continued the focus on the relationship between politics and journalism, charting how these individuals recognized the potential of the press to shape public opinion but were frustrated in putting their ideas into practice. These works were followed by a range of studies on the modern Japanese press and its political and social roles, while the technological development of newspaper print-

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ing, circulation patterns, and other issues were largely ignored.76 The longrunning concern with the power of the state to control journalism was the focus of an important study by Gregory J. Kasza, The State and the Mass Media in Japan, 1918–1945.77 Kasza examined the relationship between the established mass media and an increasingly authoritarian state in the early twentieth century. While he incorporated book and magazine publishing, along with radio and other forms of media, he largely focused on the press. In fact, the two key themes of most English-language scholars working on the history of the Japanese media were the press and the context of state power. More recent work on print journalism has shifted attention from politics to society. Huffman, now the leading English-language expert on Japanese print journalism, took the lead in Creating a Public (1997), which examines the emergence of the modern Japanese public sphere and the role of the press in creating informed citizens.78 There has also been renewed work on antecedents to the modern press, like kawaraban.79 The historiography of books and print culture has also intersected with the historiography of education. Many studies in the latter field touch on the books used for teaching students and the role of reading in student culture. In addition to major works on Edo and Meiji education, such as those of Donald Roden, Richard Rubinger, Marleen Kassel, and Benjamin Duke, there have been studies of reception, canon formation, and textbooks.80 The last are a particularly important subject, not only because of their role in shaping young minds to fit the needs of the modern state but also in light of vitriolic public debates (involving Chinese and Koreans as well as Japanese) over the portrayal of Japan’s wartime activities in textbooks. Like their Japanese counterparts, Western book scholars have published little specifically on the ancient and medieval eras, although there are some recent exceptions on topics like orality and book collecting.81 Understandably, in light of the Edo print revolution, which began in the seventeenth century, much of their scholarship has focused on the early modern era. The 1970s and 1980s saw a smattering of articles on books and publishers, and studies of Japanese book collections abroad.82 There was also a work on tanrokubon, those colorful printed versions of popular tales, though it was a general introduction to the genre rather than a detailed study.83 The field lacked a cohesive framework or clear sense of direction until the 1990s, beginning with a breakthrough 1994 piece by Henry D. Smith comparing the history of the book in early modern Edo and Paris.84 Recognizing the value of comparative studies, and concerned that historians of the


Book History

European book would universalize characteristics of print culture and its social role drawn only from the European experience, Smith reminded these historians to consider East Asia, where the flourishing early modern print culture surely rivaled that of Europe. He drew several parallels between Edo and Paris: effective central government, the initial influence of religious institutions over printing, and a print revolution. He also noted distinct points of contrast, primarily the writing systems and printing technologies (moveable type in France versus woodblock printing in Japan), before turning to issues such as piracy and the culture and practice of readership. Crucially, Smith argued that the case of Japan could serve as a corrective for certain assumptions among Western scholars, such as that print fuels the emergence of a vibrant public political sphere, something which was institutionally impossible within the Tokugawa framework. Only a few years later, Mary Elizabeth Berry wrestled with this issue in an article concerning the nature of public life within the authoritarian system of early modern Japan.85 Berry challenged conventional thinking concerning the public sphere by questioning whether it had to be democratic, for while Edo Japan was governed by an authoritarian state, it appeared in every other respect to have a vibrant public sphere.86 Turning to consider print culture, Berry argued that the explosion in printing served to create a public united through information—in other words, a sense of national consciousness could be rooted in the shared experience engendered by print culture.87 Thus, by the mid-1990s a groundwork of sorts had been established, but the major turning point came in 1998 with the publication of Peter Kornicki’s The Book in Japan, the first comprehensive study of Japanese book history in English.88 Kornicki chose his title carefully, at pains to include not only books produced in Japan but those imported from abroad as well. His coverage was impressive, stretching from the earliest writings up through modern texts, although focused on the Edo period. At the same time, he strove to avoid some of the pitfalls of conventional Japanese scholarship. In addition to covering works from China and their history in Japan (rather than prioritizing books of Japanese origin), he also avoided the privileging of print inherent in the standard Japanese approach, instead covering both handwritten and printed works. Finally, while some Japanese scholars had begun to situate the history of Japanese print culture in the broader East Asian context, Kornicki went further and considered parallels with not only China and Korea but also Europe and elsewhere, seeking to integrate the Japanese case into a worldwide discussion on the history of books and print culture as Smith had urged. In this way, Kornicki’s work was clearly

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designed to introduce the Japanese case to the broader Western debates on the history of the book, with sections covering the key issues of concern to Western historians: books as material objects, printing technology, the publishing trade, authorship and readership, textual transmission, censorship, libraries, and bibliography. Each section functions as an independent unit with a historical overview of the issue, although to some extent this may weaken the cohesiveness of the volume. The divide between late Meiji and modern industrial publishing leaves the story incomplete, although Kornicki may be right that the latter deserves its own detailed study. In any event, Kornicki’s work is valuable for its encyclopedic coverage. It not only introduces Japan to English-language debates on the history of the book and printing but also offers an alternative perspective to Japanese scholarship orientated toward the history of print culture. Nearly ten years later, a second significant monograph appeared. Mary Elizabeth Berry’s Japan in Print (2007) built on the elements of print culture she had articulated in her earlier article, and the connection between the exchange of information and the emergence of modern national identity.89 In this study of the Edo period, she argued that print culture linked people together through the sharing of information, whether in the form of maps, travel guides, and reference books, or in the form of popular stories and literature. Berry’s approach differed significantly from Kornicki’s in that she placed much more emphasis on people and social context, with the work reading like a tour through the world of early modern Japanese society in which the ubiquitous presence and meaning of print is pointed out at every stop. Indeed, in her introduction she invited the reader to put on the mantle of a clerk visiting the capital, and described what would one read and experience. To read Kornicki’s detailed sketches of the Edo period and then Berry’s portrayals of the social landscape of print culture is to conjure the world of early modern books and then take a stroll through it. Other recent scholarship on this period includes Kornicki’s article on Edo manuscript culture, the essay collection The Female as Subject (2010) on women readers and writers, translation studies, and monographs on early modern culture that accord books and print culture a considerable role, most notably Marcia Yonemoto’s Mapping Early Modern Japan (2003).90 In contrast, books and print culture in modern Japan have received scattershot attention. There has yet to be a work comparable to those of Kornicki and Berry. This is not to say that there have been no significant milestones. One of the earliest works was a translation of K¯odansha founder Noma Seiji’s autobiography in 1934.91 G. R. Nunn’s 1964 study of modern


Book History

Japanese publishing was particularly significant, not only because it was one of the first academic treatments of the subject but also because the contemporary data he collected now offers valuable insight into the early postwar publishing system.92 One of the only full-length studies on modern publishing is Matthi Forrer’s book on provincial publisher Eirakuya T¯oshir¯o (1985), which reminds readers that while Tokyo came to dominate the industry, there was publishing activity elsewhere.93 From the 1990s there have been numerous shorter studies, such as Richard Rubinger’s on modern literacy and Gerald Figal’s on the production and marketing of personal histories.94 There have also been articles on particular aspects of print culture (Rachel DeNitto), on reading (Susan Townsend), and on specific publishers such as Hakubunkan (Giles Richter) and Iwanami Shoten (Vanessa Ward and Andrew Kamei-Dyche).95 There has been a study of modern libraries and studies in cultural history that discuss print culture to some extent.96 Literary scholarship that considers the role of publishing can also shed new light on print culture, as in the case of Sari Kawana’s studies of the role of editors and publishers in producing and selling early-twentieth-century fiction.97 While the field has developed substantially in the past ten years, a comprehensive study of modern Japanese print culture is still sorely needed.

