Bibliography of news nishikie related publications
 Introduction  General  Stories  Drawings  Topics

Journalism Altman 1965 Asahi 1988 Huffman 1980 Huffman 1997 Huffman 2003 Hwang 2006 Imayoshi 1988 Mainichi 1952 Mainichi 1962 Mainichi 1972a Mainichi 1972b Nakano 1989 Ogi 2006 Okitsu 1997 Ono 1970 Ono 1971 Sasaki 1880 Shinoda 1947 Soma 1941 Taiyo 1978 Tokyo Daigaku 1977 Tsuchiya 2001 Tsuchiya 2002 Yoshida 2003
Literature Markus 1992 Mertz 2003 Rubin 1984 Silver 2008 Tomasi 2004 Washburn 1995

Publications about story telling, both as journalism and as literature, with a focus on mid-19th-century Japan, are found here. Works about news media and biographies of journalists are listed under Journalism. Works about literature and biographies of novelists and narrators are listed under Literature. Studies of illustrations in news media and literature in the "Pictures" section and theme-related studies of journalism or literature are in the "Topics" section.

First posted September 2004
Last updated 16 February 2022


Altman 1965 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Albert Altman
The Emergence of the Press in Meiji Japan
Department of History, Princeton University, 1965
iii, 184 pages, softcover
Doctoral dissertation published on demand by University Microfilms, Michigan

This pioneering attempt to illuminate, in English, the development of newspapers during the Meiji period has a wealth of detail about the beginnings of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun and other early newspapers. It is still worth reading as the first English source to observe that Tokyo nichinichi shinbun founders Jono Denpei the gesaku writer, Nishida Densuke the bookstore clerk, and Ochiai Ikujiro (Yoshiiku) the picture drawer, "were as unlikely a group as might be imagined to be publishing a newspaper of this kind" (p 122). (WW)


Asahi 1988 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Nihon no rekishi Number 101
[History of Japan Number 101]
Shukan Asahi Hyakka Issue 629
[Weekly Asahi Encyclopedia Issue 629]
Manga to shinbun, kawaraban (Kindai I-2)
[Manga and newspapers, newsprints (Recent period Part I-2)]
Tokyo: Asahi Shuppansha, 27 March 1988

Forthcoming. (WW)


Huffman 1980 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

James L. Huffman
Politics of the Meiji Press
The Life of Fukuchi Gen'ichiro
Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii, 1980
xi, 271 pages, hardcover

An informative study of Fukuchi Gen'ichiro (1841-1906), a pioneer Meiji journalist and reformer. Fukuchi Ochi, as he was better known in the newspaper world, was the editor of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun from 1874 to 1888, hence during the period that Yoshiiku's nishikie stories were published as a supplement to the paper. Fukuchi personally covered the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877, and Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) depicted the war correspondent in a woodblock print he drew in 1885. (WW)


Huffman 1997 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

James L. Huffman
Creating a Public
(People and Press in Meiji Japan)
Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1997
x, 573 pages, hardcover

For a student of the history of the politics of the elite press in Meiji Japan, this book is a fine starter. It is full ofdetail, drawn from some primary but mostly fairly reliable secondary Japanese sources, and several English sources of varying quality. But it has a number of problems.

Huffman focuses on "mainstream journalism", meaning that "extremist and fringe papers as well as the sensational, entertainment-oriented koshimbun of the early Meiji years are discussed only as they exerted an influence on what opinion leaders of the time saw as the more influential, respectable press" (pages 10-11).

In other words, he takes the high road of journalistic history -- which leads to mostly "Ōshimbun" while by-passing koshimbun and the whens, wheres, whats, whos, hows, and whys of news nishikie and other subjects of interest to this website.

Oshinbun, koshinbun, and gesakusha

In the Index, Huffman glosses "Ōshimbun" as "prestige newspapers" (page 562) and "koshimbun" as "small or vulgar paper). Size, however, was not a predictor of import, and in fact when these two terms were coined, they meant precisely "major news" (大新聞 Ōshinbun) and "minor news" (小新聞 koshinbun).

Huffman claims, in his first description of "a typical early-Meiji Ōshimbun", that only after sections of news with mostly political angles was there a "miscellany" section that contained "general-interest news" -- leaving one to wonder what he meant by this (pages 62-63). He says such stories were written by "cheap fiction writers (gesakusha)" (pages 63, 93) based on notes or oral reports by "poorly educated" newsgatherers "who went into the streets to listen to the gossip at police offices, brothels, and government bureaus" (page 63).

Like a number of his glosses, "cheap fiction writers" is a rather cavalier way to define gesakusha (戯作者) -- literally "person [who writes] frivolous works [including fictional tales, but also comic or jocular stories or poems]". Writers of such such works were generally well-educated men who chose to tell entertaining tales of romance and adventure in a style that was closer to oral traditions of Japanese.

The better such writers in fact enjoyed quite a bit of "prestige" during the Meiji period, as they ventured into journalism, political satire, and even newer styles of fiction that would in time become "modern" -- and it didn't really matter whether they wrote for "big news" or "small news" papers. They could take any material and bring it to life -- a skill that was highly appreciated by the more enlightened (tolerant) people who dominated the political world.

Shinbun and shinbunshi

Huffman states, in his introduction, that one of the focuses of his study is "the mainstream newspaper press" -- admitting he uses the word "press" for convenience, while in fact he will "concentrate on those publications generally categorized by Japanese scholars as 'shimbun'" -- and adds (page 10):

This classification includes some publications that came out irregularly in the early Meiji years, when terminology had not become fixed, but once technology had made movable type accessible, the capital's "shimbun" nearly all became dailies. [Note 28] The effect of this delineation generally is to exclude magazines (zasshi), the more occasional periodicals that tended toward specialization of audience and content.

Note 28   Albert Altman calls the pamphletlike shinbunshi that appeared about twice a week in the early-Meiji years "news sheets". See his "Shimbunshi: The Early Meiji Adaptation of the Western-Style Newspaper" [W. G. Beasley, editor, Modern Japan: Aspects of History, Literature and Society, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975, pages 52-66].

Huffman does not explain what he means by "when terminology had not become fixed". In fact, nothing was more "fixed" than the use of shinbun (新聞) to mean "news" and shinbunshi (新聞紙) to mean "newspaper" -- regardless of medium, whether news sheet or news pamphlet, journal, or magazine -- until well into Meiji period.

The semantic extension of shinbun to mean the medium (newspaper) as well as the message (news) came slowly and represented a diversification, rather than a shift, in the meaning of shinbun. For today, too, shinbun continues to be used, as in titles of newspapers and some other media, to mean precisely "news" -- and not "newspaper".

While indeed shinbun also came to be used as a short form of shinbunshi (新聞紙) or "newspaper" -- in contrast with, say, "magazine" (雑誌 zasshi) or "book" (本 hon) -- shinbunshi continues to be the most technical term for "newspaper".

Huffman gets around to glossing shinbun (新聞) when describing the shift, late in the Edo period, from so-called kawaraban to a new media (page 25).

The new atmosphere also promoted the bakufu to revise its own policies regarding news, to begin a series of moves that finally would bring Japan its first shimbun or newspapers.

As history this is odd, because at the time shinbun (新聞) meant only "news" -- while "newspaper" was shinbunshi (新聞紙). Huffman obviously recognizes the latter term, for he makes the following observation.

Fukuchi Gen'ichiro . . . had marveled during his 1865 trip to France at "how powerful a newspaper could be in shaping public opinion," deciding then and there that he would publish his own newspaper some day. . . . And Kishida Ginkō . . . had never heard of newspapers until Joseph Heco told him "about a thing in America called a 'newspaper' (shimbunshi), which pulled together each day's happenings and all of societies strange events and disseminated them to the public."

This seems an odd distinction between shinbun (新聞), which then and now essentially means "news", and zasshi (雑誌), which originally and still means a publication, most likely consisting of several pages bound in some manner, containing reports of various matters. Odder still are the remarks about specialization of audience and content -- since it is precisely these two factors which, in Huffman's own descriptions, most essentially differentiate ōshinbun and koshinbun.

He indexes two publications by their proper names -- "Shinbun Zasshi", which he calls a "newsbook" in the text (page 52) -- and "Shimbunshi, which he calls a "newspaper" (page 30).


Given the importance of the development of the concept of "news" (新聞 shinbun) during the late Edo and early Meiji periods, it is somewhat surprising that Huffman pays so little attention to the term -- and in fact creates a lot of confusion as to its meaning. He seems to worry more about its romanization.

Huffman gives the last paragraph of his Introduction to "the smallest of detail" -- beginning with the remark that he has generally romanized Japanese words according to their spellings in Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, "an exception being the word shimbun, where the 'm' has been used long enough and widely enough to have become standard" (page 11).

Why, several decades ago, did Kenkyusha go to trouble to adopt a modified Hepburn system, according to which the spelling is "shinbun"? And if Huffman is so concerned about "standard usage" in the real world, where institutions and individuals are more likely to follow legacy spellings, why does he have "Shinbashi station" in the Index and "Shinbashi" in the text (page 178)? Seeing as how still today, as in the past, the names of the station and neighborhood are formally romanized "Shimbashi"? Just as Asahi shinbun sha [Asahi news company] formally calls itself "Asahi Shimbun Company"?

