Judging from artefacts that have been unearthed to date, the rectangular seals taken up in this article were special seals found only in the state of Yan 燕 during the Warring States period, and no similar seals have been found in any other states of the same period. These seals are all made of bronze. Another characteristic that distinguishes them from other contemporaneous state seals is that they have a long grip and a knob on the side of the grip. The text of the seal is always carved in relief. In addition, the character duan 鍴 is used as the final character of the seal text, and this character is not used in other state seals of Yan, nor is it found in seals from other states of the Warring States period. Consequently, in previous research on ancient state seals, in seal-engraving circles, and in archaeological circles these rectangular seals distinctive of Yan have been called duan, and they have been regarded as a typical characteristic of Yan seals when periodizing ancient state seals. But this understanding of the character duan is incorrect. Among pottery shards unearthed in the former territory of Yan and contemporaneous with these rectangular seals from Yan bearing the character duan there have been found some shards of the same shape as the face of these rectangular seals, and there have also been discovered shards bearing the character duan. In this article, referring to these seal impressions on shards from Yan and to whole pottery pieces and also to corroborative unearthed materials and texts, as well as the research findings of earlier scholars, I examine the rectangular state seals of Yan engraved with the character duan and show that the current understanding which identifies duan with state seals does not conform with the actual situation. I also show that in reality duan was not a state seal, but referred to the articles to which the rectangular state seals of Yan bearing the character duan were affixed.
"Seal treatises" here refers to works containing discourse or theories about seals and seal engraving. Such treatises had their origin in the "Sanshiwu ju" 三十五擧 by Wu Qiuyan 吾丘衍 of the Yuan, and in the late Ming, when literati art flourished, many were published one after another in tandem with the appreciation of ancient seals and the popularity of seal engraving. In content, these treatises are wide-ranging, covering subjects such as the origins and history of seals, techniques, aesthetics, implements, and materials. In particular, the discussions on aesthetics become a subject of analysis when investigating the ideas lying at the root of the beauty of seal engraving. The formation of aesthetic thought in seal treatises can be seen in seal treatises of the late Ming, which in the subsequent Qing period provided the foundation for the formation of important ideas in seal engraving such as "to seek seals outside seals" (印外求印) and "seals emerged from calligraphy" (印從書出), and this may be regarded as an important topic worthy of analysis. In this article I focus on the formation of aesthetic thought in seal treatises, analyze the aesthetic thought found in seal treatises of the late Ming, and touch on the formation of this aesthetic thought. More specifically, I focus on references to the aesthetic ideas of shen 神 and chuanshen 傳神, ban 板 and banzhi 板執, and zhuo 拙 and guzhuo 古拙 found in late Ming seal treatises, extract passages that provide examples of their usage, compare these with their usage in other theories such as those found in treatises on calligraphy and painting, and examine their commonalities and differences. I conclude that the aesthetic ideas lying at the basis of aesthetic theory in seal treatises evolved in seal treatises of the late Ming through the adoption of many concepts found in pre-Ming treatises on painting, such as the Wei-Jin shengliu huazan 魏晉勝流畫贊 by Gu Kaizhi 顧愷之 and the Tuhua jianwen zhi 圖畫見聞志 by Guo Ruoxu 郭若虛.