Future Directions The trajectory of the history of print culture in Japan, and the recent trend in Japanese scholarship toward an inclusive form of book history more akin to that familiar to Western scholars, bodes well for the future. There is much to be gained by cooperative research between Japanese and Western scholars, and something resembling a shared concept of book history is a good place to start. Meanwhile, English-language scholarship on the history of books and print culture in Japan can offer Japanese scholars a fresh perspective, and take in new directions debates in book history in the West that have remained largely focused on Europe and North America. The multidimensional effect of print in various locales, the transformative power of early modern print culture, and the relationship between publishing, the state, and the public sphere are all areas in which scholars working on Japan can make valuable contributions to the broader discipline. While this essay has treated Japanese-language scholarship and English-language scholarship as running along distinct trajectories driven by their own concerns, there are of course numerous points of intersection, and perhaps the greatest potential

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


of the field can only be realized when they begin to converge. In this regard, scholars of Japan both within and outside the country should consider the recent work being done on China and the excellent scholarship being produced by Chinese and non-Chinese scholars alike, often in tandem, on that country’s long history of books and printing.98 Chinese book history is also significant in another way. Given that numerous Japanese scholars have contributed to that field over the years, there is already a strong foundation in place for comparative studies between Japan and China. Here again cooperative ventures between English-language scholars, who are more familiar with comparative approaches, and Japanese scholars with longer experience in the field, may offer exciting new insights. Studies of Japanese history have been invigorated in recent years by rich comparisons with China, Korea, and Europe, and studies that employ a similar approach to the history of books and print culture would stand to contribute much to our understanding of Japan. Notes I would like to thank Jonathan Rose for giving me the opportunity to write this article; Armadio Arboleda, Gordon Berger, Roger Brown, Clinton Godart, Annie Johnson, and Sari Kawana for their helpful comments on the draft; and, as always, my partner Rieko KameiDyche for her advice and encouragement. 1. Japanese names in this article are rendered according to standard Japanese practice (that is, family name first), except in cases where the individual in question is publishing in English. For an overview of books and publishing in Japan, see Amadio Arboleda’s Japan entry in Philip G. Altbach and Edith S. Hoshino, eds., International Book Publishing: An Encyclopedia (New York: Routledge, 1995), 487–498; and Peter Kornicki, “Japan, Korea and Vietnam,” in A Companion to the History of the Book, ed. Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose (Malden: Blackwell, 2007), 111–125. For more on the contemporary situation, see Japan Book Publishers Association, An Introduction to Publishing in Japan, 2010–2011 (Tokyo: Japan Book Publishers Association, 2010). The Introduction to Publishing in Japan is updated every two years, and is available for download at the association’s Web site, en/. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the notion of Japan as a nation of readers was deployed as a point of cultural pride by Japanese intellectuals. Yuhara Motoichi (1863–1931), head of the Tokyo School of Music, wrote that “no matter which country you go to, there is no place where the newspapers have advertisements for books as huge as in Japan. From this perspective, we could say there are no people that love books as much as the Japanese.” Yuhara-sensei Kinenkai, ed., Ekisui s¯oha: Yuhara-sensei kinen shuppan [“Thinking of the Waters of the River Yi”: Published in Commemoration of Yuhara-sensei] (Tokyo: Kaiseikan, 1928), 180. Historian Enoki Kazuo believed that “the Japanese are naturally a people with inquiring minds, and especially love books.” Enoki Kazuo, T¯oy¯ogaku, t¯oy¯obunko [Oriental Studies, Oriental Book Collections], in Enoki Kazuo Chosakush¯u [Collected Works of Enoki Kazuo], ed. Collected Works of Enoki Kazuo Editorial Committee (Tokyo: Ky¯uko Shoin, 1994), 9. An early example in English came from the journalist Harold Bolce: “Japan is a nation of readers. More than a thousand newspapers and magazines are published in the


Book History

empire.” Harold Bolce, “What the Japanese Are Reading: The Literature of a Serious-Minded Nation,” Booklovers Magazine 4, no. 5 (November 1904): 657–669. This was echoed not long ago by Victoria Lyon Bestor: “Though Japanese publishers bemoan declines in readership, even in the age of the cell phone, the palm pilot, and the game boy, Japan is still a nation of readers, and publishers rapidly produce an enormous range of books on any topic imaginable.” Victoria Lyon Bestor, “Toward a Cultural Biography of Civil Society in Japan,” in Family and Social Policy in Japan: Anthropological Approaches, ed. Roger Goodman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 43. 2. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, “2006 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities,” Web site of the Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications,, 14. By gender, reading books for pleasure ranked second among women (behind only listening to music), and fourth among men (behind listening to music, watching movies on DVD or video, and playing video/computer games). 3. Book Off is itself the object of critical attention among Japanese writers—for instance, Oda Mitsuo’s criticism of the company as feeding off the publishing industry, in Oda Mitsuo, Bukkofu to shuppan gy¯okai: Bukkofu bijinesu no jitsuz¯o [Book Off and the Publishing Industry: The Reality of Book Off’s Business] (Tokyo: Rons¯osha, 2008). The “Off” refers to a discount. 4. There has been considerable debate among archaeologists over precisely when writing first began to be used on the archipelago. Chinese logographs found on ancient swords, armor, and other grave goods testify to the use of some degree of writing in the late fourth and fifth centuries, although characters may have been used for largely symbolic value, and likely were initially written by scribes of Korean extraction; see William Wayne Farris, Sacred Texts and Buried Treasures: Issues in the Historical Archaeology of Ancient Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1998), 98–99. Chinese dynastic records convey diplomatic exchanges with the early Japanese kingdom of Wa, which saw numerous bronze mirrors bestowed on the Japanese ruler known as Himiko. Most famously, they record receiving a letter from King Bu, who was most likely Great King Y¯uryaku, in 478; see Joan R. Piggott, The Emergence of Japanese Kingship (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1997), 44, 47. This, too, was likely drafted by Korean scribes, although by the end of the following century literacy would have been more common among elites. 5. The precise relationship of kanbun (literally, “Han Chinese writing”) to classical Chinese is an issue hotly contested among linguists, literary scholars, and historians. On one side are those scholars who assert that kanbun, regardless of how it was written and read, was essentially still classical Chinese; on the other are those who assert that they are almost separate languages, with kanbun being understood as classical Japanese written with, or even translated into, classical Chinese characters (that is, as a “mode” of writing Japanese, with other possible modes being kana or a combination of kana and Chinese characters). Most scholars sit somewhere on a scale between these two perspectives. Kanbun has frequently been compared to the role of Latin in medieval Europe, although this is somewhat problematic, and scholars have suggested “Sino-Japanese” or “pseudo-Chinese” as alternative English renderings. On various aspects of the debate, see John Timothy Wixted, “Kanbun, Histories of Japanese Literature, and Japanologists,” Sino-Japanese Studies 10, no. 2 (April 1998): 23–31; and Kurozumi Makoto, “Kangaku: Writing and Institutional Authority,” trans. David Lurie, in Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature, ed. Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000), 201–219. 6. Modern vernacular Japanese, which was developed during the prewar era and was firmly established by the postwar education system, continues to use kanji and kana together. The ways in which the two types of kana, hiragana and katakana, are employed varied historically, but modern convention uses the latter for foreign loan words (normally of twentieth-