Notwithstanding the above nitpicking, Huffman's book is a monumental work that will continue to be useful as an English introduction to at least some people, and to some aspects of the press, in Meiji Japan.

Shinbun nishikie

What little he says in passing about news nishikie is indicative of his disinterest in facts about the world he has chosen to ignore (pages 58-59, 418).

One sign of the popularity of the newspaper fad was the appearance on Tokyo streets in the mid-1870s of popular woodblock prints, called shimbun nishikie, that reproduced illustrations and descriptions of popular fashions under the mastheads of leading papers. An article in Chōya Shimbun noted that these nishikie had become popular souvenirs for tourists returning from Tokyo. "My god!" said the writer. "What a sign of civilization! What a sign of culture!" [Note 69]

Note 69   Chōya Shimbun, March 31, 1877, quoted in Chikamori, Jinbutsu Nihon Shimbun shi, p. 84. A superb reproduction of several of the nishikie shimbun is found in Waseda Daigaku Toshokan, ed., Bakumatsu Meiji no medeia [sic > media] ten, pp. 41-54.

There are many things wrong with Huffman's picture.

The article he cites had nothing to do with nishikie recylings of newspaper stories. March 1877 would have been in the middle of the Seinan War. The news nishikie he refers to first appeared in 1874 and were mostly gone, in Tokyo, by the end of 1875.

The article, as cited by Miyatake Gaikotsu, writing about "Tokyo miyage to shite no shinbunshi" [Newspapers as Tokyo souvenirs] in the 1920s, was published on 31 March 1875 -- when nishikie bearing the names "Tokyo nichinichi shinbun" and "Yubun hochi shinbun" were at their peak but about to become extinct.

The article says that while in the past people visiting Tokyo would take home nishikie as souvenirs, they were now taking home copies of newspapers -- which, to the writer, signified the changing times the arrival of "civilization and enlightenment" -- hence the last line, which should be translated "Ah, we would call [this] civilization, we would call [this] enlightenment (鳴呼、文明とや云はん、開化とや云はん).

For a complete translation of the Choya shinbun remarks and related commentary, see reviews of Miyatake 1997 and Higuchi 1962.

The presentation of such prints in the Waseda publication was more than adequate for its purpose. It was not, however, as superb as several more widely available publications that were dedicated to news nishikie. Still, the text and captions in the Waseda exhibition catalog should have led Huffman to realize that the stories on the prints were not "descriptions of popular fashions" but well-crafted, often highly entertaining rewrites of crime and other incident reports and human interest stories from the namesake papers.

Such prints were generally thought of as "news" narrated by the better-known gesaku writers and oral story tellers of the day, working with the better-known contemporary woodblock drawers. The earlier editions lagged by months and even years the original stories, since they were indeed intended as souvenirs. Only later did the lag time between the appearance of the nishikie version and the source newspaper shrink to a matter of weeks and sometimes days.

Huffman seems unconcerned that he refers to shimbun nishikie in the text but nishikie shimbun in the notes. The former -- which means "news nishikie" -- has been preferred by commentators who stress the "nishikie" or souvenir qualities of such prints. The latter -- which means "nishikie news" -- is the choice of those who contend that the prints functioned more as sources of news than as souvenirs.

News media formats and sizes

Huffman is weak on the physical features of late Edo and early Meiji news publications. He states, for example, that "about twenty Restoration papers and several official gazettes came out during the spring and summer of 1868", including "Fukuchi's Kōko Shimbun". The papers, he adds, "looked more like pamphlets than what we think of as newspapers today" and were "octavo (book-page) in size" (page 38).

Not only did they look like pamphlets -- they were pamphlets. And the news pamphlet format continued several years after the appearance and spread of single newssheets and multi-page "papers" of the kind that "we think of as newspapers today". Some latterday news pamphlets, while manufactured in the woodblock-printed pamphlet style, were metal-type printed on presses with illustrations of the woodblock style -- as were the earliest press-printed magazines and books.

Koko shinbun

Some of news pamphlets, including Kōko shinbun, were quite a bit smaller than Huffman's so-called "octavo" standard. Nor is there anything otherwise "octavo" about them. Their publishers had to have been aware that they were not "newspapers" (shinbunshi 新聞紙) as such but multi-leaf news pamplets or booklets (sasshi 冊子).

Single issues of Kōko shinbun were about 12.5x18.2 cm (approximately 5 x 7 in). Twenty-two (22) issues of the news pamplet were published in four series or volumes. The first two (and presumably also the third) series included seven issues that totalled 35 numbered leaves. Presumably the fourth series would also have continued this way if it hadn't ended with the first issue.

The issues of each series were consecutively numbered -- i.e., the page count in a series continued from issue to issue throughout the seven issues of the series, and the counter was reset from the first issue of the next series.

This manner of publication is still common among academic journals. The model for Kōko shinbun, and for a number of contemporary Japanese news pamphlets, however, was the multi-volume illustrated book format that had been the standard in woodblock-printed fiction and other materials for decades before the start of the Meiji period.

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun

The first issue of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun was woodblock printed on one side of a single sheet of paper that was about 44.5x29.5 centimeters (approximately 17.5x11.5 inches). The text was layed out in rows that ran across the entire sheet as just one page.

The second and several subsequent issues were printed in the same format with metal type. Later issues consisted of sheets printed on both sides, and still later the layout was such that a single sheet was folded to become four pages. Two such sheets printed this way became eight sheets. Later, larger sheets of paper were printed, folded, and trimmed to make up papers with more sheets.

Yubin hochi shinbun

Yubin hōchi shinbun began in 1872 as a pamphlet (sasshi) of hanshi (半紙) paper which, when folded, was about 15x22.5 centimeters (approximately 6x9 inches), roughly the size of a large digest -- what Huffman calls "octavo". Pamphlets and books of roughly this size were called hanshibon (半紙本).

The earliest issues of Hochi were woodblock printed and bound in the same manner as late Edo news pamplets. Two pages were printed on one side of a sheet of paper that was then folded, and several such leaves were stitched in two places along their unfolded right edge.

Originally published at a rate of about five issues per month, Hochi then became a daily, by which time, like Tonichi, it had migrated to metal type and printing on both sides of one, then two or more sheets that, when folded, became four, eight, or more pages.

Back matter

Nearly two-hundred pages of the book are given to appendixes; notes that are keyed to the text by chapter and number, made easily accessible running page-number guides; a comprehensive integrated bibliography; and a conventional index. Here I will comment only on the Appendixes, which could have been better.


Appendix One, "A Chronology of Leading Tokyo and Osaka Papers", should have been called "Chronologies of . . ." -- for the papers are listed in ABC order. Appendixes Two through Four are tables of circulations, subscriptions rates, and number of registered newspapers and magazines.

Some of his data is misleading if not incorrect. "Yūbun Hōchi Shimbun" -- the last paper listed -- is said to have become just Hōchi Shimbun in 1894, been merged with Yomiuri Shimbun into Yomiuri Hōchi Shimbun in 1942, and to have resumed publishing as Hōchi Shimbun in 1946.

However, after the war, the former Hōchi group left Yomiuri and launched a paper called Shin Hōchi in 1946. The new paper, renamed Hōchi Shimbun in 1948, floundered and returned to the Yomiuri fold in 1949, by the end of which it had been relaunched as Supootsu Hōchi, a Yomiuri-affiliated sports sheet, which is now published and distributed nationally.

Appendix Five, "Newspapers and the Law," is a table with headings Suspend, Ban, Distrib., Fine, Jail. You have to read the long Note at the end to discover that "suspend = temporary suspension)", "ban = closing of paper", "distrib. = confiscation of issues on a given day". Presumably the figures represent counts of incidents. The figures for "Fine" (fines) and "Jail" (jailings) are not defined.

Appendix Six, "Fifty Journalists: Biographical Sketches" (pages 393-401), is indeed sketchy.


Huffman 2003 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

James L. Huffman
A Yankee in Meiji Japan
(The Crusading Journalist Edward H. House)
Lanham (MD): Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003
xvi, 308 pages, softcover

Huffman writes much better as a biographer than as a narrator of elite journalism history (see review of Huffman 1997) in this section. This book is a highly readable vignette which M. William Steele, a Meiji historian at International Christian University, appropriate endorses on the back cover as follows.

A Yankee in Meiji Japan is at once an engrossing biography of a nineteenth-century American journalist and an absorbing history of Japan in the initial stages of its modern transformation. As a pioneer interpreter of Japan for the English-speaking world, E. H. House struggled against stereotypes of exoticism to represent the country he loved as progressive and civilized. Huffman offers a fascinating and innovative account of the interaction between personality, press, and politics. This is history at its best: superbly crafted, painstakingly documented, and brilliantly writte.

I can't really add more -- except to say that the Edward H. House (1836-1901) said a lot of things that deserved to be more widely heard and taken seriously. It is not too late, as the battle over the quality of how Japan is described and reported in books, magazines, and newspapers -- in Japan and abroad, in Japanese and other languages -- continues today unabated.

I myself am of the opinion that a considerable amount of misinformation circulates in the world of English journalism and academia -- and much of this misinformation has achieved the status of "fact". I am also of the opinion that much of the misinformation today, as well as in the past, has been encouraged by distorted or biased sources in Japan -- before being amplified or embellished in English, if not also distorted by loose translation.

