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In Recasting the Past: An Early Modern Tales of Ise for Children Laura Moretti recreates in image and text the unresearched 1766 picture-book Ise fūryū: Utagaruta no hajimari (The Fashionable Ise: The Origins of Utagaruta). The introduction analyses Utagaruta through a discussion of the textual scholarship relating to chapbooks and kusazōshi. It also contextualizes this work to shed new light on the reception history of the canonical Tales of Ise and to position Utagaruta within the realm of children’s literature. This is followed by the full transcription and translation of Utagaruta, with annotations to each image. Learned and visually rich, Moretti’s study permits the reader to enjoy the inventiveness and beauty of early modern Japanese literature.
In: An Ise monogatari Reader


This article explores an under-researched area of the Japanese early-modern (1603-1867) publishing history, by examining the catalogues called shojaku mokuroku. First, it analyses the publication history, the editorial process and the contents of these catalogues. By doing so, it offers a new definition of shojaku mokuroku, it reflects upon the growth and the variety which characterize the production of Kyoto publishers/booksellers and proves to what extent these publishers constituted a self-conscious, self-promoting, business-driven unified body. Second, by considering the order that was given to books in shojaku mokuroku, it explores what this order reveals about the publishing market in early-modern Japan and shows revealing differences with widely-held views on Japanese early-modern literature. Third, it investigates how these catalogues were used in the Edo period across the country and reflects upon what the circulation of these catalogues tell us about the circulation of books outside urban centres.

In: East Asian Publishing and Society
Part of a formidable publishing industry, cheap yet eye-catching graphic narratives consistently charmed early modern Japanese readers for around two hundred years. These booklets were called kusazōshi (“grass books”).
Graphic Narratives from Early Modern Japan is the first English-language publication of its kind. It enables anyone new to kusazōshi to gain comprehensive knowledge of the field. For the specialist, our edited volume marks a turning point in scholarship, uncovering fresh research avenues.
While exploring the powerful effects of the visual-verbal imagination, this collection opens up bold new vistas on the act of reading and advances provocations around comics and manga.
Contributors are: Jaqueline Berndt, Joseph Bills, Michael Emmerich, Adam L. Kern, Fumiko Kobayashi, Frederick Feilden, Laura Moretti, Matsubara Noriko, Satō Satoru, Satō Yukiko, Satoko Shimazaki, Takagi Gen, Tanahashi Masahiro, Ellis Tinios, Tsuda Mayumi and, Glynne Walley.