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A new development in this period was the appearance of provincial presses sponsored by the local daimyo. Although early medieval provincial temples did print books mimicking the large temples of the Kinai area, they did so without any consistency or regularity. The printing undertaken by Gozan monks under the sponsorship of local lords in the late-medieval period differed from these earlier attempts in both form and content. Among the most active presses to thrive in large feudal towns and ports were those sponsored by the Hosokawa in Sakai, the Ōuchi in Yamaguchi, the Shimazu in Satsuma, the Imagawa in Sunpu, and the Asakura in Ichijōdani.
Sakai was an important center of trade with China, and because of its unique concentration of new professional groups such as merchants, physicians, printing there took a highly distinctive route. Among the most widely published titles by the provincial presses were the anthology of Zen koans Biyan Lu (1), the Analects (2) of Confucius, and the Chinese rhyming dictionary Shūbun inryaku(3). Here is Biyan Lu (1) printed in Muromachi period(). The Biyan lu is the foundational text of the Rinzai sect of Zen. It was printed by temples across Japan for use in religious instruction. The Analects were the cornerstone of secular education. The edition you see was printed in Sakai in 1533 (Tenmon 8) (2) and it is known as the Tenmon-era() Analects.
The Kamakura-period () Shūbun inryaku (3) provided the pronunciation of Chinese characters and was used as a reference for composing poetry in Chinese. By this point, most printed books were bound in the fukurotoji (bound pocket) style. Like the Gozan temple presses, the Sakai press published secular titles, but its range was wider and included scholarly works by the Kiyohara lineage of court scholars, and particularly the Analects, which were printed several times. In other words, book printing was becoming more and more secularized. Another significant publication was the Ming-dynasty() medical text Yishu Daquan(4), which was printed in the latest format from China.
Medical texts, which were also printed by the Asakura at Ichijōdani, epitomize the new trend of printing books for practical purposes in addition to religious and philosophical texts. During the Tenshō era (), Ishibe “Ryōsatsu” Nagakiyo, under the pseudonym “The Bookmaker,” printed the Shitai senbun shohō (5)(The One Thousand Character Classic in Four Calligraphic Styles) and dictionaries such as the Setsuyōshū(6). Originally (Nara period ()) the term “bookmaker” (literally, the sutra craftsman) referred to sutras copiers, but in the medieval period it came to be applied to printers and binders working at temple presses. Printing seems to have been a hereditary profession for the Ishibe family. The One Thousand Characters Classic was used to teach basic literacy, as was the Setsuyōshū.
Neither of them had anything to do with religion, and it is highly likely that they were made to be sold. Thus, from its beginnings in Gozan temples, printing during the Muromachi era(*) spread to the various local daimyo presses, became increasingly secularized, and even began to show the first signs of commercialization. The early experiments with secular texts by the Gozan-ban editions paved the way for the spread of kangaku (Chinese studies) to a wider section of society and also brought an increase in literacy rates. This is but one of the many ways in which the activity of the Gozan-ban influenced Japanese culture at large. However, it would take the influx of new technology from outside Japan for commercial printing to truly thrive.



英語字幕では時代名に(*)マークをつけてあります。 詳細は Step1.3「東アジアの歴史年表」をご覧ください。



  1. 碧巌録(へきがんろく)(※)
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  2. 天文版論語(てんもんばん・ろんご)2冊(※)
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  3. 聚分韻略(しゅうぶんいんりゃく)五山版
  4. 医書大全(いしょたいぜん)明朝
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  5. 四体千文書法(したいせんせんぶんしょほう) 天正
  6. 節用集(せつようしゅう)天正
  7. 歴代序略(れきだいじょりゃく)駿府今川家が出版した書籍の例(※)
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古書から読み解く日本の文化: 漢籍の受容

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