About This Page

This Web site is produced and operated by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics. This site provides the transcription of the Tale of Genji manuscript at the Library of Congress (LC, LC Control No.:2008427768). The transcription text files from vol.1 Kiritsubo to vol.54 Yumenoukihashi are currently accessible to the public.

TAKADA, Tomokazu (National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)

Introduction

The Tale of Genji (54 volumes in total, LC Control No.:2008427768) owned by the Library of Congress in the United States is an old manuscript copy of the book preserved in a beautifully lacquered box. We assume that this was produced sometime during the Muromachi to Edo period.

The cover, a later rebinding, is in dark blue. Each volume was bound with a technique called Retsujoso (列帖装). They are about 25cm in height and 17cm in width, delicately written in a calligraphic style called Hentaigana (変体仮名) on Japanese paper called Torinoko (鳥の子). Itsutsuji Moronaka (五辻諸仲, 1487-1540) is thought to be the copyist, but this has not been proven definitively.

The texts will be examined closely from various academic perspectives in the future. For the moment, they are classified as Otsu-type (乙類) by Prof. ITO Tetsuya. This is rather close to the traditional category Beppongun (別本群).

One notable characteristic of this set is that waka, Japanese poems, are written in double lines in Chirashigaki (散らし書き) style in 13 volumes. Also, the number of lines per page is irregular, varying from eight to twelve lines. The paper itself preserves various traces. The research on these elements will provide clues to solving mysteries such as the copyist of this book.

This manuscript copy owned by the Library of Congress is a copy of a Heian period tale, The Tale of Genji. This is a priceless artifact of cultural history, which provides evidence of how the texts were hand copied and bound into book form.

ITOH, Tetsuya (National Institute of Japanese Literature)

Transcription

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Research Team

2010 NIHU Project
Urgent survey of kana manuscript The Tale of Genji at the Library of Congress

  1. TAKADA, Tomokazu (Project leader, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)
  2. ITOH, Tetsuya (National Institute of Japanese Literature)
  3. SAITO, Tatsuya (Senshu University)
  4. TOYOSHIMA, Hidenori (Kokugakuin University)
  5. SUGAWARA, Ikuko (National Institute of Japanese Literature)
  6. KANDA, Hisayoshi (Kokugakuin University)
  7. MORIYASU, Shin (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)

2011-2012 NIHU Project
Urgent survey of kana manuscript The Tale of Genji at the Library of Congress : the second phase

  1. TAKADA, Tomokazu (Project leader, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)
  2. ITOH, Tetsuya (National Institute of Japanese Literature)
  3. OGISO, Toshinobu (National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)
  4. SAITO, Tatsuya (Senshu University)
  5. TOYOSHIMA, Hidenori (Kokugakuin University)
  6. SUGAWARA, Ikuko (National Institute of Japanese Literature)
  7. KANDA, Hisayoshi (Kokugakuin University)
  8. MORIYASU, Shin (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)
  9. TSUTSUMI, Tomoaki (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)

2013 NIHU Project
Viewer Comparable Book Image and Transcription

  1. TAKADA, Tomokazu (Project leader, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)
  2. ITOH, Tetsuya (National Institute of Japanese Literature)
  3. OGISO, Toshinobu (National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)
  4. KOSUKEGAWA, Teiji (University of Toyama)
  5. SAITO, Tatsuya (Senshu University)
  6. TOYOSHIMA, Hidenori (Kokugakuin University)
  7. NAGASAKI, Kiyonori (International Institute for Digital Humanities)
  8. KANDA, Hisayoshi (Kokugakuin University)
  9. TSUTSUMI, Tomoaki (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)

2013-2015 NINJAL Project
Modeling of the Ecology of Writing and Its Application to Sociolinguistics

  1. TAKADA, Tomokazu (National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)
  2. KOSUKEGAWA, Teiji (University of Toyama)
  3. SAITO, Tatsuya (Senshu University)
  4. TSUTSUMI, Tomoaki (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)
  5. OIGO, Yuki (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)
  6. YOKOYAMA, Shoichi (Project leader, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)

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