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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsFrom this step, we will look at how the reading practices of the great aristocratic scholarly families gradually spread to readers from other backgrounds, and how the Analects eventually broke free from the grip of the scholarly families and gave birth to a whole new culture. In 1364 (Shōhei 19) a printed edition of the Analects known as the Shōhei version Analects (Shōhei-ban rongo) [1] was published for the first time. In Tenmon 2 (1533), another text by the one of the hakase families was published (known as Tenmon version Analects [2]).

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 secondsSuddenly, texts which had previously been jealously kept within the hakase families, came to be read by members of the clergy [3] as well as by the rising group of the time, the samurai. How did Zen monks mark the Chinese text to vocalize it in Japanese? How and why did they publish for warriors?[4] What do the Analects printed using movable type technology imported from Korea in the 16th c. look like? [5] And how did warriors read the text? [6] Using actual books like this copy of the Analects, belonging to the son of the famous 17th c.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 secondsgeneral Takenaka Hanbei, Takenaka Shigekado, [7] let us trace step by step the process through which the Analects penetrated ever more deeply into Japanese culture, going from the hakase families to Zen monks, and, finally, warriors.

The end of secret transmission

In the next several Steps, we will learn how the Analects became familiar to increasingly larger segments of Japanese society. First, watch Prof. Takahashi give a general overview.

Books introduced in the video

  1. Shōhei version Analects (J. Shōhei-ban rongo) 『正平版論語』
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  2. Tenmon version Analects (J. Tenmon-ban rongo) 『天文版論語』
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  3. Kaikoin Temple Version Analects 『論語戒光院本』
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  4. Shisho Daizen 『四書大全』
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  5. Movable-type version of Analects 『古活字版論語』
    Click to see the image and information
  6. Printed version of Analects 『覆古活字版論語』
    Click to see the image and information
  7. Takenaka Shigekado’s copy of the Analects (Shisho shicchū) 『四書集注』竹中重門旧蔵
    Click to see the image and information

More information about these books will be given in the following steps.

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This video is from the free online course:

Sino-Japanese Interactions Through Rare Books

Keio University