Japanese Works : Shibai setsuyō shū

Japanese Works

<p style='text-align: justify;'><i>Shibai setsuyō shū</i> (戯場節用集) is a nineteenth century woodblock-printed textbook consisting of various titles related to the theme of kabuki theatre. The book begins with <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(2);return false;'>prefatory material</a>, including a Chinese-language preface signed by Rien Yūjin 梨園遊人. This is followed immediately by <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(4);return false;'>a detailed list of contents</a>, including the work from which the title of the book is derived, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(23);return false;'>Shibai setsuyō shū</a>. The book also contains <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(35);return false;'>a list of stage names</a> and such practical topics as <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(22);return false;'>multiplication</a> and the characters for the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(37);return false;'>ten celestial stems and twelve animals of the zodiac</a>, which were used to identify years.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>This volume includes a <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(40);return false;'>colophon</a>, which dates the book to Tenpō 天保 13 [1842] and idenfies the main publisher as Kawachiya Tasuke 河地屋太助 in Osaka. Three additional publishers are listed: Matsuya Zenbei 松屋善兵衞 (Bishu), Yoshinoya Jinbei 吉野屋仁兵衞 (Kyoto), and Namariya Yasubei 鉛屋安兵衞 (Kyoto). In addition to the colophon, there is an <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(37);return false;'>afterward</a> signed by Senritei Yabutora 千里亭藪乕. Despite this wealth of publication information, there is no direct evidence of the author's or illustrator's identity.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>The <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://base1.nijl.ac.jp/~tkoten/'>Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books</a> lists fourteen other extant copies of this title. It also identifies the author as Kōbunsha Seishi 好文舎青氏 and the illustrator as Takehara Unpō 竹原雲峰. However, the source of that attribution is unclear. The Cambridge copy reproduced here may be compared to a digital <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://tinyurl.com/zsdbpkx'>copy of a book belonging to Ninjōji Temple</a>, which has a different preface. The Ninjōji Temple copy lacks the publisher's colophon, so its date is unknown.</p>

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