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Glossary: Japanese Rare Books

This is a glossary of terms related to Japanese rare books.
© Keio University



  • Ansai-ten: 闇斎点 Yamazaki Ansai’s marking style [2.12]
  • Ashikaga (city): 足利 a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. [2.1]
  • Ashikaga Gakkō , Ashikaga School: 足利学校 Ashikaga-Gakkō, meaning the Ashikaga School is Japan’s oldest academic institution. [2.1],[2.7],[2.11]


  • Baekje: 百済 kingdom in southwest of the Korean peninsula (346?-660) [2.4]
  • Bihan Bunko: 尾藩文庫 library of Owari domain, modern Aichi prefecture [2.11]
  • Book of Changes: 周易 Yijing, a. k. a. Zhouyi [2.3]
  • Buddha : 釈迦 the progenitor of Buddhism [2.3]
  • Bunka Shūreishū : 文華秀麗集 Collection of Literary Masterpieces, 818 [2.5]
  • Bunshi Genshō: 文之玄昌 (1555-1620) Rinzai-sect monk [2.8]
  • Bunshi-ten: 文之点 marking for Chinese classics for rendering them in Japanese [2.8]


  • the Classic of Filial Piety: 孝経 one of the classic Confucian writings in China [2.5]
  • Confucian classics: 儒学 study based on classic thought of Confucius [2.5]
  • Confucianism: 儒教 The philosophy and teaching of Confusius [2.1],[2.15]
  • Confucius: 孔子 Chinese philosopher whose ideas and sayings became the basis of a philosophical doctrine known a Confucianism [2.2],[2.3],[2.13],[2.15]
  • Constitution in 17 Articles, Seventeen-Article Constitution: 十七条憲法 constitution made by Prince Shōtoku [2.5]


  • Dacang yilanji : 大蔵一覧集 Digest of the Tripitaka, (J. Daizō Ichiran-shū) [2.11]
  • daigakuryō: imperial university [2.5]
  • Daigoji: 醍醐寺 temple in Kyoto [2.5]
  • daimyō : 大名 feudal lords [2.1],[2.8],[2.10]
  • decisive battle of Sekigahara, the Battle of Sekigahara: 関が原の戦い biggest internal warfare of the Warring States period of Japan, 1600 [2.8]
  • Dōshun-ten: 道春点 Hayashi Razan’s marking style [2.12]


  • Edo: 江戸 period of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868), see 1.3 for more details. [2.5],[2.7],[2.8], [2.10],[2.11],[2.12],[2.13],[2.14]
  • Edo: 江戸 modern Tokyo [2.5],[2.13], [2.15]
  • Edo castle: 江戸城 (J. Edo-Jō), A castle build by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1457. It was the residence of the shogun and the military capital in Edo period of Japanese history. It is a part of the Tokyo Imperial Palace today and is located in Chiyoda, Tokyo. [2.15]
  • Emperor Ōjin: 応神天皇 legendary 15th emperor of Japan [2.4],[2.5]
  • Emperor Takakura : 高倉天皇 the 80th emperor of Japan [2.5]
  • emperor Wu: 武帝 ( r 265-289) emperor of Western Jin dynasty, China [2.4]
  • Empress Suiko: 推古天皇 the 33th emperor of Japan (r. 592-628) [2.5]
  • Erya: 爾雅 the oldest surviving Chinese dictionary [2.5]
  • Eulhaeja: J., itsugaiji [1.20]


  • Five Classics: 五経 Book of Documents, Book of Odes, Book of Changes, Spring and Autumn Annals, and Record of Rites [2.5]
  • Five Classics and the Four Books: 四書五経 general term for typical four Chinese books and five classic sutras of Confucianism [2.1]
  • Five Mountains, Gozan: 五山 five government-sponsored Zen centers in Kyoto and Kamakura [2.1]
  • Four Books: 四書 the Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, the Analects, and the Mencius [2.8],[2.11]
  • Francis Xavier: フランシスコ・ザビエル (1506-1552) pioneering Roman Cathoric missionary travelling to Japan in the 16th century [2.1]
  • Fujiwara: 藤原 powerful clan in the court and political field in Heian period [2.5]
  • Fukuzawa Yukichi: 福澤諭吉 (1834-1901) samurai, educator introducing Western ideas into Japan, the founder of Keio Univeresity [2.15]
  • Fushihara family: 伏原家 Kiyohara family’s branch founded by Kiyohara Katatada in the Edo period [2.5]