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


century vintage) and the former for grammatical structures such as particles and suffixes, while kanji are used for nouns and the roots of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. While it is possible to write Japanese exclusively using one form of kana, this is impractical because of the lack of spaces between words and the large number of homonyms. One is therefore unlikely to see kana-exclusive writings outside of classical texts, or children’s books with simple vocabularies. For an accessible overview of the Japanese language and its development, see Amalia E. Gnanadesikan, The Writing Revolution: Cuneiform to the Internet (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2009): 113–132, although Gnanadesikan’s grasp of historical context (such as the lives of women in Heian Japan) is somewhat unreliable. 7. Classical Chinese ideas, whether truly ancient concepts such as the Mandate of Heaven and five-phase theory, or the association of the political order of the ruler with the natural order of the cosmos in Han Confucianism, and Buddhist notions such as the chakravartin (wheel-turning monarch) leading the people spiritually as well as politically were immensely powerful tools of statecraft in East Asia. 8. Mokkan were often used to practice writing and were discarded. As with scraps of paper later used for wrapping items, and sheets of paper recycled into scrolls and reused, the “rubbish” of ancient Japan has often proved a valuable source of information. 9. The lack of dynastic upheaval or anti-Buddhist movements, in contrast to China, may also have played a role in enabling these early printed texts to survive. 10. On the transition from a primarily oral to primarily literary society, see Gary L. Ebersole, Ritual Poetry and the Politics of Death in Early Japan (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989), esp. 8, 17–19; and Christopher Seeley, A History of Writing in Japan (Leiden: Brill, 1991). The myths and early history chronicled in the Kojiki were passed down from oral tradition and first written down in this era. Likewise, unlike the Kaif¯us¯o, which contained contemporary poems, the Man’y¯osh¯u contained many poems of much older vintage, some purported to date from as far back as the end of the fourth century. English translations of the Kojiki and Nihon shoki (also called “Nihongi”) exist: Donald L. Philipi, trans., Kojiki (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1977); and W. G. Aston, trans., Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD 697 (Boston: Tuttle, 1972; originally printed by the Japan Society in 1896). Unfortunately, the Kaif¯us¯o has yet to be translated. There are several partial translations of the Man’y¯osh¯u; the most important is Ian Hideo Levy, The Ten Thousand Leaves: A Translation of the Man’y¯osh¯u, Japan’s Premier Anthology of Classical Poetry (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981). Alexander Vovin has recently undertaken a complete multivolume translation, publication of which is ongoing; see Alexander Vovin, Man’y¯osh¯u: A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary (London: Global Oriental, 2009). 11. Supposedly, a tenth of the pagodas were distributed to the main temples around the capital, Nara, and the rest to temples outside of the capital region, as recorded in the lateeighth-century chronicle Shoku Nihongi. See Kuroita Katsumi, ed., Shoku Nihongi (Kokushi taikei series), vol. 2: 376 (Tokyo: Yoshikawa K¯obunkan, 1981). There has been debate over whether the figure of 1 million dharani is believable, but even if, as some have suggested, only a tenth of these were produced, the number is still impressive. There are numerous surviving examples, both in Japan and other countries. While there is yet no in-depth study in English of this pioneering print project, there have been some brief articles, such as Brian Hickman, “A Note on the Hyakumant¯o Dh¯arani,” Monumenta Nipponica 30, no. 1 (Spring 1975): 87–93. 12. See, for example, Okano Takeo, Nihon shuppan bunkashi [A History of Japanese Print Culture], 2 vols. (Muromachi Shob¯o, 1954–1955). 13. Peter Kornicki, The Book in Japan: A Cultural History from the Beginnings to the Nineteenth Century (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1998), 99–104. In Japanese court society, calligraphic style was seen as an expression of the writer’s inner character. When copying a manuscript, collectors would often try to hew as closely as possible to the original cal-


Book History

ligraphic style, copying the form as well as the content of the writing. The inability of print to do this, as well as its intrinsically impersonal nature, may have played a role in elites’ refusal to abandon manuscripts for print. 14. By the mid-twelfth century these texts and their contemporaries had become classic works that were widely read and discussed in court society. The Tale of Genji has seen three English translations: Arthur Waley’s (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1926–1933), Edward G. Seidensticker’s (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976), and Royall Tyler’s (New York: Viking, 2001). The Pillow Book has seen two, by Ivan Morris (New York: Columbia University Press, 1967) and Meredith McKinney (London: Penguin, 2006). 15. Because of the strong textual basis of Buddhism, and the fact that most doctrinal texts arrived in Chinese from the mainland, monks had frequent opportunities to access other Chinese texts on a range of subjects. Their writing skills and familiarity with Chinese knowledge, particularly on matters such as law, bureaucracy, and technology, led to monks being recruited to perform scribal and bureaucratic work. By the time of the later shogunates this had become a norm, and temples in turn stressed Chinese learning for their adherents in order to make them employable, and thereby bring increased wealth and prestige to the temples. 16. It is important to note the role of private individuals like Teika in preserving Japan’s literary heritage. Some Japanese scholars have suggested that Japan represents a special case in that its literary heritage was preserved not by agents of the state, but by private collectors, and indeed many of the most important extant collections of texts, like Kanazawa Bunko, were private collections. See Yamamoto Nobuyoshi, Kotenseki ga kataru: shomotsu no bunkashi [The Classics Speak: A Cultural History of Books] (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten, 2004). 17. Some scholars have suggested that this was in fact the case—for example, Kornicki, Book in Japan, 135. 18. Ihara Saikaku’s Five Women Who Loved Love has been translated into English: Wm. Theodore de Bary, trans., Five Women Who Loved Love: Amorous Tales from 17th-Century Japan (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle, 1956); for Jippensha Ikku, see Thomas Satchell, trans., Shank’s Mare: Japan’s Great Comic Novel of Travel and Ribaldry (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle, 1960). Bakin’s masterpiece Nans¯o Satomi hakkenden has exerted an enduring influence on Japanese popular culture, spawning numerous novel, film, manga, and animated adaptations, although far fewer Japanese have read the original 106-volume work. It unfortunately remains untranslated. 19. While the notion of kawaraban as forerunners to the modern press is not new, increasingly historians have also come to recognize the value of kawaraban for doing social history; see, for example, M. William Steele, Alternative Narratives in Modern Japanese History (London: Routledge, 2003), esp. ch. 1. 20. On Rangaku, in which foreign books played such vital roles, see Marius B. Jansen, “Rangaku and Westernization,” Modern Asian Studies 18, no. 4 (1984): 541–553; Annick Horiuchi, “When Science Develops Outside State Patronage: Dutch Studies in Japan at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century,” Early Science and Medicine 8, no. 2 (2003): 148–172; and more specifically on the role of books, J. MacLean, “The Introduction of Books and Scientific Instruments into Japan, 1712–1854,” Japanese Studies in the History of Science 13 (1974): 9–68; and W. F. Vande Walle and Kazuhiko Kasaya, eds., Dodonaeus in Japan: Translation and the Scientific Mind in the Tokugawa Period (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2001). 21. On Titsingh, see Timon Screech, Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822 (New York: Routledge, 2006), a collection of Titsingh’s writings with an ¯ extended introduction. One of the books Titsingh took to Europe was Nihon Odai Ichiran, a chronicle of rulers by the historian Hayashi Gah¯o (Hayashi Razan’s son), published in Japan in 1652. Titsingh’s posthumously published translation of the work into French introduced it to a wide audience in the early nineteenth century, and as the first Japanese-authored history of Japan available in Europe it enjoyed substantial recognition.