Fujiwara no Korefusa 藤原伊房 (1030–96) was the third head of the Sesonji 世尊寺 family, a famous family of calligraphers. Previous scholars have made numerous attempts to gain a grasp of the actualities of Korefusa's calligraphy, but their investigations have been inadequate, and to the best of my knowledge none have touched on the formation of his calligraphic style. In this article, I accordingly examine the origins of his style, exploring the works that he may have seen and utilized when developing his own calligraphic style. The paper used in the Jūgoban uta-awase-gire 十五番歌合切, attributed to Korefusa, is currently thought to be Chinese paper produced during the Northern Song. The fact that paper entered Japan from China suggests the possibility that Korefusa may have seen writing from China too. When one examines records dealing with Japanese monks who went to Song China and merchants ships that came to Japan from the Song, there emerges the possibility that even in the current of Japanization that resulted from the abolition of Japanese embassies to the Tang cultural exchange may have occurred between Japan and Song China. It is also conceivable that Korefusa may have had the opportunity to see Chinese goods that entered Japan via Khitan, which was engaged in smuggling. When one then examines Korefusa's calligraphic style, it is possible to detect in it signs of his acceptance of the calligraphic techniques of Yan Zhenqing 顔眞卿 and the Song. In addition, correspondences with the gourd-shaped patterns in a sheet of the Sunshō'an shikishi 寸松庵色紙 held by Gotoh Museum and in the Songfengge shijuan 松風閣詩卷 by Huang Tingjian 黄庭堅 and a statement in the Gekanshū 下官集 that Korefusa based himself on Song methods of writing all merit attention as evidence of the influx of things Chinese. It is to be surmised that Korefusa developed his strong masculine style of calligraphy by incorporating Chinese calligraphic techniques even as he was learning the calligraphic style of the Sesonji family.
The Saiyōshō 才葉抄 is a calligraphic treatise by Fujiwara no Norinaga 藤原教長 (1109–80?), a court noble of the latter part of the Heian period, and it is said to have been transmitted orally in a hermitage on Mt. Kōya in 1177 (Angen 安元 3). It is also known as the Norinaga kuden 教長口傳, Hittaishō 筆躰抄, and Hippō saiyōshū 筆法才葉集. In current research on manuscripts of the Saiyōshō, manuscripts are broadly divided into three textual lineages: a 47-section version, exemplified by the Saishō nyūdō Norinaga kuden 宰相入道教長口傳 in the Sakamoto Ryūmon 阪本龍門 Library, which is regarded as the best manuscript; an 88-section version, included in the Nihon shoga'en 日本書畫苑 (compiled by Kokusho Kankōkai 国書刊行会), etc.; and a 24-section version, held by the Cabinet Library, Seikadō 静嘉堂 Library, etc. Close to fifty manuscripts of the Saiyōshō have been transmitted in various locations. Among these, there have been identified ten manuscripts of the 24-section version (Hittaishō), but there have been no studies that deal with all of these manuscripts. In this article, I accordingly take up all ten extant manuscripts of the Hittaishō, and as well as presenting the relevant bibliographic information about each manuscript, I examine their relative dates. In addition, I compare the 24-section version (Hittaishō) with the chief manuscripts of the other textual lineages and consider the question of how it should be situated in relation to manuscripts of the Saiyōshō. Furthermore, I identify the Hittaishō held by the Century Cultural Foundation (243-1/002, held on loan by Shidō Library, Keio University), considered to have been copied by Fujiki Atsunao 藤木敦直 (1582–1649), as the best manuscript among the extant manuscripts of the Hittaishō, and as well as providing a transcription of the full text, I give variants found in other manuscripts.
Whereas the erection of the Yuan Chang 袁敞 stele has been dated to Yuanchu 元初 4 (a.d. 117), there is no established view on the date of the erection of the Yuan An 袁安 stele. In recent years Yang Pin 楊頻 and Liu Haiyu 劉海宇 have concluded that it was erected in the same year as the Yuan Chang stele (i.e., Yuanchu 4). I concur with their view, but I feel that scope for further research remains in that they do not go so far as to situate the calligraphy and style of the inscription as a whole within the overall development of the seal script during the Han period. In this article, through a comparison of the two steles with the calligraphic style of inscriptional materials from around the same time, I accordingly seek out evidence corroborating the view that both steles were erected in Yuanchu 4. In addition, I also consider how the calligraphic style of the two steles can be positioned among these inscriptional materials. I compare the two steles with seal-script inscriptional materials such as the stone inscriptions on Mount Tai (Taishan 泰山), the inscriptions on stone tablets at Shaoshi 少室, the inscriptions on stone tablets at Kaimu Temple 開母廟, and so on from the perspective of the aspect ratio of the outer contour of the characters, the ratio of long lower character components, vertical and horizontal strokes, the space between horizontal strokes, the beginning and end of a brushstroke, etc., and as a result I surmise that there are strong reasons for considering the Yuan An stele to have been erected in the same year as the Yuan Chang stele. In particular, although the inscriptions on the Shaoshi and Kaimu Temple stone tablets differ in shape and structure from the two steles, they share a similar calligraphic style, and it is conceivable that there existed a common calligraphic foundation that transcended individual localities. In addition, connections can also be recognized between this common calligraphic foundation and the calligraphic style used in seal-script titles in the upper part of some inscriptions, and it is to be surmised that these seal-script titles were the result of an attempt to elaborate on this foundation in a strikingly decorative manner. On account of their structure and calligraphic style the two steles are often treated as steles that differ in character from other Han steles, but I point to the possibility that they may represent an intermediate style between the small seal script of the Qin period and the calligraphic style of seal-script titles that blossomed from the mid-second century onwards.