  • Gen’na : 元和 era in Edo period (1615-1624). See 1.3 for the timeline of Japanese history and era names in Edo period. [2.9],[2.11]
  • Gen’na Armistice: 元和偃武 (J. Gen’na Enbu), peace after Gen’na era [2.11]
  • Gomo jigi : 語孟字義 Text and Meaning of the Analects and the Mencius, 1705 [2.13]
  • Gotō markings: 後藤点 marking style of Gotō Shizan [2.12]
  • Gotō Shizan : 後藤柴山 ( 1721-1782) official scholar of the Takamatsu domain, modern Kagawa prefecture [2.12]
  • Gozan-ban, Gozan printed editions: 五山版 printed books by Gozan temples [2.7]


  • hakase: 博士 scholar or schlarly [2.6],[2.7],[2.9],[2.14]
  • Hakushi monjū, the Collected Wrintings of Bai Juyi: 白氏文集 collection of poems by Bai Juyi [2.5]
  • Han Dynasty : 漢 dynasty in China (206BC-220 AD) [2.3],[2.9]
  • Hayashi Razan: 林羅山 (1583-1657) Confucian scholar, a. k. a. Dōsyun [2.5],[2.10],[2.11],[2.12]
  • Heian: 平安 period (794-1185), see 1.3 for more details. [2.5],[2.7],[2.13]
  • hiragana: 平仮名 syllabic alphabet derived from kanji [2.1]
  • Huang Kan: 皇侃 a scholar in the Southern and Northern Courts period of China [2.4]


  • Ishida Mitsunari: 石田 三成 (1560-1600) feudal lord, retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi [2.8]
  • Ishin Sūden : 以心崇伝 (1569-1633) monk in Rinzai sect [2.11]
  • Issai-ten: 一斎点 Sato Issai’s marking style [2.12]
  • Itō Jinsai : 伊藤仁斎 (1627-1705) Confucian scholar, philosopher [2.13]


  • Jōkeni’n-text Shisho: 常憲院本 The Four Books with Collected Commentaries published by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi [2.11]
  • Jugakusha: 儒学者 Confucian scholar, Japanese scholars of Confucianism [2.4]


