Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsI now see how important scrolls were in traditional bookmaking. What you have in your hands now is a book-style format though, Wa wide-page fukurotoji. Yes, it's an illustrated book. The colors are very vivid; there is even gold leaf. It's a particularly luxurious item. It's what is known as a Nara ehon. They were very common in the 17th century, weren't they? Yes. By the 17th century they were common, but they didn't exist in the first half of the 16th century. That's odd. They don't look particularly unusual to me. And yet in the first half of the 16th century few would have thought of putting pictures in a book of this kind.
Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsComing to think of it, I can't think of an early illustrated book that isn't a scroll. Exactly. Since the early days of Japanese bookmaking in the 8th century, the only books to be illustrated were scrolls (known as emaki, or, "picture scrolls"). But that changed in the 16th century. That's an interesting development. Yes, it was one of the turning points in Japanese book history. Continuing from our discussion of book formats last week, this week we look at the history of illustrated books.
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