Listen, Copy, Read

Popular Learning in Early Modern Japan


Volume Editors: and
Listen, Copy, Read: Popular Learning in Early Modern Japan endeavors to elucidate the mechanisms by which a growing number of men and women of all social strata became involved in acquiring knowledge and skills during the Tokugawa period. It offers an overview of the communication media and tools that teachers, booksellers, and authors elaborated to make such knowledge more accessible to a large audience.
Schools, public lectures, private academies or hand-copied or printed manuals devoted to a great variety of topics, from epistolary etiquette or personal ethics to calculation, divination or painting, are here invoked to illustrate the vitality of Tokugawa Japan’s ‘knowledge market’, and to show how popular learning relied on three types of activities: listening, copying and reading.
With contributions by: W.J. Boot, Matthias Hayek, Annick Horiuchi, Michael Kinski, Koizumi Yoshinaga, Peter Kornicki, Machi Senjūrō, Christophe Marquet, Markus Rüttermann, Tsujimoto Masashi, and Wakao Masaki.

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Index of Book Titles
Pages: 369–374
Index of Names
Pages: 375–377
Index of Subjects
Pages: 378–379
Matthias Hayek, Ph.D. (2008), is Associate Professor at Paris Diderot University. He has published articles on Early Modern Japanese divination, and co-edited, with Hayashi Makoto, a special issue of Japanese Journal of Religious Studies: Onmyōdō in Japanese History, (40/1, 2013).
Annick Horiuchi, Ph.D. (1990), is Professor of Japanese Studies at Paris Diderot University. She has published Japanese Mathematics in the Edo Period (1600-1868) (Birkhäuser, 2010) and co-edited Repenser l’ordre, repenser l’héritage: Paysage intellectuel du Japon (Droz, 2002).

'This volume is a most welcome contribution, shedding light upon early modern learning practices in a variety of specific fields while the individual essays illustrate an overarching trend toward facilitation of self-directed study.'
Matthew Fraleigh, New Asia Books, (

'This ambitious volume works at the nexus of three fields: book history, intellectual history, and the history of education. Scholars of early modern
Japanese intellectual history and education history will find much to learn from the wealth of primary sources the volume’s contributors bring to light, and, indeed, the volume’s editors seem to have conceptualized the study specifically with these advanced audiences in mind. (..) the volume also addresses the globally comparative field of book history. One of the real delights of Listen, Copy, Read is that it brings insights from the best Japanese scholarship on this subject into conversation with vibrant scholarly discussions of reading, publishing, authorship, and learning in Europe and North America.'
Charlotte Eubanks, The Journal of Japanese Studies, 43/1, (Winter 2017)

All interested in the cultural history of Early Modern Japan, history of the book, history of education, history of science and art.
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