  • Kaikōin: 戒光院 temple in Hyogo [2.7]
  • Kamakura (place): 鎌倉 city in modern Kanagawa prefecture; the seat of government between 1185 and 1333. [2.1],[2.5],[2.7]
  • Kamakura (period): 鎌倉 period (1185-1333), see 1.3 for more details. [2.5],[2.7]
  • Kan’ei : 寛永 era in Edo period (1624-1625). See 1.3 for the timeline of Japanese history and era names in Edo period. [2.9]
  • Kanke bunsō: 菅家文草 Collected Writings of Sugawara no Michizane, early 10th c. [2.5]
  • Kanshitsu Genkitsu: 閑室元佶 (1548-1612)monk of the Rinzai sect, a. k. a. Sanyō Genkitsu [2.11]
  • Kantō: 関東 eastern district of Japan [2.5],[2.11]
  • Keichō: 慶長 era in Edo period (1596-1615), See 1.3 for the timeline of Japanese history and era names in Edo period. [2.5],[2.9]
  • Kii: 紀伊 modern Wakayama prefecture, Japan [2.11]
  • Kii-han: 紀伊藩, Kii domain, modern Wakayama prefecture, Japan [2.11]
  • King Ping: 平王 king of Eastern Zhou dynasty of China (R 771-720 BCE) [2.3]
  • King Wu: 武王 founder of Zhou dynasty of China [2.3]
  • King Zhou: 紂王 last king of the Shang dynasty, China [2.3]
  • the Kiyohara or Kiyohara family : 清原家 one of the aristocratic families specialized in the academic study and reading of the Confucian classics in Heian period. [2.5], [2.9]
  • Kiyohara Bunko: 清家文庫 archive of books of Kiyohara family’s [2.5]
  • Kiyohara Hirozumi: 清原広澄 (934-1009) A Professor (Hakase) of letters in the Heian period [2.5]
  • Kiyohara Yorinari: 清原頼業 (1122-1189) personal tutor to Emperor Takakura in the Heian period [2.5]
  • Kiyohara no Noritaka, Kiyohara Kyōryū: 清原教隆   (1199-1265) a professor of Confucian classics [2.5]
  • Kiyohara Yorimoto: 清原頼元 (1290-1367) court official [2.5]
  • Kiyohara Nobutaka: 清原宣賢 (1475-1550) the most respresentative Kiyohara scholar of the Muromachi period, joined the Kiyohara from Yoshida lineage of Shinto. [2.5]
  • Ko-ron: 古論 The ‘Old’ Analects [2.4]
  • Kōan: 弘安 era in Kamakura period (1278-1287). See 1.3 for the timeline of Japanese history. [2.5]
  • Kōfukuji: 興福寺 temple for the Fujiwara clan in Nara [2.7]
  • Koga Tōan: 古賀侗庵 (1788-1847) Confucian scholar [2.13]
  • Kogaku School: 古学派 “Study of Antiquity” School [2.13]
  • Kojiki: 古事記 Record of Ancient Matters, 712 [2.4]
  • kokatsujiban, “ Old” movable type editions: 古活字版 ”Old” movable type editions in early modern period in Japan [2.9],[2.14]
  • Konchi’in: 金地院 temple in Nanzenji complex [2.11]
  • Kōsanji: 高山寺 temple in Toganoo, Kyoto [2.5]
  • Kōshōgaku: 考証学 bibliographical study of Chinese classics [2.10],[2.13]
  • Mount Kōya, Kōyasan: 高野山 the main center of Shingon Buddhism [2.7]
  • kunten: 訓点 reading marks added to Chinese texts to allow readers to read them in Japanese [2.8],[2.12]
  • Kyoto: 京都 center of politics and culture for a long time in old Japan, modern Kyoto city [2.5],[2.7],[2.8],[2.11]


  • Laozi: 老子 philosopher in Warring States period of China and the founder of Daoism [2.3]
  • Later Han dynasty: 後漢 China dynasty (25-220 C.E.) [2.4]
  • Lunyu yishu : 論語義疏 The Annotated Analects, 6th c. CE [2.4]


  • Matsuzaki Kōdō: 松崎慊堂 (1771-1844) Confucian scholar [2.10],[2.13]
  • Meiji: 明治 period (1868-1912), see 1.3 for more details. [2.13], [2.15]
  • Meiji restoration : 明治維新 the recovery of the Imperial prerogatives in the late 19th century which brought feudalisim and the shogunate sytem to an end, and with which began the modernization and industrialization. [2.15]
  • Mencius: 孟子 (372 ?-289 BCE ?) Confucian scholar in Warring States period of China [2.4]
  • Ming : 明 China dynasty (1368-1644) [2.8],[2.9]
  • Mito: 水戸 modern Ibaraki prefecture, Japan [2.11]
  • Momijiyama Library: 紅葉山文庫 library for shogun established in momijiyama in Edo castle [2.11]
  • Muromachi: 室町 period (1392-1573), see 1.3 for more details. [2.5],[2.7],[2.8],[2.9],[2.15]


  • the Nakahara: 中原, 中原家 (Nakahara-ke) aristocratic family specialized in the academic study and reading of the Confucian classics [2.5]
  • Nanshūji: 南宗寺 temple in Osaka [2.7]
  • Nanzenji: 南禅寺 temple in Kyoto [2.11]
  • Nara ( place ): 奈良 ancient capital of Japan [2.7]
  • Neo-Confucianism, Shushigaku: 朱子学 Neo-Confucianism [2.9],[2.11],[2.13]
  • Nihon shoki: 日本書紀 Chronicles of Japan, 720 [2.4]
  • Nikkō: 日光 city in Tochigi prefecture [2.11]