I am constantly reminded of this when I read reports in English-language newspapers, magazines, and journals about, say, World War II, minorities, suicide, and other such topics that are more complex than some of the overly simplified, stereotypic, and ideological views that are found in Japanese media as well. (WW)


Hwang 2006 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Hwang Min Gi
Tadaima senso hajime soro.
(Meiji junen no sukuupu gassen)
[Now war begins. (1877 scoop battles)]
Tokyo: Yosensha, 2006
222 pages, softcover (Shinsho 161)

This little book explores how Tokyo newspapers fought for exclusive reports of developments in the Seinan War in distant Kyushu in 1877. The first and longest of its five chapters introduces, in particular, Fukuchi Gen'ichiro and Kishida Ginko and the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun. These men also figure in the other chapters as they examine how major Tokyo papers, including also Yubin hochi shinbun and Choya shinbun, vied over their coverage of the conflict between government forces and rebellious former samurai led by Saigo Takamori in Kumamoto and Kagoshima. (WW)


Imayoshi 1988 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Imayoshi Ken'ichiro
Mainichi shinbun no genryu
(Edo kara Meiji / Joho kakumei o yomu)
[The origins of Mainichi shinbun
(From Edo (to) Meiji / Reading the information revolution)]
Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun, 1988
238 pages, hardcover

This is one book that delivers what its obi promises.

The people who bore the information revolution
Gesaku writers, ukiyoe drawers, actors, book publishers and dealers, writers of Chinese poems . . .
Unique individuality and information lives.
Herein are the archetypes of early modern mass communications.
For people who think about mass communications
For people who love mass communications

And the people who launched Tokyo's first daily paper, and made it so prominent its first few years, are all there -- chapter after chapter.

The paper was not Mainichi Shinbun -- but, as the title states, its "source" or "headwaters" -- Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun.


The cover is a closeup of the main part of the first sheet of the triptych shown in full on the back cover -- a perspective of Ginza boulevard in the late 1870s. The biggest attraction on the street was the office of Nipposha, which produced Tokyo nichinichi shinbun -- the most famous paper of the time times.

The first five men introduced in the book -- and several others -- are shown, and named, among the men in front of the building or working inside.


Chapter 1 -- "Edo mass communications people" -- kicks off with Sansantei Arindo (Jono Denpei 1832-1902), Ochiai Yoshiiku (1833-1904), Nishida Densuke (1838-1910), and Hirooka Kosuke (1829-1918) -- respectively a writer, a drawer, and two woodblock publishers and printed matter handlers -- who had all worked together during the final decade of the Edo period, before founding Tokyo nichinichi shinbun in 1872.

Chapter 2 -- "Information life during the transition period" -- is dedicated to Fukuchi Ochi (1841-1906), the world-travelled opinionist who joined the Tonichi during its second year and became its most famous early editor. Fukuchi knew the four founders, who in 1868 had helped him put out a short-lived paper that got him arrested during the final days of the Edo period.

Chapter 3 -- "Creating a daily paper" -- features Sugiura Yuzuru (1835-1877), Tsuji Den'emon, Takabatake Ransen (1838-1885), Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931), Shimizu Usaburo (1829-1910), Yoshida Kenzo, Hokiyama Kageo, Kishida Ginko (1833-1905), Suematsu Kencho (1855-1920), and Matsumoto Bannen (1828-1882) -- all men who figured in Tonichi's success during its first three years.

Source of pride

None this has anything to do with Osaka Mainichi Shinbun, which did not begin until 1876. The Osaka paper bought controlling interest in the Tokyo paper in 1911, and the two papers became simply Mainichi Shinbun in 1943.

Mainichi has not always included its "source" in its corporate history. With passing decades, though, it has proudly pushed its history back in order to claim it is older than Yomiuri Shinbun, which got its start in 1874. (WW)


Mainichi 1952

Title page of 1952 book celebrating
Mainichi Shinbun's 70th anniversary
counting years from the 1882 start of
Nippon rikken seitō shinbun
Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Shashi henshū iinkai
[Company history editorial committee]
Mainichi Shinbun nanajū nen
[Mainichi Shinbun 70 years]
Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun Sha, 1952-2-1
6, 10, 639 pages, hard cover, A5, boxed
16 pages of black-and-white photographs

This volume counts the age of Mainichi shinbun (毎日新聞) [Mainichi news] from 1 February 1882, when the first issue of Nippon rikken seitō shinbun (日本立憲政党新聞) [Japan constitutional government party news] was published. The paper was renamed Ōsaka nippō (大阪日報) [Osaka daily report] from 1 September 1885, and it became Ōsaka mainichi shinbun (大阪毎日新聞) [Osaka daily news] from 12 November 1888.

Tōkyō nichinichi shinbun (東京日日新聞) [Tokyo daily news] is given very little attention -- until the end, where forty pages are dedicated to the "eighty years" of the paper. The chapter, which ends the main part of the book, is attributed to Ono Hideo, who was a Tonichi reporter before moving on to academic and becoming the country's preeminent studied of journalism history.

Ono's chapter includes illustrations of TNS-736, showing the Tonichi reporter Kishida Ginko being ported across a stream by Taiwan natives in 1874 (p 574), and of KRM-45, showing Tonichi's editor, Fukuda Gen'ichirō, penning a report from a battlefield of the Seinan War in 1877 (p 579).

Two features of particular interest are boxed remarks on "Toukei nichinichi" (p 571) and the ways in which Tonichi's name was written on its masthead (p 572). For a full discussion of these two topics, see Tonichi mastheads: Graphic changes in printing technology. (WW)


Mainichi 1962 Mainichi 1962

Cover and slipcase of 1962 book celebrating Mainichi Shinbun's 90th anniversary
counting years from 1872 start of Tōkyō nichinichi shinbun
Yosha Bunko scans (low res)

Mainichi Shinbun Sha (editors)
Mainichi Shinbun kyūjū nen: Sono ayumi no naka kara
[Mainichi Shinbun 90 years: From a walk through them
Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun Sha, 1962-2-21
105 pages, hard cover, B4, boxed, hibaihin (not for sale)

Note the official date of publication: 90 years from "Meiji 5-2-21" -- the first date shown on the first issue of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun. The second date was "Seiyo [western ocean] 1872-3-19".

This book is especially valuable as a collection of facsimilies of entire editions of newspapers -- mostly issues of Tonichi. The entire volume is dedicated to copies of issues that reported important historical events. Most of the earlier issues -- of one, two, four, or eight pages -- are shown in their entirety.

Hence you can read all four pages of the Tonichi issue -- and the short extra edition -- that reported Saigo Takamori's death on 24 September 1877, which effectively ended the Seinan War. Or all five pages of the extra edition that published the entire text of the new constitution on 11 February 1889. Among many other major stories. (WW)


Mainichi 1972a Mainichi 1972a

Left Cover of Mainichi centennial history
Right Frontispiece of Mainichi centennial history
Top: Tōkyō nichinichi shinbun (Meiji 7-2-21)
Bottom: Ōsaka nippō (Meiji 9-2-20)
Yosha Bunko scans (low res)

Mainichi Shinbun hyaku-nen shi kankō iinkai
[Mainichi news centennial history publication committee (editors)
Mainichi Shinbun hyaku-nen shi: 1872-1972
[Mainichi News centennial history: 1872-1972
Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun Sha, 1972-2-21
4, 622 pages, softcover, A4, hibaihin (not for sale)
Plus 16 pages of black-and-white and color images

Note the official date of publication: 100 years from "Meiji 5-2-21" -- the first date shown on the first issue of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun. The second date was "Seiyo [western ocean] 1872-3-19".

This is the best source for detailed accounts of the founding and development of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun. It covers all aspects, from journalism and technology, to business and management.

It begins with an image and full transcription of the petition filed by Jono Denpei (Sansantei Arindo), Nishida Kosuke, and Ochiai Ikujiro (Yoshiiku) on the 8th day of the 1st month of the year of Jinshin (Meiji 5-1-8, 16 February 1872) for permission to publish, daily, a paper to be called Nichinichi shinbun. The petition bears their full address, names, and seals.

The plates in There are eleven color images of color woodblock prints related to Nipposha, the company the that Jono, Nishida, and Ochiai founded to produce Tonichi. Three are shadow profiles of their heads, published by Hirooka Kosuke, a veteran colleague who also joined Nipposha.

There is also an image of the flyer announcing the start of the TNS nishikie series. Two of the more interesting Nipposha prints, including one by Yoshitoshi, show the lighter side of life along Ginza boulevard. (WW)


Mainichi 1972b Mainichi 1972b

Front and back covers of 1972 pamphlet produced for private circulation
in celebration of Mainichi Shinbun Company's first centennial
Covers show three woodblock prints featuring (left to right)
1. Office of Nippōsha, which founded Tōkyō nichichi shinbun in 1872
2. Fukuchi Gen'ichirō, Tōnichi's most famous editor
3. An early newspaper boy
Yosha Bunko scans (low res)

Mainichi Shinbun Sha [Mainichi news company] [compiler]
Sokan 100-nen / Mainichi Shinbun no shimen to shashin shu / Gekido 100-nen no ayumi
[Commemorating 100 years since founding / Collection of pages and photographs of Mainichi News / A walk through 100 years of intense movement]
Kitakyushu: Mainichi Shinbun Seibu Honsha Kaihatsu Ka, 1972-2-21
68 pages, pamphlet, A4, hibaihin (not for sale)

Note the official date of publication: 100 years from "Meiji 5-2-21" -- the first date shown on the first issue of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun. The second date was "Seiyo [western ocean] 1872-3-19".