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


22. A fitting image is offered by translator Konosu Yukiko, who refers to the era as a “wonderland of translations.” Meiji Taish¯o honyaku wondaarando [The Meiji-Taish¯o Wonderland of Translations] (Tokyo: Shinch¯osha, 2005). 23. Today the most well known of these teachers is probably Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904; known in Japan as Koizumi Yakumo), who wrote about Japanese culture and folk tales. Another well-known figure in Japan, if not abroad, is Raphael von Koeber (1848–1923), who taught philosophy in Japan for twenty years and who counted among his students many notables, such as the writer Natsume S¯oseki and the philosopher Watsuji Tetsur¯o. As for the university libraries, the catalog of European holdings compiled by Tokyo Imperial University in 1891 ran to 630 pages and listed thousands of works. Tadano Akira, ed., Author Catalogue of the Library of Teikoku-Daigaku (Imperial University) (Tokyo: Imperial University Library, 1891). 24. On this issue, see Lydia H. Liu, Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity—China, 1900–1937 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1995). The access to Western works and scholars enjoyed by Japanese intellectuals gave them far more opportunities to develop translations and scholarship than their Chinese colleagues, who additionally suffered from an unstable regime and economy, and imperialist incursions. 25. Natsume S¯oseki, Kokoro [Heart/Essence], trans. Edwin McClellan (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1957); Nishida Kitar¯o, Zen no kenky¯u [An Inquiry into the Good], trans. Masao Abe and Christopher Ives (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1990). 26. The Peace Preservation Law was intended to deal with the perceived threat of socialism and the radical workers’ movement. Because it increased the powers of the police and placed significant limits on intellectual freedom, it has conventionally been seen as heralding the end of the liberalism of the Taish¯o period (often called “Taish¯o democracy,” although it was less than democratic) and the beginning of the road to militarization and war in the early Sh¯owa period (1926–1945). 27. The popular appeal of manga cannot be overstated: in contrast to the limited range of contemporary Japanese fiction available in translation, many major manga series are available abroad in many languages. Since the late 1990s, both Japanese- and English-language scholars have become increasingly interested in studies of manga (along with anime and video games, which together comprise the three pillars of Japanese otaku subculture). Representative works in Japanese include Shimizu Isao, Manga no rekishi [A History of Manga] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1991); and Kusaka Midori, ed., Manga kenky¯u e no tobira [The Door to Manga Studies] (Fukuoka: Azusa Shoin, 2005), which looks at comics around the world, particularly in East Asia. While the field still awaits a comprehensive historical treatment of the subject in English, there have been several meaningful studies, including Anne Allison, Permitted & Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1996); and Sharon Kinsella, Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Culture (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2000). On early modern predecessors to manga, see Adam L. Kern, Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kiby¯oshi of Edo Japan (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University East Asia Center, 2006). The fact that in Korea, North America, and elsewhere those inspired by manga have taken up producing their own art in a “manga-style” has raised important questions about, for example, the conventional dichotomies between manga and American comics, as well as terminological issues (“manga” in Japanese simply refers to any type of comic artwork, whereas in North America the term has been adopted to refer to Japanese-style comic artwork). The English-language world has recently seen everything from manga mathematics textbooks to manga renditions of Shakespeare, suggesting an insatiable audience demand for the medium. The developing field of manga studies also brings into question dichotomies such as comics/literature and may shape how print culture is perceived in the future, particularly in light of the long history and wide variety of manga.


Book History

¯ e Kenzaburo¯ and Murakami Haruki have 28. While famous and established writers like O seen their works translated, by far the majority of critically acclaimed Japanese fiction remains untranslated. The situation for scholarship is even worse, with very few Japanese academic works being translated. In contrast, virtually every popular British or American best seller and a wide range of scholarship is available in Japanese translation. 29. For example, see Yamashita Hiroshi, “S¯oseki zensh¯u wo megutte” [On the Complete Works of S¯oseki], S¯oseki kenky¯u [S¯oseki Studies] 3 (1994): 184–204. 30. Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji, 2 vols., trans. Royall Tyler (New York: Viking Penguin, 2001), 1:460–461. 31. Ivan Morris, trans., As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams: Recollections of a Woman in Eleventh-Century Japan (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), 54–55. 32. Teika’s copying efforts, which were frequently aided by his female servants (who themselves left traces of their work on the copied texts), produced a collection that today represents a rich literary heritage. According to his diary, Meigetsuki, Teika copied the Tale of Ise over three days in 1231, and spent another day or two to revise it. He recorded on the sixteenth day of the second month in 1225 that his female servants had completed their work copying all fifty-four scrolls of the Tale of Genji, which they had begun in the eleventh month of the previous year. In the following year he copied three scrolls from the Genji himself at the request of a royal princess, and was ordered to copy two more in 1230 despite suffering from fever and toothache at the time. Meigetsuki, transcribed at “Fujiwara Teika no chosaku to Heian-ch¯o kotenjaku no shoshak¯okan ni kansuru s¯og¯o d¯etab¯esu” [Comprehensive Database Concerning Transcripted Items of Fujiwara Teika’s Works and Classics of the Heian Period], http://www. 33. While often rendered in English simply as “bibliography,” shoshigaku is an inclusive category that may include textual criticism and editing. 34. “Shuppan” literally means “putting out/producing han.” The “han” originally referred to the identifying label or board of a text, and evolved to mean a given instance of a text, akin perhaps to “edition” or “version.” “Shuppan” originally meant, then, producing the spines of texts (that is, printing books), and evolved to mean printing reproductions of a given version of a text. 35. Nakano Mitsutoshi, ed., Edo no Shuppan [Edo Printing] (Tokyo: Perikan-sha, 2005), 7–8. 36. Makino Zenb¯e, comp., Tokugawa bakufu jidai shoseki k¯o: fu kankei jik¯o oyobi shuppanshi [A Consideration of Books from the Era of the Tokugawa Bakufu: With Related Matters and a Publication History] (Tokyo: Shosekisho kumiai jimusho, 1912). While the original work is somewhat rare (but held by both Tokyo University and the National Diet Library), it was republished by Yumani Shob¯o in 1976 with commentary by the scholar Yayoshi Mitsunaga. 37. Kobayashi Zenpachi, Sekai shuppan bijutsushi [A World History of the Printing Craft] (Tokyo: Bungeisha, 1930); Kobayashi Zenpachi, Nihon shuppan bunkashi [A History of Japanese Print Culture] (Tokyo: Society for Publishing A History of Japanese Print Culture, 1938). Nihon shuppan bunkashi was republished by Seish¯od¯o Shoten in 1978. 38. This is a point echoed by Yayoshi Mitsunaga in his afterword to Kobayashi Zenpachi, Nihon shuppan bunkashi (Tokyo: Seish¯od¯o Shoten, 1978), 1–6. Yayoshi emphasizes how shuppanshi (history of printing) requires the consideration of copied texts in many fields, presenting a formidable challenge, and how Kobayashi met this challenge through looking at the connection between publishing and scholarship, blending together the disciplines of bibliography and the history of printing to develop shuppan bunkashi. In other words, Yayoshi, a major scholar in his own right, credits Kobayashi with inventing the field of the history of print culture. 39. Okano Takeo, Shomotsu kara mita Meiji no bungei [The Art of Meiji as Seen through Books] (Tokyo: T¯oy¯od¯o, 1942).