  • the Ōe: 大江 clan in the court and political field in Heian period [2.5]
  • the Ōnin wars : 応仁 (文明) [3.13]乱 (1467-1477) Internal war of the power of the Muromachi shogunate [2.8]
  • Ogyū Sorai: 荻生徂徠 (1666-1728) Confucian scholar, thinker [2.13]
  • One Thousand Characters Classic: 千字文 books used to teach basic literacy [2.4]
  • Osaka: 大阪 biggest city in western Japan [2.5],[2.7]
  • Owari: 尾張 modern Aichi prefecture, Japan [2.11]


  • Prince Shōtoku : 聖徳太子 (574-622)politician, member of the royalty in the Asuka period of Japan [2.5]
  • Prince Toneri : 舎人親王 a son of Emperor Tenmu (r. 673-686) [2.5]
  • Professor of Chinese Pronunciation: 音博士 (on hakase) professor of Chinese pronunciation at imperial university in ancient Japan [2.5]
  • Professor of Letter: 文章博士 (monjo hakase) professor of letters at imperial university in ancient Japan [2.5]


  • Qin : 秦 China dynasty (776-206 BCE) [2.3]
  • Qin Shi Huang: 始皇帝 (259-210 BCE) first Qin emperor [2.3]
  • Qunshu zhiyao : 群書治要 (J. Gunsho chiyō) Collected Writings on Important Matters of Government [2.11]


  • Records of the Historian: 史記 history book compiled by the historian, Shima Qian [2.3],[2.5]
  • Rikugei kōkin: 六藝喉衿 a. k. a. Analects of Confucius, The Mouthpiece of the Six Arts [2.4]
  • Rinke, the Hayashi family: 林家 Hayashi Razan and his descendants [2.11]
  • Rinnōji: 輪王寺 temple in Nikkō city [2.11]
  • Rinzai sect : 臨済宗 One of the Zen sect [2.8]
  • Ro-ron: 魯論 a. k. a. Analects of Confucius, The Lu-version Analects [2.4]
  • Rongo shūsetsu: 論語集説 Collected Interpretations of the Analects [2.13]
  • Rongo-chō : 論語徴 Commentary on the Analects [2.13]


  • Saigō Takamori: 西郷 隆盛 (1828-1877) warrior and politician [2.15]
  • Sakai: 堺 modern Osaka area [2.7]
  • San Lue : 三略 (J. Sanryaku)Three Strategies of Huang Shigong [2.7]
  • San’yō : 三要 (1548~1612) monk of the Rinzai sect, a. k. a. Kanshitsu Genkitsu [2.11]
  • Sato Issai: 佐藤 一斎 (1772-1859) Confucian scholar [2.12]
  • Sei-ron: 斉論 The Qi-version Analects [2.4]
  • Seichō: 正長 era in Muromachi period (1428). See 1.3 for the timeline of Japanese history. [2.5]
  • seihan: 整版 woodblock printing [2.9]
  • sengoku daimyō: 戦国大名 daimyō of the Warring States period of Japan [2.8]
  • Shang: 殷 China dynasty (17c.BC-1046 BC) [2.3]
  • Shengjitu: 聖蹟図 an illustrated biography of Confucious consisting of 104 sketches [2.3]
  • Shimazu : 島津 a daimyō family [2.8]
  • Shintō: 神道 Japan’s religion, polytheism [2.5]
  • Shisho shicchū, Four Books ([2.12]): 四書集注 commentary on Four Books [2.6],[2.8],[2.10],[2.11],[2.12]
  • shogun : 将軍 plenipotentiary commander [2.12]
  • shogunate: 幕府 (J. Bakufu) the samurai Administration who assumes the supreme power person of the samurai family a chief in the medieval or modern period in Japan [2.11]
  • Shōheizaka gakumonjo, Shōheizaka Center of Learning ([2.11]): 昌平坂学問所 Edo shogunate’s official center of learning [2.11]
  • Shōkōkan Bunko: 彰考館文庫 library of Mito domain, modern Ibaraki prefecture [2.11]
  • Shushigaku , Neo-Confucianism: 朱子学 Neo-Confucianism [2.9],[2.11],[2.13]
  • Sima Qian: 司馬遷 a famous historian of the Han dynasty, China [2.3]
  • Song: 宋 China dynasty (960-1279) [2.9]
  • Southern and Northern Courts period, Nanboku-chō periods, Northern and Southern Courts period: 南北朝時代 period (1336-1392), see 1.3 for more details. [2.5],[2.7]
  • Spring and Autumn period: 春秋時代 period of China ( 770-403 BCE) [2.3]
  • Sunpu: 駿府 capital of Suruga province, modern Shizuoka prefecture, Japan [2.11]
  • Suruga: 駿河 modern Shizuoka prefecturem, Jaoab [2.11]
  • Suruga Oyuzuri-bon: 駿河御譲本 Tokugawa Ieyasu’s private book collection [2.11]
  • Shōhei: 正平 era in Nanboku-chō periods (1346-1370). See 1.3 for the timeline of Japanese history. [2.5],[2.6],[2.7]