Early manuscripts of the Wakan rōeishū 和漢朗詠集 considered to be in the same hand as the third of the three calligraphers of the Kōya-gire 高野切 manuscript, traditionally identified as Ki no Tsurayuki 紀貫之, and considered to belong to the same line of manuscripts include the Detchōbon 粘葉本, Konoe 近衛, and Hōrinji-gire 法輪寺切 manuscripts, all attributed to Fujiwara no Yukinari 藤原行成. In addition, the calligraphic styles used in the Iyo-gire 伊予切 manuscript in particular, also attributed to Fujiwara no Yukinari, can be divided into three distinct styles. When he was preparing a reproduction of the Iyo-gire manuscript, Tanaka Shinbi 田中親美 distinguished three calligraphic styles and excluded from his reproduction the sections written in the third style on the grounds that "they were added in later times." Since then, many divergent views on these three styles have been put forward. Nagoya Akira 名児耶明, for example, suggested that the Iyo-gire manuscript had been copied by three contemporaneous calligraphers, while Komatsu Shigemi 小松茂美 proposed that the first and second styles represented changes due to "the passage of time" and argued that they were by the same person. In this article, I accordingly first examine the binding of the Iyo-gire manuscript. I take note of the fact that in the course of its transmission the manuscript was rebound, with the original pasted (or butterfly) binding (detchōsō 粘葉装) being changed to multi-section binding (tetsuyōsō 綴葉装). I examine in particular the part of the second fascicle in which the second and third styles of calligraphy are intermixed. I also wish to draw attention to the fact, mentioned above, that there have survived many early manuscripts in the same hand and belonging to the same line of manuscripts as the Iyo-gire manuscript. The importance of examining preferences in the use of syllabic characters has been pointed out by Komatsu, who writes that "there were considerable differences in the syllabic characters used, even among contemporaries, and they could be said to possess subjective significance." Taking into account differences in preferences for the syllabic characters used in various early manuscripts, I highlight the characteristics of the preferences to be seen in each of the three calligraphic styles found in the Iyo-gire manuscript, and by this means I redefine the position of each of these styles.
