kana zoushi 仮名草子
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. book in kana script. A popular literarily form produced between 1600-82, principally in the Kyoto area. These books were aimed at a general audience and thus employed a mixture of kana 仮名 and kanji 漢字 script to facilitate easy comprehension. The books were first produced by hand but this was quickly superseded by woodblock printing. The contents included novels, miscellaneous essays, records of famous places, military chronicles, religious subjects, and critical writings. Authors were often nobles, priests, or samurai 侍 who had fallen on hard times. The best known author of kana zoushi was Asai Ryoui 浅井了意 (ca. 1612-d.1691), whose most famous work is the UKIYO MONOGATARI 浮世物語 (Tale of the Floating World, ca. 1662). Illustrations were included in kana zoushi, particularly during the Kan'ei 寛永 era (1624-44), but most were by unknown artists. Kana zoushi were a precursor to *ukiyo zoushi 浮世草子.


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