hachimonjiyabon 八文字屋本
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Refers to the books of the floating world *ukiyo zoushi 浮世草子 published by the Kyoto bookstore Hachimonjiya 八文字屋, particularly when under the ownership of Hachimonjiya Jishou 八文字屋自笑 (d.1745). In a broader sense, books of the same type and form produced during and after the Shoutoku 正徳 era (1711-16) were all known as hachimonjiyabon whether or not they were published by Hachimonjiya. Even so, these were limited to ukiyo zoushi such as shamisenmono 三味線物 and katagimono 気質物. The 1701 publication KEISEI IROJAMISEN 傾城色三味線 (The Courtesan's Amorous Shamisen) by Ejima Kiseki 江島其磧 (1666-1735) is considered to be the first of these books. The hachimonjiyabon flourished from the Houei 宝永 (1704-11) through the Enkyou 延享 (1744-48) eras. They went into a decline during and after the Kan'en 寛延 era (1748-51), but continued to be produced until the An'ei 安永 era (1772-81). Stylistically, there are works in the tradition of Ihara Saikaku 井原西鶴 (1642-93), romantic writings which took as their themes Japanese legends and current happenings, and works which had a story-like nature based on ballad dramas joururi 浄瑠璃 and *kabuki 歌舞伎. The book's characteristic shape was wider than it was tall in the form commonly known as makurabon 枕本 or pillow book (usually one-half the size of a Mino 美濃 book, which itself was approximately 200 x 280mm). Authors who created hachimonjiyabon included Jishou, Kiseki, and Tada Nanrei 多田南嶺 (1698-1750). Only Kiseki can be clearly confirmed as an author. Most hachimonjiyabon were produced jointly or anonymously. Well-known artists of the day illustrated these books, including Nishikawa Sukenobu 西川祐信 (1671-1751), and many hachimonjiyabon were superior works from the standpoint of book-binding techniques. The romantic aspects of the hachimonjiyabon were transmitted into the literature of the Edo and Meiji periods.


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