Tonichi's founders paid more attention to detail than Mainichi's celebrators a century later. Mainichi staged its centennial celebration a month earlier than it should have.

Tonichi's founders might also have been amused by how Osaka Mainichi, after acquiring controlling interest of the Tokyo paper, pushed its own history backward by the amount of Tonichi's longer history.

Masthead politics

Japan was officially still on the lunar calendar, but Tonichi's publishers wanted to give its readers a taste the "western" world that was quickly being assimilated into Tokyo life. When the government officially shifted to the solar calendar from 1 January 1873, Tonichi reported the date as "Taiyo [solar] Meiji 6-1-1" followed by just "Seiyo [western] 1873".

Later Tonichi's masthead showed just the Meiji date. Later, for a while, the masthead also showed the year counted from the fabled start of Emperor Jinmu's reign.

By the start of the 20th century, Tonichi's masthead also showed its name in English -- "THE TOKYO NICHI-NICHI SHIMBUN" -- and the issue number, day, and date in English, in addition to this and more information in Japanese. The masthead at this time also boasted that the paper had been founded in Meiji 5.

By Emperor Meiji's death in 1912, Tonichi had been bought by Osaka Mainichi -- a smaller but financially stronger paper. Tonichi kept its name, but the masthead stated, beside its name, that Tonichi was under Osaka Mainichi management.

From 1943, both "Osaka Mainichi shinbun" and "Tonichi nichinichi shinbun" became simply "Mainichi shinbun" -- ending the rival city identities of both papers. (WW)


Nakano 1989 Nakano 1999

Japan in Shanghai kawaraban and illustrated magazines
1989 Fukutake Shoten edition (left), 1999 Chuo Koron Shinsha edition (right)
Yosha Bunko scans (low res)

Nakano 1989

Beauty contest in Japan
Click on images to enlarge
Snow dharma and Japanese snowman in Shanghai, Sino-Japanese War

Nakano 1989

Nakano Miyoko and Takeda Masaya
Seikimatsu Chūgoku no kawaraban
(Eiri shinbun "Tensekisai gahō" no sekai)
[Newssheets of end-of-century China
(The world of the illustrated news [magazine] "Tien-shih-chai hua-pao")]
Tokyo: Fukutake Shoten, 1989
204 pages, paperback (shinsho, Fukutake Books 4)
Tokyo] Chuo Koron Shinsha, 1999
329 pages, paperback (bunko)

Tien-shih-chai hua-pao (點石齋画報 点石斋画报 Diănshízhāi huàbào) was an illustrated news magazine published in the foreign settlement of the treaty port of Shanghai from the spring of 1884 through the end of 1896 by Tien Shih Chai Photo-Lithographic Works (點石齋画報石印書局). Though the magazine was produced by a foreign commercial entity, it was designed by and for Chinese.

The first issue of the magazine came out on 8 May 1884 -- the 14th day of the 4th month of the 10th year of Kuang-hsu (光緒 Guāng Xù) of the Ching (Qing) dynasty. Eventually published three times a month on days ending with six (6th, 16th, 26th), it provided news and entertainment through articles consisting of a hand-drawn picture illustrating the text of a story.

One a day

During its run of thirteen years, Tien-shih-chai hua-pao featured over 4,000 illustrated articles. This represents a production rate of about one picture-story per day.

Each issue generally had eight (8) leaves and nine (9) picture stories. Each picture-story, or article, consisted of a drawing with text. The text was integrated with the drawing as either a block or a flow.

Each leaf was printed on one side and folded for a total of 16 pages. The first and last (front and back) pages had one single-page picture-story each. The fourteen middle pages featured seven larger picture-stories which spanned two facing pages each.

The pages measured about 24x14 centimeters and the printed area was a bit smaller.

The issues and leaves were numbered with volumes of 12 issues in mind. So the issues in a volume were numbered 1 through 12, and the leaves were numbered 1 through 96. Each volume was named with one of the 10 stems, 12 branches, 8 sounds, and 6 arts, among other character sets.

A kaleidoscope of themes

The book introduces 83 articles in five chapters. Each article is given the same one-page or two-page spread as in the original. A summary of the story text and commentary on the illustration and the text flow around a facsimile of the original article.

The facsimiles are about sixty percent the size of the originals. This means the Chinese text, even when clear enough to read with or without a magnifying glass, is too small to be read with comfort.

The themes of the articles ran the gamut of real and imagined novelties and oddities associated with the introduction of European culture in China -- including, until 1895, Taiwan -- but also in Japan and some other countries.

The picture-stories constitute a kaleidoscope of social, literary, religious, and technological histories, which narrate how their drawers and writers saw China in the world at the end of the 19th century.

A man is run over by a train. A beauty contest is held in Japan. A huge fish washes up on a beach. A man-eating dog that doesn't die even when dismembered. A bicycle that can be ridden under water.

Back matter

A table in the back lists all of the picture-stories introduced in the book, in the order in which they appear in the book, by chapter.

The table shows (1) the title of the article in the book, (2) the name of the drawer of the picture (as attributed on the illustration), (3) the Chinese title of the story (as it appears at the head of the text), (4) the volume and issue in which the story is located, and (5) the leaves on which the story is printed.

Though all the stories appear to be signed, the names of their authors are not noted.

There is also a map of the world showing the names of places which figure in the selected picture stories, and a brief chronology of major events in China and the world from 1840 (Opium War) to 1896 (termination of publication of Tien-shih-chai hua-pao).

Connection with Shenbao

Tien-shih-chai hua-pao means literally "Lithographic studio pictorial reports". The first part of the title bears the name of the "studio" (斎 chai, zhāi) at which engravers "styled stone" (点石 tien-shih, diănshí) -- i.e., drew pictures and wrote text on lithographic plates.

The lithographic workshop that produced the magazine was set up in 1876 [or 1878] as a subsidiary of Shen-pao-kuan (申報館 申报馆 Shēnbàoguăn), the company established in 1872 by the British entrepreneur Frederick Major -- with L. Woodward, W.B. Pryer, and J. Wackillop -- to publish the first Chinese-language newspaper outside Hong Kong.

The first issue of Shen-pao (申報 Shēnbào) came out on 30 April 1872 (23rd day of the 3rd month of the 11th year of T'ung-chih [同治 Tóng Zhì] of the Ching [Qing] dynasty). Publication was discontinued on 27 May 1949 after Shanghai fell to Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong) during the Communist revolution.

Other sources

Both Shenbao the newspaper and Dianshizhai huabao the illustrated magazine have been subjects of keen interest in Euroamerican academia in recent years, beginning with Rudolf G. Wagner's work in Germany. The following English sources represent several approaches to the technological development and sociopolitical impact of print media in Late Qing and Republican China. (WW)

Barbara Mittler
A Newspaper for China?
(Power, Identity, and Change in Shanghai's News Media, 1872-1912)
Cambridge (MT): Harvard University Asia Center, 2004
xvi, 504 pages, hardcover
Harvard East Asian Studies Monographs, Number 226

Christopher A. Reed
Gutenberg in Shanghai
(Chinese print capitalism, 1876-1937)
Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 2004
xvii, 391 pages, hardcover

Rudolf G. Wagner
The Shenbao in Crisis: The International Environment and the Conflict Between Guo Songtao and the Shenbao
Late Imperial China (The Johns Hopkins University Press)
Volume 20, Number 1 (June 1999)
Pages 107-143


Ogi 2006 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Ogi Shinzo
Tokei jidai (Edo to Tokyo no aida de)
[Tokei era (Between Edo and Tokyo)]
Tokyo: Kodansha, 2006
275 pages, softcover (Bunko 1765)

It so happens that the 京 of 京都 and 東京 has also been written 亰. And, as the title of the book suggests -- 東亰 (とうけい) 時代 -- some people have preferred to read 京 as "kyō" and 亰 as "kei".

Part 3 of the preparatory chapter devotes ten pages (28-36) to the question of writing and reading variations. Numerous examples of usage include an image of 東亰府 in the title of a woodblock print and 亰都府 brushed on a document, and a citation of an enrollment record at a school in Massacheusetts, dated 1874, for a "Shuji Isawa" from "Tokei Japan".

Ogi concludes, however, that the name of the city that replaced Edo was not first called "Tyōkei" and then "Tyōkyyō" -- but rather that both pronunciations existed for both ways of writing the name.

For examples of 東亰 used on Tokyo newspaper mastheads from the early 1870s to the 1940s, see TNS two series, four stages.

For an example of romanizing 東京 as "T0-KEI" on a Meiji woodblock print reproduced for foreign tourists, see Nipposha's Glory.