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


40. Okano, Nihon shuppan bunkashi. It was later republished in a one-volume format by Shunpod¯o in 1959, and then by Hara Shob¯o in 1981. 41. Sugimura Takeshi, Kindai nihon dai shuppan jigy¯oshi [Great History of the Modern Japanese Publishing Industry] (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1953); “Meiji ik¯o shuppan bunka shiry¯o ten: mokuroku to kaisetsu” [“Exhibition of Materials on Print Culture since Meiji: Catalog and Commentary”], National Diet Library, 1966 (National Diet Library holdings). Writings on the history of local printing industries evolved out of pamphlets and short publications, often connected to local industry leaders or boosters. One early work was Takakura Shin’ichi, Hokkaid¯o shuppan sh¯oshi [A Short History of Printing in Hokkaid¯o] (Sapporo: Hokkaid¯o ¯ Branch of the Japanese Publishing Association, 1947); another was Wakisaka Y¯otar¯o, Osaka shuppan roku-j¯u-nen no ayumi [Sixty Years of Osaka Publishing Progress] (Osaka: Osaka Publishing Cooperative, 1956). 42. Nakamura Kiyozo, ¯ Kinsei shuppanh¯o no kenky¯u [A Study of Early Modern Printing Laws](Tokyo: Maruzen, 1972); Suzuki Toshio, Edo no honya [The Bookstores of Edo], 2 vols. (Tokyo: Ch¯uk¯o Shinsho, 1980); Konta Y¯ozo, ¯ Edo no kinsho [Prohibited Books of the Edo Era] (Tokyo: Yoshikawa K¯obunkan, 1981); Munemasa Is¯o, Kinsei Ky¯oto shuppan bunka no kenky¯u [A Study of Print Culture in Early Modern Kyoto] (Kyoto: D¯omeisha Shuppan, 1982). 43. Kawase Kazuma, Ny¯umon k¯owa Nihon shuppan bunkashi [Introductory Lectures on the History of Japanese Print Culture] (Tokyo: Nihon Edit¯a Suk¯uru [Japan Editors’ School], 1983). 44. For example, on best sellers, see Shiozawa Minobu, Sh¯owa besutoser¯a ses¯oshi [The History of the World of Sh¯owa Best Sellers] (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmeisha, 1988). On advertising by publishers, see Ishikawa Hiroyoshi and Ozaki Hotsuki, Shuppan k¯okoku no rekishi, 1895– 1941 [A History of Publishers’ Advertising, 1895–1941] (Tokyo: Shuppan News, 1989). On bookselling and the economics of publishing, see Ozaki Hotsuki and Munetake Asako, Nihon no shoten hyakunen: Meiji, Taish¯o, Sh¯owa no shuppan hanbai sh¯oshi [A Hundred Years of Japanese Bookstores: A Short History of the Publishing Trade in the Meiji, Taish¯o and Sh¯owa Eras] (Tokyo: Seieisha, 1991). An earlier work to consider on this topic is Hashimoto Motomu, Nihon shuppan hanbaishi [A History of the Japanese Publishing Trade] (Tokyo: K¯odansha, 1964). 45. Shiozawa Minobu, Sengo shuppan bunkashi [A History of Postwar Print Culture], 2 vols. (Tokyo: Rons¯osha, 1987). 46. Yayoshi Mitsunaga’s early work included guides for libraries, such as Shinbashi tosho no sentaku [Choosing New Books] (Tokyo: Ris¯osha, 1961), and studies like Hyakkajiten no seirigaku [A Bibliographic Study of Encyclopedias] (Tokyo: Takeuchi Shoten, 1972); the festschrift was Toshokan to shuppan bunka: Yayoshi Mitsunaga-sensei kij¯u kinenronbunsh¯u [Libraries and Print Culture: A Festschrift in Honor of Yayoshi Mitsunaga-sensei on His 77th Birthday] (Tokyo: Group to Commemorate Yayoshi Mitsunaga-sensei’s 77th Birthday, 1977). 47. Yayoshi Mitsunaga, Edo jidai no shuppan to hito [People and Printing in the Edo Period] (Tokyo: Nichigai Associates, 1980); Yayoshi Mitsunaga, Meiji jidai no shuppan to hito [People and Printing in the Meiji Period] (Tokyo: Nichigai Associates, 1982). 48. Yayoshi Mitsunaga’s other major studies include Edo shuppanshi: bungei shakaigakuteki ketsuron [The History of Edo Printing: Litero-Sociological Conclusions] (Tokyo: Yumani Shob¯o, 1989), and Kindai shuppan bunka [Early Modern Print Culture] (Tokyo: Yumani Shob¯o, 1990). His document collections include Bakumatsu Meiji shuppan shiry¯o [Historical Documents Pertaining to Printing in the Bakumatsu and Meiji Eras] (Tokyo: Yumani Shob¯o, 1993), and Mikan shiry¯o ni yoru Nihon shuppan bunka [Japanese Print Culture According to Unpublished Historical Documents], 8 vols. (Tokyo: Yumani Shob¯o, 1988–1993). This latter series collectively comprises part 26 of Yumani Shob¯o’s extensive Shoshi shomoku [Catalog of Bibliography] series, which also includes many republished classics of bibliographic scholarship. Yayoshi’s early scholarly writing was also compiled into a six-volume series, Yayoshi Mit-


Book History

sunaga chosakush¯u [Collected Writings of Yayoshi Mitsunaga] (Tokyo: Nichigai Associates, 1981–1983). Obviously, it does not include his later significant works. 49. In local studies of early modern Japan, the unit of focus is normally the domain (han), a quasi-feudal territory headed by a lord (daimy¯o) and his retainers. Lords were subject to bakufu laws and regulations, had restrictions imposed on their military capability, and generally acknowledged the bakufu’s monopoly on foreign affairs, but could have a considerable degree of local autonomy. The early modern domains, with considerable adjustment, became the basis ¯ Masahiro’s for the modern prefectures. A good example of a local study of print culture is Ota study of Owari Domain, Owari shuppan bunkashi [A History of Print Culture in Owari] (Jinbei: Rokk¯o Shuppan, 1995). There have also been studies of local printing industries from the ¯ perspective of multiple domains, such as Asakura Haruhiko and Owa Hiroyuki, eds., Kinsei chih¯o shuppan no kenky¯u [Studies on Early Modern Regional Printing] (Tokyo: Tokyod¯o Shuppan, 1993). 50. On libraries and book collectors, see, for example, Okamura Keiji, Edo no z¯oshoka [The Book Collectors of Edo] (Tokyo: K¯odansha, 1996). Libraries were a perennial favorite among research topics scholars carried over from literary studies. Yayoshi Mitsunaga’s early scholarship was also heavily oriented toward libraries. See also Kawasaki Yoshitaka and Tsuda Sumiko, “Library History Studies in Japan and the Japan Society for the Study of Library History (JSSLH),” Libraries and Culture 25, no. 1 (Winter 1990): 130–137. For a literary treatment of print culture, see Ichiko Natsuo, Kinsei shoki bungaku to shuppan bunka [Literature and Print Culture in the First Half of the Early Modern Era] (Tokyo: Wakakusa Shob¯o, 1998). 51. On women, see, for example, Ikeda Emiko’s edited volume on women in modern journalism, Shuppan joseishi: shuppan j¯anarizumu ni ikiru josei-tachi [Women’s History of Print: Women Who Lived on Print Journalism] (Kyoto: Sekai Shis¯osha, 2001). On editing, see Matsumoto Masashigu, Sengo shuppan to hensh¯usha [Editors and Postwar Publishing] (Tokyo: Ichiy¯osha, 2001); and Sugatsuke Masanobu, Toky¯o no hensh¯u [Tokyo Editing (with an English subtitle, “Visionary Tokyo Editors: Their Lives and Works”)] (Tokyo: Pie Books, 2007). On the editing of some of the great compilations of classic texts, see Kumata Atsumi, Sandai hensanbutsu—Gunshoruij¯u, Kojiruien, Kokusho s¯omokus¯o—no shuppan bunkashi [A History of the Print Culture of Three Great Compilations: The Gunshoruij¯u, Kojiruien, and Kokusho s¯omokus¯o] (Tokyo: Bensey Shuppan, 2009). 52. Kokubungaku Kenky¯u Shiry¯okan [National Institute of Japanese Literature], ed., Meiji no shuppan bunka [Meiji Print Culture] (Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten, 2002); Nakano, Edo no shuppan. 53. Ono Hideo, Nihon shinbunshi [A History of Japanese Newspapers] (Tokyo: Ry¯osho Fuky¯ukai, 1949); Nishida Taketoshi, Meiji jidai no shinbun to zasshi [Newspapers and Magazines in the Meiji Period] (Tokyo: Shibund¯o, 1961); Oka Mitsuo, Kindai Nihon shinbun sh¯oshi: sono tanj¯o kara kij¯oka made [A Short History of Modern Japanese Newspapers: From Inception to Commercialization] (Tokyo: Minerva Shob¯o, 1969). Ono (1885–1977) was one of the earliest scholars in the field, whose first study was Nihon shinbun hattsushi [A History of the Development of Japanese Newspapers] (Osaka: Osaka Mainichi Shinbunsha, 1922). Nishida and Oka represented the next generation, which entered the field after the war. 54. Fuji Akio, Edo bungaku to shuppan media: kinsei zenki sh¯osetsu wo ch¯ushin ni [Edo Literature and Print Media: With a Particular Focus on Novels in the First Half of the Early Modern Era] (Tokyo: Kasama Shoin, 2001); Kan Satoko, Media no jidai: Meiji bungaku wo meguru j¯oky¯o [The Age of Media: The Situation of Meiji Literature] (Tokyo: S¯obunsha Shuppan, 2001). One accessible and frequently reprinted discussion piece is that of Kato¯ Hidetoshi and the literary theorist Maeda Ai, Meiji media k¯o [Considering Meiji Media] (Tokyo: Ch¯uo¯ K¯oronsha, 1980). 55. Yoshida Yutaka, Edo no masukomi “kawaraban”: “terakoyashiki” de genbun kara yondemiru [“Kawaraban,” Edo-era Mass Communication: Let’s Read Original “Terakoya”

