The aim of this article is to redefine the B line of the “kokatsuji-bon” old type editions of Isoho-monogatari. It is generally believed that the textual genealogy of the B line is from the original text through the fifth edition to the edition compiled in the sixteenth year of the Kanei Period. As will be shown here, however, the fifth edition is not a source book of the Kanei edition, but both of them are based on the same text which is tentatively called the x edition because of its unknown existence. The almost neglected third edition belongs to the B line as it lies between the original text and the x edition. Therefore the correct arrangement of the B line is the following; the third edition based on the original text is a source book of the x edition from which the fifth and the Kanei editions are both derived.
The Reimon School is a group of Motoori-Norinaga’s disciples in Kyoto who allegedly dedicated themselves to rendering poems. But there was a member named Ueda-Momoki who made a unique study of Japanese classics. Although he was known for his geographical inquiry, Ueda was greatly interested in Kojiki and Nihon-shoki because of their close connection to Ise Shrine. He believed that most rituals at the shrine reflected ancient people’s awe and fear towards the uncontrollable power of evil which co-existed with good from the beginning of the world. In this way he sought after a new form of ethics constructed on the a priori presence of evil. The aim of this article is to reveal another aspect of the Reimon School by highlighting Ueda’s little-known career and then to point out the importance of his ethical and philosophical outlook on the potential for evil in human nature.
During the Bunka-Bunsei Period the publication of private poetry collections suddenly came into fashion. This article will elucidate this literary phenomenon through the publishing history of Kamo-no-Suetaka’s private collection Unkin-ou-kashū. The collection was very popular; it was reprinted several times by different publishers after 1,000 copies of the first edition were sold. But at first the plebeian poet of the Dōjō School declined to make public his work in spite of recommendations from his colleagues because he hated to be compared with Motoori-Norinaga who issued his poetry collection Suzunoya-shū. After thirty-year silence, however, Suetaka decided to publish his poems, not only moved by his literary friend Nagaharu-Sukeyoshi’s strong encouragement but also stimulated by Norinaga’s successful dedication of his collection to a royal member. Or he did so in the cultural context where any poets, plebeian or not, came to think it a duty to publish their own works in a less restrictive atmosphere of the age.
Takai-Ranzan is a moralistic author of “yomihon” novels and “ōraimono” textbooks in the Edo Period. Although not an obscure writer, Ranzan has been seldom mentioned in literary studies because little is known about his life. While doing a comprehensive research on his writings, here I will describe his literary career and family background as well as his relation to the publisher Hanaya-Kyūjirō. Ranzan was born and raised in a samurai family, probably served as a “yoriki” official, and lived in Shitaya before he settled down in Isarago. His family background allowed him to enjoy opportunities from his childhood to be acquainted with the poets of the Edoza School. Through such a literary network Ranzan met Hanaya-Kyūjirō who greatly helped him to pursue his literary career.