The past, it turns out, is always at the mercy of the present. And presently it is fashionable to image a past in which "Tokyo" was called "Tokei". Hence "Tokei" is pressed into the service of romantic "tradionalism" in popular culture -- in comic books and even scholarly publications that feature 東亰 in their titles or texts with the reading とうけい (Tōkei) -- as Ogi does to draw attention to his own very interesting book. (WW)


Okitsu 1997 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Okitsu Kaname
Meiji shinbun kotohajime: "Bunmei kaika" no jaanarizumu
[Meiji newspaper beginnings: The journalism of "civilization and enlightenment"]
Tokyo: Taishukan Shoten, 1997
230 pages, soft cover

An entertaining and highly readable overview of Japanese newspaper journalism during its formative years. Author is a Waseda University Professor Emeritus. Contains an 1879 newspaper account of a former samurai from Nagasaki who, while on a train traveling between Yokohama and Tokyo, farted from the window and was fined 5 yen -- a huge sum in those days -- for violating Article 6 of the Railway Regulations. (MS)


Ono 1970 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Ono Hideo
Kawaraban monogatari
(Edo jidai masu komi no rekishi)
[Kawaraban story
(The history of Edo era mass communications)]
Tokyo: Yusankaku, 1970
365 pages, hardcover in slipcase

Ono Hideo brought out this study of kawaraban -- woodblock-printed broadside newssheets -- in 1970, two years before the publication of his collection of news nishikie (reviewed elsewhere in this Bibliography).

The major topic (unnumbered chapter) headings of the detailed table of contents are as follows.

The cultural value of kawaraban
On the word "kawaraban"
Kawaraban of the original period
The zenith of love suicide stories (shinjumono)
Varieties of mass media
The appearance of the ban on love suicide stories
Kawaraban of [the love suicide of] Danjuro II
Kawaraban of calamity stories (saigaimono)
Kawaraban of vendetta stories (katakiuchimono) - 1
   Genroku 15 (1703) - Tenpo 7 (1836)
Popularity of tales lauding filial piety (koko bidan)
Rumors that became stories in kawaban
The development of calamity reports
The advance toward political reports
Kawaraban of vendetta stories (katakiuchimono) - 2
   Tenpo - Bakumatsu
Reports of various social happenings
Kawaraban of sensationalism [kyomi hon'i]
Methods of selling kawaraban
Reading and vending [yomiuri] of rhymes during bakumatsu

This important book showcases Ono's extensive personal collection of kawaraban, most of which can be viewed on-line (see "Ono Collection" under "Web sources"). In addition to numerous black-and-white reproductions of topical kawaraban throughout its 365-page main text, there are 24 pages of black and white plates in front. At the back of the book is a separately paginated 9-page chronology. (WW)

Danjuro II suicide

There seems to be something about the Danjuro stage name and suicide. The most famous Danjuro to kill himself was Ichikawa Danjuro VIII (1823-1954), who cut his throat in Osaka at age 31 on the morning of a new play in which he was to appear. One of the many shinie or "death pictures" published as consolations for Danjuro VIII's numerous fans is shown in the review of Tomizawa Tatsuzo's Nishikie no chikara.

According to Tomizawa, Danjuro VII was banished from Edo during the Tenpo Reforms, leaving Danjuro VIII, his son, to support the family of actors. Danjuro VIII was known to have prayed for his fathers amnesty, and the fact the his filial son killed himself after his father was allowed to return to Edo added to the public's shock. According to a contemporary writer, Danjuro VIII committed jigai on the 6th day of the 8th month of the of the 7th year of Kaei (27 September 1854) at age 32 (Tomizawa 2005:56-57 and Note 26, citing the final volume of "Kogai zeisetsu" [Superfluous commentary on talk about town], a 7-volume collection of gossip about things that happened in Edo between 1791 and 1857, compiled by Jinsai Okina, about whom nothing is known).

Assuming that "age 32" counts as one year the time Danjuro was in his mother's womb, he had lived the world outside for 31 years and some months. The term "jigai" was one of the most common expressions for suicide at the time. Literally "self-wounding" it could mean anything from cutting one's throat to seppuku -- presumably the former in the case of Danjuro VIII.

A 1917 source observers that Danjuro VIII's death inspired over two-hundred nishikie, many of them shinie (Tomizawa 2005:57 and Note 27). Tomozawa categoried the Danjuro VIII shinie he observed in the collections of several Tokyo libraries as follows. categorizes the shinie in as follows as follows (Ibid. 57).

1. Danjuro VIII is shown sitting in the middle, surrounded by grieving fans [mostly women, it might be added]. Or he is shown reposed on his side, in the manner of the passing of Shaka (Shakyamuni, aka Gautama Buddha), surrounded by grieving people.

2. Danjuro VIII is shown in the next world, being welcomed by the gods and actors who have died before him.

3. Danjuro is the object of gossip which imputes the cause of his suicide to discord [kakushitsu] between him and Danjuro VII's lover Otameto.

This, Tomizawa said, "was not just tsuizen [a pursuit of good by the those living in this world to pacify the demons that would harm the those who have gone on to the next world, but something written irresponsibly about the cause of Danjuro VIII's death . . . ." Most were hastily published, without signatures of the publisher or drawers, and without taking time to obtain approval from the authorities. (Ibid. 57-58)

Ichikawa Dan (1688-1758)

To be continued.


Ono 1971 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Ono Hideo
Shinbun kenkyu gojunen
[Fifty years of newspaper research]
Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun Sha, 1971
318 pages, hardcover

This is Ono's summation of his long career, first as a reporter for Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, then as a scholar of journalism history at the University of Tokyo. Mainichi published the book on the eve of its 100th anniversary in 1972 -- though Osaka Mainichi shinbun, the company's flag paper, did not begin until 1876.

Mainichi's claim to a longer history was enabled by its 1911 merger with, and gain of control over, Nipposha, founded in 1872 in order to publish the Tonichi.

Ono had left the Tonichi long before 1943, when Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, and Osaka Mainichi shinbun, became just Mainichi shinbun. As he is mostly concerned with his own activities as a researcher, he has little to say about the Mainichi, though he is proud of Tonichi's history. The frontispiece is a foldout color image of a rarely seen Ogata Gekko triptych showing Fukuchi Gen'ichiro, Fukuzawa Yukichi, and other leaders of political movements who were also newspaper men.

Ono remarks, at the end of his two-page foreword, that he was born in 1885. Hence he was fully 35 years old (including his year of birth) when he entered graduate school. Since he was 26 when he graduated from college in 1910, "there arises the question of what I was doing during that ten-year interval."

He was a newspaper reporter most of the time, he confesses. And "it would not be wrong to infer that this is directly connected with newspaper research". But during that period, he says, there were changes in his state of mind, and influences from his surroundings. And his thinking and life became more settled as he pursued his newspaper research. So he will also chronicle his circumstances at that time.

The more personal accounts -- beginning with a photograph over a caption reading simply "The author at time of graduation from Todai" -- are the more interesting parts of this autobiography. (WW)


Sasaki 1880 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Sasaki 1880

This 1880 publication, in two volumes, presents short biographies of 25 contemporary journalists. Among the 12 reporters included in Volume 1 are Kishida Ginkō and Fukuchi Gen'ichirō (see below).

The book is written in Japanese but includes some Chinese. The locations of the companies with which the writers are affiliated are written in kanbun with kaeriten. The profiles of some of the writers are followed by examples of their kanshi or Chinese verse, and they too show kaeriten to facilitate their reading in Japanese.

There is very little furigana but some some graphs are marked on both sides. Kana usage is usually contemporary. A few simplified graphs are used, sometimes alongside unsimplified graphs (台灣).

Original edition


Sasaki Shūjirō
Shinbun kisha retsuden
[Biographies of news reporters]
Tokyo: Kyōdōsha, 1880
Two volumes

Reprint edition

佐々木秀二郎 (ささきしゅうじろう) < Sasaki Shūjirō >
新聞記者列伝 (しんぶんきしゃれつでん) < Shimbunkisya Retsuden >
(リプリント日本近代文学 160)
Ripurinto Nihon kindai bungaku 160
[Japan recent era literature reprint 160]
Tokyo: Kokubungaku Kenkyū Shiryōkan, 2008
[Tokyo: National Institute of Japanese Literature, 2008]
発売:平凡社 [Sales: Heibonsha]
207 pages, softcover
Images of original 1-204, commentary 205-207


Volume 1 (初篇), pages 1-104
2 (Introduction), 2 (Contents), 90 (Text)

Volume 2 (二篇), pages 105-204
4 (Introduction), 3 (Preface), 2 (Contents), 82 (Text)

Bibliographic commentary (解題), pages 205-207
Kido Yūichi (木戸雄一)

Volume 1 particulars

The colophon of the first volume (初篇) reads as follows.

Meiji 13-4-10 publishing rights license [permit]
Same [Meiji 13] 7-6 publication

Tōkyōfu Heimin
     Sasaki Shūjirō
          [Tokyo address omitted here]

Publication office
          [Tokyo address omitted here]

Following the colophon is a list sellers.

Volume 2 particulars

The colophon of the second volume (二篇) reads as follows.

同      年十一月 日出版
Meiji 13-10-19 publishing rights license [permit]
Same [Meiji 13] 11 [no day] publication

     佐々木 秀二郎
Tōkyōfu Heimin      Sasaki Shūjirō
          [Tokyo address omitted here]

新聞記者列傳三編   近刻
Shinbun kisha retsuden san-hen   Kinkoku
[Biographies of news reporters, Volume 3   Forthcoming

The next page advertises Volume 1.