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


Documents] (Tokyo: K¯obunsha Shinsho, 2003). See also the beautifully illustrated Uchida Keiichi, Edo no shuppan jj¯o [The Publishing Situation in Edo] (Kyoto: Seigensha, 2007). As for terakoya, these were temple schools that taught reading, writing, and other subjects to commoners in the Edo period. They have been understood as both early agents of mass literacy and forerunners of the modern education system begun in the Meiji era. 56. For example, Sat¯o Takumi, “Kingu” no jidai: kokumin taish¯u zasshi no k¯oky¯usei [The Era of “King” [Magazine]: Mass Magazines and Community] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2002); and Takeuchi Y¯o, Ky¯oy¯oshugi no botsuraku: kawariyuku eriito gakusei bunka [The Downfall of Ky¯oy¯osh¯ugi: Changing Elite Student Culture] (Tokyo: Ch¯u¯o K¯oron Shinsha, 2003). 57. Nagatomo Chiyoji, Edo jidai no shomotsu to dokusho [Books and Reading in the Edo Period] (Tokyo: Tokyod¯o Shuppan, 2001). 58. The first full-length study of book circulation in early modern Japan appears to be Nagatomo’s Edo jidai no tosho ry¯uts¯u [Book Circulation in the Edo Period] (Kyoto: Bukkyo University Correspondence Division, 2002). 59. In addition to his own scholarship, such as “Shomotsu kara jidai wo yomu: dokusho kenky¯u no sususme” [Reading an Era through Books: Suggestions for Reading Studies], Hitotsubashi Rons¯o [Hitotsubashi Review] 123, no. 4 (2000): 670–687, Wakao Masaki also oversees the journal Nihon ni okeru shomotsu/shuppan to shakai heny¯o [Books/Publishing and Social Change in Japan]. 60. T¯ono Haruyuki, Sho no kodaishi [A History of Ancient Writing] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1994). 61. Gomi Fumihiko, Shomotsu no ch¯useishi [Medieval History through Books] (Tokyo: Misuzu Shob¯o, 2003). 62. Ibid., esp. introduction. 63. Oda Mitsuo has written extensively on many aspects of print culture, past and present, in Japan and Europe. For example, see Shoten no kindai: hon ga kagayaiteita jidai [The Modern Experience of Bookstores: An Era when Books Flourished] (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2003), and Furuhon kenky¯u [Studies on Second-hand Books] (Tokyo: Rons¯osha, 2009). 64. An example of a recent study produced by a publishing association is Editorial Committee for the History of Print Culture in Hokkaid¯o, ed., Hokkaid¯o no shuppan bunkashi: Bakumatsu kara Sh¯owa made [A History of Print Culture in Hokkaido: From the Bakumatsu Era to the Sh¯owa Period] (Sapporo: Hokkaid¯o Publishing Project Center, 2008). 65. In terms of comparative scholarship, Takamiya Toshiyuki and Harada Noriyuki’s Hon to hito no rekishi jiten [Encyclopedia of Bookmanship] (Tokyo: Kashiwa Shob¯o, 1997) is a good place to start, particularly for students. Well illustrated and focusing on European history, it covers a range of issues such as forms of printing, bookstores, women readers, and libraries. On China, consider Inoue Susumu, Ch¯ugoku shuppan bunkashi: shomotsu sekai to chi no f¯ukei [A History of Chinese Print Culture: A Landscape of World Books and Knowledge] (Nagoya: University of Nagoya Press, 2002); and Miya Noriko, Mongoru jidai no shuppan bunka [Print Culture during the Age of the Mongols] (Nagoya: University of Nagoya Press, 2006). On Europe, recent scholarship includes Takano Katsuya, Y¯oroppa no shuppan bunkashi [A History of Print Culture in Europe] (Tokyo: R¯obund¯o, 2004). 66. In 1871, the British consul to Japan, Sir Harry Parkes, prepared a report on Japanese papermaking for the British government, complete with hundreds of samples from across the country. The Parkes Collection is now stored at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. See Pauline Webber, “The Parkes Collection of Japanese Paper,” V&A Conservation Journal 15 (April 1995): 5–9. 67. In fact, even ukiyo-e themselves were affected by Western demand. As Japanese artists and printers came to recognize the size of the potential market offered by Westerners, and the profits that could be generated, they began to produce works designed to appeal to Western sensibilities and images about Japan. The most significant development in this regard was


Book History

initiated by Watanabe Sh¯ozabur¯o (1885–1962), who recruited artists to produce ukiyo-e using traditional methods and depicting traditional subjects, but incorporating stylistic innovations from Western painting. This new generation of prints, called shin hanga (“new prints”), were, unlike their predecessors, intended primarily for the Western market. 68. Edward F. Strange, Japanese Illustration: A History of the Arts of Wood-Cutting and Colour Printing in Japan (London: George Bell and Sons, 1897); Wm. Dallam Armes, The Color-Prints of Old Japan (Berkeley, Calif.: University Press, 1901). Another early work of note is W. von Seidlitz, A History of Japanese Colour-Prints (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1910). While these were scholarly treatments, many works, and indeed the earliest works on prints and illustrations, tended to be produced by private art clubs. One of the first of these was the Catalogue of Prints and Books Illustrating the History of Engraving in Japan (London: Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1888), produced by a British gentlemen’s club of art enthusiasts. 69. David Chibbett, The History of Japanese Printing and Book Illustration (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1977); Allen Hockley, The Prints of Isoda Kory¯usai: Floating World Culture and Its Consumers in Eighteenth-Century Japan (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003); Andreas Marks, Japanese Woodblock Prints: Artists, Publishers and Masterworks, 1680–1900 (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle, 2010). See also the following essay collections, which cover a range of topics related to the art, production, and context of prints: Amy Reigle Newland, ed., The Commercial and Cultural Climate of Japanese Printmaking (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2004); Susanne Formanek and Sepp Linhart, eds., Written Texts—Visual Texts: Woodblock-Printed Media in Early Modern Japan (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2005); and Julia Meech and Jane Oliver, eds., Designed for Pleasure: The World of Edo Japan in Prints and Paintings, 1680–1860 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008). Scholarship also continues on specific artists, such as Hokusai (David Bell, Hokusai’s Project: The Articulation of Pictorial Space [Kent: Global Oriental, 2007]), and Utamaro (Julie Nelson Davis, Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty [London: Reaktion Books, 2008]). A good source for scholarship on prints is William Green, Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Bibliography of Writings from 1822–1992, Entirely or Partly in English Text (Leiden: Ukiyo-e Books, 1993). In addition to the large number of studies and print catalogs available, there is also the journal of the Japanese Art Society of America (formerly the Ukiyo-e Society of America), Impressions. Needless to say, there is also considerable Japanese scholarship on ukiyo-e; a landmark work is K¯odansha’s eight-volume Nihon hanga bijutsu zensh¯u [The Art of the Japanese Print] (Tokyo: K¯odansha, 1960–1962), and there is also the long-running journal of the Ukiyo-e Hogo kenky¯ukai (Ukiyo-e Preservation Society), Ukiyo-e. 70. Ernest M. Satow, The Jesuit Missionary Press in Japan, 1591–1610 (privately printed, 1888), also available from Doshisha University at 71. Johannes Laures, Kirishitan Bunko: A Manual of Books and Documents on the Early Christian Missions in Japan (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1940). The first part is devoted to the Jesuit mission press. See also Johannes Laures, “Second Supplement to Kirishitan Bunko,” Monumenta Nipponica 7, nos. 1–2 (1951): 269–299; Joseph K. Yamagiwa, “Revisions in the Rakuyoshu at the Time of Its Printing in 1598,” Monumenta Nipponica 11, no. 2 (July 1955): 185–194; Richard L. Spear, “Research on the 1593 Jesuit Mission Press Edition of Esop’s Fables” Monumenta Nipponica 19, nos. 3–4 (1964): 456–465; and Diego Pacheo, “Diogo de Mesquita, S.J. and the Jesuit Mission Press,” Monumenta Nipponica 26, nos. 3–4 (1971): 431–443. 72. The notion of newspapers as harbingers of democracy may also have inspired Western scholars interested in Japanese modernization. Among the earliest accounts available in English were a section in Okuma Shigenobu, Fifty Years of New Japan, trans. Marcus B. Huish (London: Smith, Elder, 1909), which discussed the emergence of daily newspapers and the political press along with a brief treatment of modern book publishing (2:393–420); and Frank L. Mar-

