Suzuki-Nagayori is a highly cultured master carpenter who served the Tokugawa shogunate in the early Edo Period. The carpenter became versed in poetry written in Chinese through his close relation to Hitomi-Chikudō with whom he was engaged in exchanging poems. He was instructed in waka poetry by Shimizu-Sōsen who made helpful comments on his works. He sometimes collaborated with both mentors to hold poetry exhibitions as if to embody the contemporary literary tendency of making no distinction between Japanese and Chinese writings.
Suzuki also compiled a history book in the form of a comparative study of Japan, China, and Korea. He modeled it on the compilation of national history by the Hayashi clan which then caused a fad for writing history in a poetical style. In the same method he edited a poetry anthology which was remarkable for his innovative attempt to include Korean poems. In this way he played an important role in widely popularizing the Hayashi clan’s academic knowledge. His career as an intellectual will provide excellent material for studying Edo culture during the Genroku and the Kyōho Periods.
Nishimura-Enri (1718-1787) is an amateur astronomer in Kyoto who wrote Kyokōshi (1775), Uchū-mondō (1778), and many other essays. Tatsuo Hino, one of few critics who deal with his essays, importantly notes that the author often cites Kumazawa-Banzan’s Confucian discourses. Indeed, although he learned much about astronomy from his predecessor Nishikawa-Joken, his philosophical aspect was to no small degree cultivated under the influence of Bazan. Critically following Hino’s argument, here I will examine Nishimura’s philosophical astronomy in order to shed a new light on the humanities and sciences of the mid-Edo Period.
To what extent did Tsuga-Teishō incorporate Water Margin into his “yomihon” novels? No definite answer yet. In an attempt to answer this question, first I will sum up references to Water Margin in his reading journal Kamoku-shō in which he shows a considerable interest in it in terms of authorship, characters, lexicon, and editorial variants. Then I will point out his appropriation of the hundred-chapter and the hundred-and-twenty-chapter editions of Water Margin for the fifth and seventh chapters of Shigeshige-yawa, the ninth chapter of Hitsuji-gusa, the sixth and ninth episodes of Tsuzoku-iou-giba-den, and the fifteenth episode of Yoshitsune-banjaku-den. Finally I will pick up twenty instances of the author’s idiosyncratic usage derived from Water Margin. Indeed Tsuga made a glossary of the historical epic to reuse its words and phrases for his own writings. Thus the goal of this article is to demonstrate the essential integration of the Chinese classical text into Tsuga’s “yomihon” novels.