First volume, 1 copy
Price 20 sen
Postage 6 sen

According to Kido, Volume 3 has not been confirmed (page 207). Kido, in his bibliographic commentary, cites Tonichi ads for the first editions of both volumes, refers to a latter ad for the 4th edition or printing of Volume 1 and a reissue of Volume 2.

Kido observes that Waseda University Library has copies of the both of these later printings, and gives their date publication as respectively April and May 1881. This suggests that, like multi-volume publications today, earlier volumes outsell and therefore go through more printings than later volumes.

According to a price tag on the inside cover of the second volume, the two-volume set sold for 30,000 yen -- many decades later. The seller was Kiuchi Shoten (木内書店), in front of Todai Akamon (東大赤門前), phone number 811-5573. The volumes are now part of Yamanashi Daigaku Kindai Bungaku Bunko.


Volume 1

The first volume includes the following twelve journalists.

Narishima Ry#363;hoku (成嶋柳北 1837-1884, Chōya shinbun president)
Seki Shingo (関新吾 1854-1915, Ōsaka nippō editor)
Takase Shinnosuke (高瀬眞之助 Miyagi nippō president)
Kishida Ginkō (岸田吟香 1833-1905, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun employee
Suehiro Shigeyasu (末廣重恭 1849-1896, Chōya shinbun news bureau chief)
Yamada Kōji (山田亨次 Nōgō zasshi chief editor) Sasaki Seiken (佐々木惺軒 Hiroshima shinbun editor) Matsudaera Ukyō (Ukiya [sic] Ukiyau) Uki (松平迂狂 Ōsaka shinpō chief editor Kusama Tokiyoshi (草間時福 1853-1932, Chōya shinbun editor) Tajima Shōji (田島象二 1852-1909, Dōraku sōdan (同楽相談) director) Nakajima Katsuyoshi (中嶋勝義 1858-1932, Kinji hyōron (近事評論) editor) Fukuchi Gen'ichirō

The titles and other particulars of the profiles of Tonichi journalists Kishida and Fukuchi are as follows.

Kishida Ginko

Kishida's profile (Volume 1, pages 27-35, reprint 35-43) refers to the start of his association with Tonichi in Meiji 5 and 6 when he began to lend the paper his skills and assist with its editing (30-31), his role in reporting on the "Taiwan expedition" (台灣遠征 Taiwan ensei) (31), and his assistance of Hepburn in the editing of the later's Japanese-English dictionary (page 31). At the end is a very long kanshi (34-35).

Kishida Ginkō
     Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun employee
     Company in Tokyo Kyōbashi-ku Obarichō

Fukuchi Gen'ichiro

Volume 1, pages 77-90 (reprint 85-98).

Fukuchi Genichiō
     Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun President


Shinoda 1947

Yoshiiku's nishikie banner inspires title cartouche
for book about Meiji journalism written in 1943 and published in 1947

Shinoda Kōzō, Meiji shinbun kidan, Tokyo: Sudō Shoten, 25 October 1947
See Cherubs and Banners in "Articles" section
for more about cherubs on woodblock prints

2 (序)、2 (目次)、267 (本文)

Shinoda Kōzō
Meiji shinbun kidan
[Meiji news odd stories]
Tokyo: Sudō Shoten
Printed 10 October 1947
Published 25 October 1947
2 (foreword), 2 (contents), 267 (main text)
Softcover, pulp paper, jacket attached as cover

Preface dated 1943

While the colophon states that the book was published in the 10th month of Shō 22 (1947), the author's preface is dated "Shōwa kibi shimotsuki (昭和発未霜月), which refers to the 11th month (shimotsuki 霜月) of the 20th year of the sexagenary cycle, hence 1943. This date was shortly after the start of more severe wartime rationing of paper, which resulted in the publication of fewer books. Whether Shinoda attempted to publish his book at the time -- or anytime time between November 1943 and August 1945, when Japan agreed to unconditionally surrender -- I have no idea.

Whatever the circumstances in the fall of 1943, Shinoda had to wait 4 years to see his book in print. And even in 1947 the supply of higher quality paper was limited.

During the first few years after the start of the Allied Occupation in September 1945, most magazines and books were published on rather coarse newsprint. However, by the time Shinoda's book came out, the quality of books was on a par with prewar and early wartime publications.

Not about news nishikie

Contrary to what the cover art might suggest, Shinoda's book is not about news nishikie, but about Meiji newspapers (shinbunshi 新聞紙) and news (shinbun 新聞) -- a distincion Shinoda makes throughout the book.

The bulk of the book -- 217 of its 267 pages -- are devoted to the "early period" defined as Meiji 5 - Meiji 15/16 -- 1872-1882/1883. Only the last 50 pages or so are given to the "middle period" defined as Meiji 15/16 - Meiji 27 -- 1882/1883 - 1894. Shinoda ties these dates to developments in the newspaper industry and journalism. 1872 marks the start of first Tōkyō nichinichi shnbun [Tokyo daily news] and then Yūbin hōchi shinbun [Postal distpach news]. 1882/1883 marks the turning point of the big papers, which grow in stature as they extoll the "bunmei kaika" (文明開化) -- dubbed "civilization and enlightment" in English.

While "bunmei" (文明) is usually associated with "civilization", as it is closer to "enlightenment" as a state of mind -- whereas "kaika" is closer to "civilization" as a process of developing knowledge and culture as a means of achieving enlightenment. See Bunmei kaika metaphors in the "Articles" section for why this is probably so.

Founding of major newspapers

By page 4, Shinoda is telling the story of the founding of Nippō Kaisha (日報会社) by Jōno Denpei, Nishida Densuke, and Ochiai Yoshiiku. He relates how Nippōsha launched Tōkyō nichinichi shinbun [Tokyo daily news] as a woodblock-printed paper and quickly shifted to metal type.

Shinoda then summarizes the start of Tōnichi's rival paper, Yūbin hōchi shinbun [Postal dispatch news], and describes the growth of newspaper journalism as these two papers, and others, vied for readers thirsty for "news" (shinbun 新聞) published in "newspapers" (shinbunshi 新聞紙). He also describes the editorial departments of these and other papers, including Tōkyō eiri shinbun [Tokyo illustrated news].

"Shizoku" and "heimin" reporters

One of the more interesting examines the different status and treatment of "shizoku" (士族) and "heimin" (平民) news reporters (shinbun kisha 新聞記者).

In 1870, samurai or "warriors" were disenfranchised and lost their hereditery stipends. The highest level samurai were given newly created titles of nobility commensurate with their new posts as governors and other high-level officials, Middle-level samurai were given a lump sum of money to pursue new occupations, and gained the new status of "shizoku" or "gentry" -- which, like the titles of nobility, were hereditary. Lower-level samurai, however, became just "heimin" or "commoners" along with farmers, craftsmen, and merchants.

Most Edo-period writers were from ordinary non-samurai families. They mixed mainly with the artisans employed by wood-block publishers -- drawers, carvers, and printers. But they were highly literate and could write in various styles. Most, however, were known as "gesakusha" (戯作者) on account of the playful styles they incorporated into their stories, which were strongly vernacular and could be recited to, and appreciated by, less literate people.

The upshot of Shinoda's revelation is that courts would sentence gentry to "confinement at own home" (jitaku kinko 自宅禁錮) and "confinement in jail" (rōnai kinko 牢内禁錮). Shinoda also relates (as many social historians do) that some shizoku flaunted there status. (Pages 57-59.)

In principle, though, shizoku who were convicted of a crime lost their status. And over the years, the status lost both legal and social significance. By the middle of the Meiji period, the status carried no legal weight whatever. But the Taishō period, it was no longer recorded in new registers. And pursuant to post-Pacific War reforms in family registration standards, it was struck where still recorded on family registers.

For an overview of the rise and fall of "shizoku" as an inherited (caste) status, see
class, caste, outcaste
on the "Minorities" page in the "Glossaries" section of the main Yosha Bunko website.


Soma 1941

The line at bottom of the cover reads
"Kigen nisen roppyaku ichi nen"
[ The year 2,601 since the origin ]
The government at the time
officially counted years from
the legendary start of
Emperor Jinmu's succession in 660 BC
1940 marked the 2,600th year
since the dynastic succession

Sōma Matoi (b1896), editor
Tōnichi nanajū-nen shi
[Tonichi 70-year history]
Tokyo: Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun Sha, 1941
Printed: Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun Sha (10 May 1941)
Published: Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun Sha / Osaka Mainichi Shinbun Sha (15 May 1941)
10 (preface), 11 (contents), 407 (text)
16 pages of black-and-white photographs
A5, hardcover, boxed, not for sale (hibaihin)

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, Tokyo's first daily newspaper, shows two dates -- the reign-year and lunar "Meiji 5-Jinshin-2-21" and the solar "Seiyō 1872-3-29" [Western 29 March 1876]. This book was published in mid-May 1941 -- the paper's 70th year according to the contemporary way of reckoning age, which counted the year of birth as one.

By March 1942, when Tonichi turned 70 according to present-day reckoning, Pearl Harbor was three months old. By April Doolittle's raiders had bombed Tokyo, and by June Japan had lost most of its fleet aircraft carriers, and many of its most seasoned pilots, at Midway. From 1 January 1943, to accommodate the wartime economy, Tokyo Nichinihci Shinbun became Mainichi Shinbun, along with Osaka Mainichi Shinbun, its owner since 1911.