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


tin, “The Journalism of Japan,” University of Missouri Bulletin 19, no. 10 (April 1918), Journalism Series 16. Kawabe Kisabur¯o’s The Press and Politics in Japan: A Study of the Relation between the Newspaper and the Political Development of Modern Japan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1921) was the first in-depth treatment. 73. Kawabe was followed by several other books, but most of these were short works written by Japanese journalists. Most significant among these were two books by Hanazono Kanesada, The Development of Japanese Journalism (Osaka: Osaka Mainichi Shinbunsha, 1924), and Journalism in Japan and Its Early Pioneers (Osaka: Osaka Shuppansha, 1926). 74. In particular, see Albert A. Altman, “The Emergence of the Press in Meiji Japan” (Ph.D., diss., Princeton University, 1965); and Leon Zolbrod, “Mass Media of the Tokugawa Period: Background of Japanese Popular Literature and Journalism,” East Asian Occasional Papers II (Asian Studies, University of Hawaii) 4 (1970): 123–143. 75. John D. Pierson, Tokutomi Soh¯o, 1863–1957: A Journalist for Modern Japan (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980); James L. Huffman, Politics of the Meiji Press: The Life of Fukuchi Gen’ichir¯o (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1980). Tokutomi Soh¯o also featured prominently in Kenneth B. Pyle, New Generation in Meiji Japan: Problems of Cultural Identity, 1885–1895 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1969). As an aside, a former assistant to Tokutomi became a master traditional bookbinder and wrote a book on the subject: see Ikegami K¯ojir¯o, Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions from a Master Craftsman, trans. Deborah Kinzer, adapted by Barbara B. Stephan (New York: Weatherhill, 1986). The Japanese original (Hon no tsukurikata) was published in 1979. 76. See, for example, Albert A. Altman, “The Press and Social Cohesion during a Period of Change: The Case of Early Meiji Japan,” Modern Asian Studies 15 (1981): 865–876; Albert A. Altman, “The Press,” in Marius B. Jansen and G. Rozman, eds., Japan in Transition: From Tokugawa to Meiji (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986): 231–247; It¯o Takeshi and George Akita, “The Yamagata-Tokutomi Correspondence: Press and Politics in MeijiTaish¯o Japan,” Monumenta Nipponica 36, no. 4 (Winter 1981): 391–423; and Brian Bridges, “The Japanese Press Abroad: The Case of the ‘Singapore Herald,’” Publishing History 19 (1986): 85–93. 77. One early treatment of freedom of the press and related issues is James L. Huffman, “Freedom and the Press in Meiji-Taish¯o Japan,” Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan (III) 19 (1984): 137–171; see also Gregory J. Kasza, The State and the Mass Media in Japan, 1918–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988). 78. James L. Huffman, Creating a Public: People and Press in Meiji Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997); see also James L. Huffman, “Commercialization and the Changing World of the Mid-Meiji Press,” in New Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan, ed. Helen Hardacre and A. L. Kern (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 562-580; and James L. Huffman, A Yankee in Meiji Japan: The Crusading Journalist Edward H. House (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). Other recent work includes studies such as Kakegawa Tomiko’s “The Japan Chronicle and Its Editors: Reflecting Japan to the Press and the People, 1891–1940,” Japan Forum 13 (2001): 27–40. 79. For example, see Gerald Groemer, “Singing the News: Yomiuri in Japan during the Edo and Meiji Periods,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 54, no. 1 (June 1994): 233–261; and Sepp Linhart, “Kawaraban—Enjoying the News When News Was Forbidden,” in Formanek and Linhart, Written Texts—Visual Texts, 231–250. 80. On the history of education in Japan, see Ronald P. Dore, Education in Tokugawa Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965); Donald Roden, Schooldays in Imperial Japan: A Study in the Culture of a Student Elite (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980); Richard Rubinger, Private Academies of Tokugawa Japan (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982); Marleen Kassel, Tokugawa Confucian Education: The Kangien Academy of Hirose Tanso (1782–1856) (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996); Margaret


Book History

Mehl, Private Academies of Chinese Learning in Meiji Japan: The Decline and Transformation of the Kangaku Juku (Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2003); and, most recently, Benjamin Duke, The History of Modern Japanese Education: Constructing the National School System, 1872–1890 (Piscataway, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2009). On reception, see Joseph K. Yamagiwa, “Regional Differences in Literary Tastes and Reputations in Japan,” Occasional Papers: Center for Japanese Studies (University of Michigan) 4 (1953): 51–75; Earl H. Kinmonth, “Fukuzawa Reconsidered: Gakumon no Susume and Its Audience,” Journal of Asian Studies 37, no. 4 (August 1978): 677–696; Michael C. Brownstein, “Jogaku Zasshi and the Founding of Bungakukai,” Monumenta Nipponica 35, no. 3 (Autumn 1980): 319–336; and Peter Kornicki, “Unsuitable Books for Women? Genji Monogatari and Ise Monogatari in Late Seventeenth-Century Japan,” Monumenta Nipponica 60, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 147–193. On canon formation, see Michael C. Brownstein, “From Kokugaku to Kokubungaku: CanonFormation in the Meiji Period,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 47, no. 2 (December 1987): 435–460; and Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki, eds., Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000). Finally, for the textbook debates, the best-known example is the lengthy struggle of historian Ienaga Sabur¯o to overturn textbook censorship. See John Caiger, “Ienaga Sabur¯o and the First Postwar Japanese History Textbook,” Modern Asian Studies 3, no. 1 (1969): 1–16; and Randy Huntsberry, “‘Suffering History’: The Textbook Trial of Ienaga Sabur¯o,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 44, no. 2 (June 1976): 239–254. See also Alexander Bukh, “Japan’s History Textbooks Debate: National Identity in Narratives of Victimhood and Victimization,” Asian Survey 47, no. 5 (September–October 2007): 683–704. On textbooks used during the Meiji period, see E. Patricia Tsurumi, “Meiji Primary School Language and Ethics Textbooks: Old Values for a New Society?” Modern Asian Studies 8, no. 2 (1974): 247–261. 81. For example, on orality, see Ebersole, Ritual Poetry; Edwina Palmer, “The ‘Womë-No’ Poem of ‘Harima Fudoki’ and Residual Orality in Ancient Japan,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 63, no. 1 (2000): 81–89; and Ross Bender, “Performative Loci of the Imperial Edicts in Nara Japan, 749–770,” Oral Tradition 24, no. 1 (March 2009), On writing, see Seeley, History of Writing in Japan; Edward Kamens, “Terrains of Text in Mid-Heian Court Culture,” in Heian Japan: Centers and Peripheries, ed. Mikael S. Adolphson, Edward Kamens, and Stacie Matsumoto (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007), 129–152; and David Lurie, “The Subterranean Archives of Early Japan: Recently Discovered Sources for the Study of Writing and Literacy,” in Books in Numbers: Conference Papers, ed. Wilt L. Idema (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2007), 91–112. On printing, see Kenneth B. Gardner, “Centres of Printing in Medieval Japan: Late Heian to Early Edo Period,” Japanese Studies (British Library Occasional Papers 11) (London: British Library, 1990): 157–169. On book collecting, see Ivo Smits, “China as Classic Text: Chinese Books and Twelfth-Century Japanese Collectors,” in Tools of Culture: Japan’s Cultural, Intellectual, Medical, and Technological Contacts in East Asia, 1000–1500s, ed. Andrew Edmund Goble, Kenneth R. Robinson, and Haruko Wakabayashi (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Association for Asian Studies, 2009), 183–210. 82. See G. Raymond Nunn, “On the Number of Books Published in Japan from 1600 to 1868,” in East Asian Occasional Papers 1 (Asian Studies at Hawai‘i 3) (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i, 1969): 110–119; Tasaburo Ito, “The Book Banning Policy of the Tokugawa Shogunate,” Acta Asiatica 22 (1972): 36–61; MacLean, “Introduction of Books and Scientific Instruments.” The early work of Peter F. Kornicki includes “The Publisher’s Go-Between: Kashihonya in the Meiji Period,” Modern Asian Studies 14 (1980): 331–344; “Obiya Ihei, a Japanese Provincial Publisher,” British Library Journal 11 (1985): 131–142; and “Provincial Publishing in the Tokugawa Period,” Japanese Studies (British Library Occasional Papers 11) (London: British Library, 1990): 188–197. Kornicki was one of several scholars who worked on collections of Japanese books in the United Kingdom; see, for instance, Hayashi Nozomi

