Satoko Tokunaga

Satoko Tokunaga

I'm a Professor at Keio University. My research areas include medieval English literature and early printing. I'm now preparing a catalogue of 16th-century English books in Japanese libraries.

Location Yokohama, Japan


  • @YokoRigby Fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • @InekeFioole Thank you for your kind words.
    How fascinating it is to read the Tale of Genji. Indeed, it has so many characters (female!). Prof. Sasaki taught me a sort of guidebooks continued to be made as the relationship is so completed! In modern Japan many students read and learn from a manga version ("Asaki Yumemishi")! Now a bilingual version is...

  • Great news! Thanks to the suggestions from you, learners, the FL team has agreed to keep the original title 'Travelling Books'. This change is all thanks to you. This course continues to evolve by comments and commitments from learners!

  • Thank you, David (if I may), for introducing the image, which reminds me of a fascinating illustrated book by Jyuppensha Ikku/十返舎一九, entitled "A Smash Hit for the Local Book Trade"/『的中地本問屋』(Atariyashita Jihon Doiya), which has a number of illustrations of bookshops in the Edo period.
    A short video introducing this book:...

  • Here is an entire life and story of this travelling incunable created by Jesus (and the ending by Colm with support from their friends and fellow learners!

  • I'd like to echo the lead educator. Sincere thanks to all the learners who have joined this course. The course has developed and the contents have got richer thanks to the passion and inputs from the learners. Books make us friends:-)

  • It was a great pleasure for us all and we're so grateful to you all for the contribution.
    Actually, I often feel the same when I am looking at Japanese old writings... I find it more difficult to read Japanese old handwriting than English medieval manuscripts! Learning and training eyes matter a lot!

  • @YusukeYoshida Congratulations, and we're honoured and very much appreciate your comments and contributions to discussions!

  • どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。

  • @FransZonnevijlle The course will open again, I think!

  • How interesting! I wonder if the company still keeps old Japanese paper as it can be quite rare. V&A Museum in London has a splendid collection of Japanese paper produced in the Edo period and the Meiji period. It was assembled by Sir Harry Smith Parkes, the British Consul in Japan, and shipped to England in March 1871 to be placed in the Education Department...

  • As for the border in Japanese books, there is a great video and an explanation provided by Prof. Sasaki in another Keio FL course "Japanese Culture Through Rare Books", though some learners might remember it. I hope this helps..

  • In Tokyo there is a famous book town called Kanda Jimbocho where you find about 130 bookshops. There is an official website of this town ( which provides "Virtual Bookshelves Gallery of the bookshops: " You can see how Japanese books are stored in bookshelves!
    Some learners might be interested to see...

  • WOW!! \(^o^)/

  • @InekeFioole Stop the video around at 1:40, and have a careful look on the left-hand side. We don't know who wrote the text; my guess is not a professional. If it had been done by a pen-and-ink facsmilist like John Harris, it is really really difficult to tell the difference without his initials (J. H.)...
    The image of Christ is not a part of the book. So it...

  • A cat could be a good/bad reader, leaving "marks" on books too:-)

  • @KieronParkinson Exactly! IIIF is new digital approach in this regard.
    Quoted from <>
    "The IIIF Presentation API specifies a web service that returns JSON-LD structured documents that together describe the structure and layout of a digitized object or other collection of...

  • Also, see Step 2.17 where you see examples from the Bagford collection (though many of learners have probably done so already..)

  • What great stories!! Thank you to all who have commented. We could make an anthology! I very much look forward to reading more from learners:-)

  • @AndreasWerle Fascinating!!! Thank you for all of this. Indeed, the United States made the biggest donation to Tokyo. The current Library was built in 1928, thanks to the courtesy of a 4 million yen donation from John Rockefeller, for example.
    I'm also pleased that you introduced a note by R. B. McK, i.e. Ronald Brunlees McKerrow, an eminent bibliographer and...

  • @InekeFioole No, I'm afraid not. Little has been known about her like many others who worked behind the scene...
    You might be interested to know, for example, base texts of many scholarly editions produced in the Victorian (or perhaps even the early? 20th century) were transcribed by people other than editors (and often female).

  • @AndreasWerle Many, many thanks for your insightful comments and adding more information!
    Yes, it must be quite hard to find more about this. I've written this (as well as the next) step for this course from scratch based on my archival research at the British Academy! I do intend to write more about this in near future, and the librarian/archivist of the...

  • Yes, I do agree! Somehow, your comment reminds me of a photobook "Peek Inside Tokyo Apartments", a collection of photos of ordinary Japanese people's apartments/rooms. "Being famous" is not necessarily the key point in our understanding the culture/history.

  • @MicheleRodda How wonderful that you spotted the label of Isseido at the BL! Yes, I did ask the president of Isseido to look into the old archives, but alas, he could not find it...

  • Dear @JesusDiaz and all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this wonderful travelling story. You've given a fantastic voice to Justinus's book! This is really fascinating and I'm even touched that Jesus created this great story with the help and encouragement of learners!
    What about my making a link to a file of the story so that people can read it as a whole??
    When we...

  • @AndreasWerle, Belatedly, many thanks for supplying the information!!

  • Hi, @YusukeYoshida. I'm very curious to learn about the library you're talking about!

  • If you'd like to read more about Fukuzawa in English, I'd like to recommend writings by alan macfarlane, Professor Emeritus, King's College, Cambridge. He thinks that Fukuzawa is one of the greatest modern philosophers. See, for example, his 'Secrets of the Modern World: Yukichi Fukuzawa'.

  • @HelenSegebarth I cannot agree more! We often forget "what's missing" but I feel it's getting more and more important to think/imagine it from what's there in this rapidly changing and digital-driven world.

  • @AndyGifford Fascinating! I'll definitely go there on my next visit to Edinburgh.

  • @LearnerAnonymous What a wonderful list!! I'm pleased that you choose B'ham Library, where I spent a year as a student:-)

  • @SusanScothern What an interesting combination: a local library has sleepovers for Brownies and Cubs! I find it a fascinating idea:-)

  • @JillHind, How wonderful you can easily go to Bodleian Libraries!! I still vividly remember my first visit to Duke Humphrey's Library.
    As I didn't know Bolton Public Library, I Googled it, and wow... Must go! Thank for this information.

  • @KathleenWalker, thank for your comments on our collaboration! Actually, it's been more than 20 years since Keio had the first collaboration with the BL, which was to digitize the BL's Gutenberg Bible.

    This is a bit "off" the point, but allow me to share the history that in the past Keio people...

  • Hi, @YusukeYoshida, this is really a good point, I think. Thank you for sharing this with learners.

  • Marie, thank you for your warmest message. It's a quite shocking incident.
    I personally feel that we're fortunate to be able to find joy of life in travel, books, learning and meeting new people on this course.

  • @PaulaEsguerra That's indeed a good point, and I think it's one of the reasons why it was not until the end of 19th century when the movable type printing spread in Japan.

  • @ColmClancy こちらこそ、有難う御座います!(It's us that would like to thank you! I've intentionally used Kanji and kana for arigatou gozaimasu :-))

  • @LucieK Hi, Lucie, thank you for joining us. We're so pleased that you are enjoying this course! Any comments to make the course even better will be appreciated.

  • It's a great idea! It might be fun to invite FL learners to contribute a novel/short story!?

  • What an avid learner!