The first chapter -- "Period of inauguration: Until the birth of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun" -- covers the start and earliest issues of the Tonichi (pp 4-20). The first part consists of a very general overview of the paper's founding by Jono Denpei (Sansantei Arindo, 1832-1902), Nishida Densuke (1838-1910), and Ochiai Ikujiro (Yoshiiku, 1833-1904) -- and the early participation of Hirooka Kosuke (1829-1918), who preceded the other three men in life and followed them in death.

Most of Soma's overview is based on reminiscences by Nishida, Hirooka, and Jono's son Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878-1972), which were published in the paper on the occassion of its 37th anniversary on 29 March 1909. Nearly three pages are given to a citation of Hirooka's account of production and printing in the early stage (pp 10-12).

Kiyokata "seems to have been a person with a strong memory" (p 4). While there are points in Hirooka's account "that one might question as to whether there might not be some discrepancies with respect to time" -- it is generally accurate with respect to the shift toward the use of moveable type (p 12).

A briefer second part of the first chapter (pp 15-20) describe the addition of Kishida Ginko (1833-1905) and Hokiyama Kageo (dates unknown) as writers and editors as the paper expanded its pages and reportage. Most attention is given to Kishida, one of the most colorful journalists of the period.

Chapter 2 is given to the arrival and impact of Fukuchi Gen'ichirō (1841-1906), who took the editorial reigns and led the paper through its most controversial years of growth and politicization (pp 21-43). Fukuchi also gets a lot of play in subsequent chapters.


The photos in front include portraits of Jono Denpei, Nishida Densuke, and Kishida Ginko. There is also a picture of Tonichi's first issue, and pictures of Nipposha's earliest buildings -- the Ginza 2-chome Nipposha building newly built in 1874, and the Ginza 1-chome building to which the company moved in 1877.

Another page of photographs show some of Kishida's reportage, maps, and sketches concerning the punitive Taiwan Expedition of 1874. The facing page shows portraits of Tonichi's first four presidents whose terms spanned the Meiji period: Fukuchi Gen'ichiro (1875-1888), Seki Naohiko (1888-1891), Ito Miyoji (1891-1904), and Kato Takaaki (1904-1908).

Ginza triptych

The front and back end papers show a minature reproduction of one of several editions of "Tokyo daiichi meisho ginzadori rengaishi no zu" (東亰第弌名所銀坐通煉瓦石之圖) or "Picture of , a triptych featuring Nipposha's second, and most drawn, building. The picture was drawn by Hiroshige III, on request of the publisher Gusokuya Kahee, circa 1877-1878. (WW)

See Tokyo nichinichi shinbun for an overview of Tonichi's founding and founders, based on this book and several later studies.

See Nipposha's glory for an a look at several nishikie showing Nipposha's Ginza building, including variations of the triptych on the endpapers of this book.

See Tonichi mastheads for a details on the layout, design, and production of Tonichi's early issues.

Altman's dissertation

Albert Altman uses this book to begin his discussion of Tokyo nichinichi shinbun in his 1965 doctoral disseration The Emergence of the Press in Meiji Japan (see review in this Bibliography). He renders the lunar date "Meiji 5-2-21" (the publication of the first issue of Tonichi) as "February 21, 1872" rather than as its solar equivalent "March 29, 1872" -- which also appeared on the paper. Otherwise his summary (p 122) of Soma's account of the founding of the paper is fairly accurate.


Taiyo 1978 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Nishimaki Kozaburo (editor)
Kawaraban / shinbun: Edo / Meiji sanbyaku jiken
(III: Edo kaijo kara Tokaido-sen zentsu)
[Newsprints / newspapers: Edo / Meiji 300 incidents
(From surrender of castle at Edo to opening the Tokaido line)]
Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1978
158 pages, softcover (Taiyo Collection 7 mook)
Includes several facsimiles of contemporary newsprints and newspapers, some inserted, some in a back pocket.

This is the third volume Forthcoming. (WW)

English abstract

The following English abstract was provided at the bottom of the acknowledgements and legend page in the front matter after (p 4).

THE SUN Collection No. 7
Kawaraban Papers
and Modern Newspapers

300 Events of Edo and Meiji Eras --
from the surrendering of the Edo [Castle] to the opening of the Tokaido Line

On January 3, 1868, there took place a large-scale armed conflict between the army of the Tokugawas, which had ruled Japan over 260 years, and the Imperial army -- united forces of the leading feudal lords with the emperor as a central figure of their alliance.

After the fierce battles, the Imperial army gained the victory over the Tokugawa army, marched on Edo, the base of the Tokugawa rule, and in April they controled [sic] Edo without bloodshed.

The new government made Edo its capital, changed the name to Tokyo, and, while resisting the remaining old powers, worked out various policies for the modernization of Japan.

The first "modern newspapers" in Japan were published when Japan opened its door to foreign countries under the pressure of America and some other foreign powers. In those days they mainly reported the news from abroad. However, at the time when the change of powers took place in 1868 they also reported the events relating to it.

The new government, which carried out radical reforms one after another, caused frictions. There was a constant power struggle among the government. Being deprived of the former privileges, the warrior class revolted against the government and the mass also revolted. out of this confusion, the constitution was granted by the emperor.

Through the reproduction of the early "modern newspapers", THE SUN COLLECTION, No. 7, will show you various interesting events of Edo and Meiji eras.



Tokyo Daigaku Hogakubu Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko
[University of Tokyo, Department of Law,
Meiji Newspaper and Magazine Archive]
Meiji shinbun zasshi bunko shozo shinbun mokuroku:
Showa 52-nen 4-gatsu genzai

[A bibliography of holdings in the Meiji Newspaper and Magazine Archives: As of April 1977]
Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai [University of Tokyo Press], 1977
182 pages

"Lists newspaper holdings of 1,856 titles in Japanese, Chinese, and foreign languages. Under each title, data such as: place, publisher, frequency, holdings, call number, etc. are provided. Japanese list also includes "yomiuri kawaraban" and "nishikie shinbun". Geographical and country indexes are included." [from bibliography by Yasuko Makino, Princeton Univeristy]


Tsuchiya Reiko
Meijiki koshinbun no kenkyu
[A study of small newspapers of the Meiji period]
Tokyo, Hitotsubashi Daigaku (Hitotsubashi Univeristy), 2001

A summary of this doctoral disseration has been posted on the website of the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hitosubayashi University, where Tsuchiya received her doctorate in 2001. Navigate from 研究活動 on the above link to 博士論文 and 2001年度 博士論文一覧.


Tsuchiya 2002 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Tsuchiya Reiko
Taishushi no genryu: Meijiki koshinbun no kenkyu
[The origin of popular papers: Studies of Meiji small newspapers]
Tokyo: Sekai Shiso Sha, 2002
296, hardcover

Tsuchiya takes a hard academic look at small papers (koshinbun) in Tokyo and Osaka. These were the smaller, more popular papers that were generally easier to read and more entertaining than the "large papers" (oshinbun). Except for a color frontispiece, and a few small black-and-white pictures of pages of small newspapers, the book is unillustrated.

The table of contents best suggests the breadth of the material to be found in this book.

1. What are small newspapers?
2. Small newspapers and literacy strata
3. Style and linguistic space of small newspapers
4. From nishikie newspapers to illustrated small newspapers
5. Contributions and communications as seen in early small newspapers
6. Restrictions of free speech and early Meiji and the excesses of small newspapers
7. Small newspapers of the early 1880s as seen in "Iroha News"
8. The transfiguration of small newspapers in the early 1880s as seen in political party related small newspapers
9. The development of small newspapers in Osaka
10. New attempts of small newspapers: "Miyako Shinbun" and "Yamato Shinbun" in their early days
11. The end of small newspapers and the start of popular papers

Of particular interest here are chapters 4 and 10.

Chapter 4 analyzes Tokyo and Osaka news nishikie from a number of aspects, some which are quantified and summarised in tables. As a general and comparative study, this chapter is more valuable than Tsuchiya's 1995 publication on Osaka news nishikie, though the 1995 work indispensable for its own reasons.

Chapter 10 presents an informative analysis of Jono Denpei's creation of Keisatsu shinpo (Police bulletin), and its demise and rebirth as Yamato shinbun (Yamato news). (WW)


Yoshida 2003 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Yoshida Yutaka
Edo no masukoki "kawaraban"
("Terakoya shiki" de genbun kara yonde miru)
[Edo mass media "kawaraban"
(Reading from the original texts
in the "temple school style")]
Tokyo: Kobunsha, 2003 (Kobunsha Shinsho 103)
334 pages

Story art, such as news nishikie, is meaningless if one cannot read the stories. Apart from the contemporary grammar that one will encounter in the texts, they are written in a style of kana (mostly hiragana) script that is no longer used today. While some of the kana are recognizably those in standard use today, many are different. And so one has to become acquainted with both an older vernacular and an older script.

There are, of course, many student guides to reading older cursive manuscripts. But most examples, whether fascimilies or transcriptions of the originals, are drawn from pre-Edo classical works studied in Japanese literature classes -- none are taken from the texts of Edo woodblock printed matter such as newsprints or nishikie. The beauty of this book is that it is page after page after wonderful page of nothing but Edo woodblock printed matter, mostly kawaraban, including newsprints, some illustrated.

