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.