The History of Books and Print Culture in Japan


and Peter Kornicki, Early Japanese Books in Cambridge University Library: A Catalogue of the Aston, Satow and von Siebold Collections (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991); and Kenneth B. Gardner, Descriptive Catalogue of Japanese Books in the British Library Printed Before 1700 (London: British Library, 1993). A decade later saw Japanese scholars assessing the collection of Japanese works held by the Library of Congress, although they produced none of the extensive catalogs of their British colleagues. See the symposium “Collecting Books, Accumulating Knowledge” in Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal 12, no. 1 (Spring 2004). 83. Yoshida Kogor¯o, Tanrokubon: Rare Books of Seventeenth-Century Japan, trans. Mark A. Harbison (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1984). The work contains numerous fullcolor illustrations and even a paper sample. 84. Henry D. Smith II, “The History of the Book in Edo and Paris,” in Edo and Paris: Urban Life and the State in the Early Modern Era, ed. James L. McClain, John M. Merriman, and Ugawa Kaoru (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1994), 332–352. 85. Mary Elizabeth Berry, “Public Life in Authoritarian Japan,” Daedalus 127, no. 3 (Summer 1998): 133–165. 86. Postwar scholarship on Japan increasingly had to wrestle with the conflation of popular representation with democracy, since prewar Japan had the former but lacked the latter until the end of the American occupation in 1952. 87. Berry, “Public Life in Authoritarian Japan,” 151–152. 88. Kornicki, Book in Japan. See also Smith’s thoughtful reflections on Kornicki’s book in his review, “Japaneseness and the History of the Book,” Monumenta Nipponica 53, no. 4 (1998): 499–515. 89. Mary Elizabeth Berry, Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007). 90. Peter F. Kornicki, “Manuscript, not Print: Scribal Culture in the Edo Period,” Journal of Japanese Studies 32, no. 1 (Winter 2006): 23–52; Peter F. Kornicki, Mara Patessio, and G. G. Rowley, eds., The Female as Subject: Reading and Writing in Early Modern Japan (Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, [University of Michigan], 2010); Vande Walle and Kasaya, Dodonaeus in Japan; Marcia Yonemoto, Mapping Early Modern Japan: Space, Place, and Culture in the Tokugawa Period, 1603–1868 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003). 91. Noma Seiji, The Nine Magazines of Kodansha: The Autobiography of a Japanese Publisher, unknown trans. (London: Methuen, 1934). 92. G. R. Nunn, “Modern Japanese Book Publishing,” Occasional Papers: Center for Japanese Studies (University of Michigan) 8 (1964): 59–94. Also helpful is Natsuko Y. Furuya, “Postwar Publishing Trends in Japan,” Library Quarterly 32, no. 3 (July 1962): 208–222. 93. Matthi Forrer, Eirakuya T¯oshir¯o, Publisher at Nagoya: A Contribution to the History of Publishing in 19th-Century Japan (Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1985). During the Edo period, there were three major print centers (Edo, Kyoto, and Osaka), but both then and now important publishers on the periphery warrant attention. 94. Richard Rubinger, “From ‘Dark Corners’ into ‘The Light’: Literacy Studies in Modern Japan,” History of Education Quarterly 30, no. 4 (Winter 1990): 601–612; Richard Rubinger, “Who Can’t Read or Write? Illiteracy in Meiji Japan,” Monumenta Nipponica 55, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 163–198; Gerald Figal, “How to jibunshi: Making and Marketing Self-Histories of Sh¯owa among the Masses in Postwar Japan,” Journal of Asian Studies 55, no. 4 (November 1996): 902–933. Rubinger followed up his articles with a full-length study, Popular Literacy in Early Modern Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007). See also J. Marshall Unger, Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading between the Lines (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996). 95. Rachel DeNitto, “Return of the ‘Zuihitsu’: Print Culture, Modern Life, and Heterogeneous Narrative in Prewar Japan,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 64, no. 2 (December


Book History

2004): 251–290; Susan Townsend, “Lost in a World of Books: Reading and Identity in Prewar Japan,” Literature Compass 4, no. 4 (2007): 1183–1207; Giles Richter, “Enterpreneurship and Culture: The Hakubunkan Publishing Empire in Meiji Japan,” in Hardacre and Kern, New Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan, 590–602; Vanessa Ward, “The Spectre of the Left: Iwanami Shoten, Ideology and Publishing in Early Postwar Japan,” Japanese Studies 26, no. 2 (September 2006): 171–184; Andrew T. Kamei-Dyche, “The Making of Taish¯o Intellectual Culture: Iwanami Shoten and the Canonization of Nishida Kitar¯o,” in Japan and Its Eventuality: Pushing the Envelope Further, ed. Norio Ota (York, Canada: York University, forthcoming). Also in relation to Iwanami Shoten, see J. Thomas Rimer’s treatment of founder Iwanami Shigeo, “Iwanami Shigeo’s Meiji Education: Encounters, Transmissions,” in Hardacre and Kern, New Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan, 136–150. There is also considerable Japanese scholarship on company founders like Iwanami Shigeo: see Abe Yoshishige, Iwanami Shigeo den [A Biography of Iwanami Shigeo] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1957); and Murakami Ichir¯o, Iwanami Shigeo (Tokyo: Sunagoya Shob¯o, 1982). For Iwanami’s intellectual networks, see Andrew Kamei-Dyche, “Iwanami Shigeo to senzen no chishikjin to no kankei ni tsuite” [Concerning Relations between Iwanami Shigeo and Prewar Intellectuals], Kokushigaku [Journal of Japanese History] 200 (April 2010): 284. 96. Theodore F. Welch, Libraries and Librarianship in Japan (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997); for works of cultural history that touch on print culture, see, for example, Miriam Silverberg, Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007); and Michiko Suzuki, Becoming Modern Women: Love and Female Identity in Prewar Japanese Literature and Culture (Stanford. Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2009). 97. See Sari Kawana, Murder Most Modern: Detective Fiction and Japanese Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008). 98. The recent burst of English-language scholarship on books and print culture in China, both modern and premodern, is particularly important. See, for example, T. H. Barrett, The Woman Who Discovered Printing (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2008); Lucille Chia, Printing for Profit: The Commercial Publishers of Jianyang, Fujian (11th–17th Centuries) (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003); Joseph McDermott, A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books and Literati Culture in Late Imperial China (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2006); Christopher Reed, Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876–1937 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2005); and especially Cynthia Brokaw’s groundbreaking Commerce in Culture: The Sibao Book Trade in the Qing and Republican Periods (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007).

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