Practically every pair of facing pages is a self-contained tutorial, with a clear facsimile of a text, a transcription in presentday script, and commentary when necessary. Even the lines are numbered to facilitate following the ball between the original and the transcription.

The introduction presents an overview of contemporary writing. In a nut shell, one kana mora (like "a" or "ma", popularly but incorrectly called syllables) could be written with any number of characters, reduced or not to cursive forms. For example, hiragana "ni" could be written with 仁 or 爾 (尓) or 丹 or 耳. Today "ni" is written に, a reduction of 仁. The most common forms in Edo texts, however, were reductions of 爾 (尓) (from Man'yogana) and 丹. A short list of the most-essential older kana variations, in aiueo order, is appended at the end. (WW)



Markus 1992 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Andrew Lawrence Markus
The Willow in Autumn
(Ryutei Tanehiko, 1783-1842)
[Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph No 35]
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992
viii, 290 pages, hardcover

This book can be read as a companion volume to Mertz's Novel Japan in that it deals with literature and society in the late Edo period. It more narrowly focuses on a single author, however, and is not as entertainingly written.

It is, however, an equally vital work, as its subject, Ryutei Tanehiko (1783-1842), is the most important writer of popular stories during his time. Tanehiko witnessed the Tenpo reforms of Mizuno Tadakuni (1794-1851), whose attempts to restrict artistic expression made life miserable for all freer spirits, including Tanehiko.

One of Tanehiko's best-known stories is Nise Murasaki inaka Genji (Imposter Murasaki, rustic Genji), a parody of Murasaki Shikibu's 11th-century classic novel Genji monogatari (Tales of Genji). He began serializing the story in 1829 then stopped writing shortly before he died in 1842, possibly by his own hand. Why he stopped writing Inaka Genji is not clear. Mizuno may have been pressuring him because of his rumored involvement in the writing of anonymous erotic works. Some scholars claim he committed suicide, but others argue that the circumstances of his death are simply not known. Markus himself downplays the suicide theory by the manner in which he reports the arguments of others.

The veil of censorship was lifted when Mizuno himself was censured for his extreme and erratic controls of behavior and expression. So very soon after Tanehiko's death, Inaka Genji and other suppressed stories were resurrected. Many new editions and variations were published during the last two decades of the Edo period, throughout the Meiji period, and even into the Taisho period, by which time newer and very different styles of fiction had all but replaced interest in Edo vernacular literature.

Inaka Genji is significant in Yoshiiku's life because he illustrated a number of editions that were published in his own time. He also designed, as did a number of other drawers, a series of prints depicting Inaka Genji episodes. Yoshitoshi also drew a beautiful vertical diptych depicting an episode in the story. Markus does not reveal such details, but his comprehensive account of Tanehiko's life and works provides an excellent background for understanding why the illustrated books and prints continued to be popular enough for publishers to employ the talents of drawers and other artisans. (WW)

Markus in Washburn 1997

Andrew Markus (1954-1995) also wrote the following article on gesaku writers and the 1855 Ansei earthquake.

Washburn 1997 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Andrew Markus
Gesaku Authors and the Ansei Earthquake of 1855
Pages 53-87 in
Dennis Washburn and Alan Tansman (editors)
Studies in Modern Japanese Literature
(Essays and Translations in Honor of Edwin McClellan)
Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, 1997
xiii, 429 pages, hardcover

1988, 1994, and undated drafts of this article, posthumously published, apparently survive in a collection of his papers at the University of Washington Libraries. A specialist in the literature of the Tokugawa period at the Univrsity of Washington, Markus had been a student of Edwin Mclellan (1925-2009) at Yale University.


Mertz 2003 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

John Pierre Mertz
Novel Japan
(Spaces of Nationhood in Early Meiji Narrative, 1870-88)
[Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies 48]
Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies (The University of Michigan), 2003
xvii, 293 pages, hardcover

Mertz, who teaches Japanese literature and language at North Carolina State University, is the most cogent interpreter, in English, of popular fiction as a mirror of the human condition in the newly evolving old nation of Meiji Japan. The chapter titles of this very informative book suggest their relevance as background against which one can better grasp the rise and fall of news nishikie as a form of graphic reportage.

1. Fashioning Modernity at the Beef Pot
2. Travel Literature and the Emptiness of National Identity
3. From Eyebrows to Highbrows: Finding a Subject for Narrative Fiction
4. Story before Sentence: Crime Trial Reportage
5. Feminizing the Body Politic
6. Great Meiji Expectations: Linking Readers to Personae
7. Political Novels and the Canon of Modernity
8. Reprise: Situating Westernism in Meiji Literary Development

The writing is generally very solid and readable as Mertz prefers clarity to post-modernist obscurity. He is particular lucid on the topic of how writers treated real-world crime and scandal, and on the popularity and impact of illustrated reportage and stories -- true, hyped, or otherwise. The following passages are from Chapter 4 (p 114).

Reportage of the [murder of Ichinose Naohisa by Usui Rokuro in Tokyo on the afternoon of 17 December 1880] began to appear seven days later in the city's largest newspaper, the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, and was followed by articles in the Yokohama mainichi shinbun and Ukiyo shinbun. Within three months the full context of the murder had been pieced together and reported by the major newspapers, and at least one illustrated elaboration of the story had appeared in woodblock print. . . .

The woodblock publication offered the richest and most engaging presentation of the story, and it is safe to say that this was the medium that turned the news tidbit into a public event. Titled Winter Maples, Waxing Moon (Fuyukaede tukiyubae), the text was written by Saiga Ryuko under the direction of his mentor Kanagaki Robun, with illustrations by Umedo Kunimasa, all of whom were bestselling names and well known for their creative renditions of current events (see illustration [26]). [n 2] . . .

In a footnote to the last remark, Mertz makes an observation about stitch-bound woodblock-printed books that would equally apply to news nishikie (p 114, n 2).

Woodblock novels typically integrated text and illustrations so thoroughly that it is impossible to say which was more basic to the presentation.

Mertz has a lot to say about Kanagaki Robun (1829-1894), one of the most important writers of both reportage and fiction in the late Edo and early Meiji periods. He introduces two of Robun's works, one of them very famous, which were serially published in the early 1870s as woodblock-printed texts illustrated by Ochiai Yoshiiku (1833-1904) and Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-1889), both contemporaries and friends (pp 3, 41).

Mertz mentions Yoshiiku only in passing, and says nothing about Yoshitoshi or newspaper nishikie, as such drawers and their works are beyond the scope of his thesis. Students of news nishikie and social history, though, will find this book very interesting, as it truly brings to life the worlds of Meiji news media and popular literature.

Usui Rokuro's muder of Ichinose Naohisa is the subject of "Murder Makes the Nation: Novelizing Japanese Crime Trials in 1881", which Mertz wrote as a finger exercise for this book (Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 31, No. 2, Fall 1997, pages 69-92). (WW).


Rubin 1984 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Jay Rubin
Injurious to Public Morals
Writers and the Meiji State
Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1984
xvi, 331 pages, hardcover

Although Rubin's scholarly tome appeared a number of years before Mertz's study (see above), it should be read after Mertz, for it ventures beyond the Meiji period, into the Taisho and even Showa periods. Its most important contributions, from the standpoint of news nishikie and crime reporting, are its accounts of the "poison women" stories about the wanton, murderous women who figured in Meiji popular culture, first in true-crime reports in the late 1870s, then in erotically illustrated fiction serialized in early 20th-century newspapers. Some such fiction became the target of censors. Rubin is particularly interested in battles between the state and writers in the late Meiji period. (WW)

 1. Introduction
 2. The Law
 3. Traditional Irony and Old-Fashioned Trash
 4. Developing Realism: The Censors Begin to Notice
 5. The Rise of Naturalism
 6. Naturalism Explodes in the Press
 7. Literature and Life / Art and the State
 8. The Government Moves Right
 9. Working Under the Mature System
10. Mori Ogai and Hiraide Shu: Inside the High Treason Case
11. Other Writers React
12. A Crashing Stalemate: The Committee on Literature
13. Overview: Thought Control and Censorship After Meiji
14. Tanizaki in Taisho
15. The Showa Publishing Boom and the Literary Chat Society
16. The Military and the Thought Police Take Over


Silver 2008 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Mark Silver
Purloined Letters
(Cultural Borrowing and Japanese Crime Literature 1868-1937)
Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1995
xiii, 217 pages, hardcover



Tomasi 2004 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Massimiliano Tomasi
Rhetoric in Modern Japan
(Western Influences on the Development of Narrative and Oratorical Style)
Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004
214 pages, hardcover


Tomasi's book is nicely reviewed by Dennis C. Washburn in The Journal of Japanese Studies, Volume 32, Number 1 (Winter 2006), pages 195-199.

Tomasi 1999

In an earlier monograph, Tomasi wrote the following article on the so-called "genbun itchi" (言文一致) -- which he dubs "unification of the spoken and written language".

Massimiliano Tomasi
Quest for a New Written Language: Western Rhetoric and the Genbun Itchi Movement
Monumenta Nipponica (Sophia University)
Volume 54, Number 3 (Autumn 1999)
Pages 333-360



Washburn 1995 Yosha Bunko scan (low res)

Dennis C. Washburn
The Dilemma of the Modern in Japanese Fiction
[Studies of the East Asian Instutite, Columbia University]
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995
xi, 314 pages, hardcover