  • the Tachibana: 橘 clan in the court and political field in Heian period [2.5]
  • Takenaka Hanbei: 竹中半兵衛 (1544-1579) famous strategist of Toyotomi Hideyoshi [2.6],[2.8]
  • Takenaka Shigekado: 竹中 重門 (1573-1631) warrior, son of Takenaka Hanbei [2.6],[2.8]
  • Tang : 唐 (618-907) China dynasty [2.9]
  • Tenkai: 天海 (1536-1643) monk of the RInnōji temple in Nikkō [2.11]
  • Tenmon : 天文 era in Muromachi period (1532-1555). See 1.3 for the timeline of Japanese history. [2.6],[2.7]
  • Tochigi: 栃木 Tochigi Prefecture (Tochigi-ken) is located in the Kantō region of Japan [2.1]
  • Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tokugawa bakufu: 徳川家康 (1543-1616) the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan [2.8],[2.11]
  • Tokugawa Tsunayoshi: 徳川綱吉 (1646-1709) the fifth shogun of Edo shogunate, his Buddhist name is Jōken’in. [2.10],[2.11]
  • Tokyo: 東京 capital of Japan [2.1],[2.5]
  • Toyama: 富山 modern Toyama prefecture [2.12]
  • Toyotomi Hidetsugu: 豊臣秀次 (1568-1595) the second senior regent of Toyotomi clan [2.11]
  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi: 豊臣秀吉 (1537-1598) warrior and senior regent to emperor [2.8]


  • waka: 和歌 Japanese poems [2.1]
  • Wakan rōeishū: 和漢朗詠集 Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing, early 11th c. [2.5]
  • Wani kishi: 和邇吉師 a Baekje person in traditions, bringing the Chinese classics to Japan [2.4]
  • Warring States period: 戦国時代 (中国) period of China (403-221 BCE) [2.3]
  • Warring States, era of civil war in Japan: 戦国時代 (日本) (J. sengoku jidai) , from late 15th c. (beginning in 1467 when the Ōnin wars started or 1493 when Meiō Coup happened) to late 16th c. (end in 1587 when Sobujirei (peace edict) by Toyotomi Hideyoshi or 1590, the end of Odawara war). [2.1],[2.15]
  • Wenxuan: 文選 (J. Monzen) Selection of Refined Writing [2.5]
  • Western Jin : 西晋 dynasty of China (265-316) [2.4]


  • Yamazaki Ansai: 山崎闇斎 (1619-1682) Confucian scholar, a. k. a. Yamazaki Ka [2.10],[2.12]
  • Yasui Sokken: 安井息軒 (1799-1876) Confucian scholar [2.10],[2.13]
  • Yushima seidō: 湯島[3.13]聖堂 a monumental shrine to Confucious [2.11]


  • Zen: 禅 one of Mahayana Buddhism sects [2.1], [2.6], [2.7], [2.8], [2.9]
  • Zhao Qi: 趙岐 (-201) politician, scholar [2.4]
  • Zhou: 周 China dynasty (1046-256B.C.E.) [2.3]
  • Zhu Xi: 朱熹 (1130-1200) Song dynasty thinker [2.9], [2.10], [2.11], [2.13]
© Keio University
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