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古書から読み解く日本の文化: 和本の世界



古書から読み解く日本の文化: 和本の世界

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佐々木 孝浩・一戸 渉

The English version of this course is available.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 20 seconds Welcome to the library of the Keio University Institute of Oriental Classics. My name is Takahiro Sasaki and I will be your guide to the collections of this library. A book is a tool for preserving words and images. Through books, an abundance of information, including the knowledge and experiences of the people of the past, has been handed down to the present. But books record more than just words and images. Their form, appearance, and even the scripts and styles used tell us about the fashions and technologies of the times that produced them.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 seconds By studying old books, we can learn a great deal about the geographical areas in which they were made, the historical background, and the individuals and groups involved in their making. While displaying remarkable similarities with books produced in other areas of the Sinitic cultural sphere, Japanese books also possess some unique features, starting with their sheer diversity of form and appearance. One look at the books on display here should be enough to give an idea of such remarkable variety. Taking advantage of Keio University’s impressive collection of rare books, we will take you on a guided tour of the world of old Japanese books.

Skip to 2 minutes and 23 seconds You will explore the important roles that books have played in the cultural history of Japan and reflect on aspects of Japanese culture that can be gleaned from them. Now we would like to invite you to join us to explore the wonderful world of Japanese books.

What topics will you cover?

  • How to handle old Japanese books【古典籍(和本)の取り扱い方】
  • Evolution of scripts and materials used in traditional Japanese books【和本に使われる材料やその内容の時代による変容】
  • Binding methods and the practice of reformatting【装訂技術と改装技術】
  • The hierarchy of book formats in traditional Japan【和本における装訂のヒエラルキー】
  • Relationship between format and content in traditional Japanese books【和本における形状と内容の相関関係】
  • Genre and binding【和本の装訂とジャンルの関係】
  • History of illustrated manuscripts and printed illustrated books【絵入り写本と絵入り版本の歴史】
  • History of printing and publishing in Japan【日本における版本と出版の歴史】
  • Printed books and the development of scholarship in early-modern Japan【日本の近世における書物出版と学問の発展】

When would you like to start?

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain how old Japanese characters evolved into their current format.【古い日本語の文字が、どのように現在の形式に進化したかを説明することができる。】
  • Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between different binding styles, contents, and values of books.【書物のさまざまな綴じ方、内容、および書物の価値との関係を理解して示すことができる。】
  • Describe how books affected the democratization of education in Japan.【書物が日本の教育の民主化に対してどのような影響を及ぼしたのか説明することができる。】
  • Investigate images from old books and identify the cultural and historical background of each image.【古い書物の画像を調査し、その書物の文化的・歴史的な背景を説明することができる。】

Who is the course for?

日本の書物の歴史に興味のある方に向けた入門コースです。日本の歴史や日本文学に関する基礎知識があると理解の助けになりますが、必須ではありません。 このコースは日本の書物関連シリーズの1つで、以下の2コースもあわせて受講することをおすすめしています。

本コースは、視覚的な資料を多く提示しており、残念ながら視覚障害のある学習者にとって活用が困難なものを含みます。 コースビデオは日本語で話されており、英語と日本語の字幕が提供されています。

Who will you learn with?

I'm a Professor at Keio University's Institute of Oriental Classics. I'm the lead educator of the courses "Japanese Culture Through Rare Books" and "The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books".

I am an associate professor at Keio University's Institute of Oriental Classics (SHIDO-BUNKO). I'm one of the educators on the FutureLearn course, "Japanese Culture Through Rare Books."

Who developed the course?

Keio University

Keio University is Japan’s first modern institution of higher learning, and since 1858 has established itself as a leader in Japan through its continued commitment to education, research and medicine.

  • Established

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    Tokyo, Japan
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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$69/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

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  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 22 Feb 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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Sale price available until 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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