In this article, I present a report on a bibliographic investigation of a manuscript of the Kokin wakashū 古今和歌集 said to have been copied by Fujiwara no Toshinari (Shunzei) 藤原俊成 and held by the Imperial Household Agency's Sannomaru Shōzōkan 三の丸尚藏館 (Museum of the Imperial Collections), and through an analysis of the text I also examine the copyist and the textual lineage of this manuscript. As a result of my investigations, the following facts have come to light. First, with regard to the bibliographic investigation, starting from the first leaf of part 1, one finds that the order of the second and third bundles has been reversed, resulting in incorrect collation. Further, when one carefully examines the incorrectly collated leaves, one finds that the break between the two bundles coincides with the break between the upper stanza of a poem in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables and the lower stanza in two 7-syllable lines, and it is to be surmised that the error in order may have been overlooked for this reason. Next, I consider the copyist through an analysis of the usage of Chinese characters and variant kana characters. In view of the fact that there are considerable differences in this regard with other works in Shunzei's own hand, it is to be surmised that this manuscript was not copied by Shunzei. In addition, there are also copying errors here and there that Shunzei would have been most unlikely to make. In view of these facts it may be assumed that the Sannomaru Shōzōkan's manuscript of the Kokin wakashū attributed to Shunzei was copied by someone who did not have a very good understanding of the meaning of the text. Thirdly, I examine the textual lineage of the manuscript since this had not previously been clarified. Following an analysis of differences and similarities with texts deriving from Shunzei's version and Fujiwara no Teika's 藤原定家 version of the Kokin wakashū, it was found that the manuscript does not match the text of Shunzei's version and instead tallies with Teika's version, in particular that dating from Jōō 貞應 2 (1223). I therefore reached the conclusion that the text of the Sannomaru Shōzōkan's manuscript of the Kokin wakashū attributed to Shunzei belongs to the line of texts deriving from Teika's 1223 version of the Kokin wakashū.
Shinoda Kaishin 篠田芥津 (1827–1902) is known as a pioneering adopter of the seal-engraving style of the Chinese Zhe 浙 school in the Edo-Meiji period and also as the teacher of Kawai Senro 河井荃廬. A collection of impressions of seals engraved by Shinoda is the Shinoda Kaishin sensei inpu 篠田芥津先生印譜 (1901), but until now little attention has been paid to the seal impressions it contains or to related works. It is also a fact that there are contradictions and inconsistencies in existing materials regarding Kaishin's career. I was recently provided with unpublished materials, including seal impressions, by Shinoda Katsuharu 篠田捷治, one of Kaishin's descendants (a great-grandson of Kaishin's younger brother Hikobee 彦兵衛), and was apprised of the existence of a private edition of collected seal impressions in four albums titled Kaishin inpu 芥津印譜. This brings together in four albums seals engraved by Kaishin when he was residing in Edo and Gifu, and it was kept by the Shinoda family without being published. These seal impressions provide important material for learning about his engraving style and acquaintances at the time. In addition to the Kaishin inpu, there are also more than two hundred duplicates of seal impressions accompanied by notes in Kaishin's own hand. These are valuable materials that inform us of the dates when these seals were produced and of the extent of his circle of acquaintances. In this article, I organize these materials, identify Kaishin's clients on the basis of the dates and texts of the seals, and determine when he was living in Edo, Gifu, and Kyoto, and by this means I clarify details of his middle years, about which there has been some confusion. This is the main point of this article. Further, in view of the fact that he also carved seals for many men of culture and prominent figures, I was able to confirm the assessment and personality of Kaishin as a seal engraver who was no mere career seal carver.
As part of an inquiry into changes in the modern concept of "art," in this article I examine the scope of "art" and the position of calligraphy in the Ryūchikai 龍池會, which was founded in 1879 as the first Japanese art association (and was later renamed Japan Art Association). Prompted by the Ryūchikai's treatment of calligraphy as art, in 1882 Koyama Shōtarō 小山正太郎 published an essay entitled "Calligraphy Is Not Art" ("Sho wa bijutsu narazu" 書ハ美術ナラス). But following a careful examination of the official organs of the Ryūchikai and Japan Art Association, it has become clear that already prior to the publication of this essay there were differences of opinion among members of the Ryūchikai about whether or not to include calligraphy in "art." Furthermore, while a small number of early pieces of calligraphy were exhibited as examples of old works in exhibitions sponsored by the Ryūchikai and Japan Art Association, no requests were made for exhibits of new pieces of calligraphy, and it was confirmed that in effect there was a strong tendency to exclude calligraphy from "art." In response to this state of affairs, calligraphers led by Watanabe Saō 渡邊沙鷗 established the Rikusho Kyōkai 六書協會 within the Japan Art Association with the aim of having calligraphy treated in the same way as painting. But the Japan Art Association instructed them to disband four years later, and so the calligraphers decided to resign from the Japan Art Association. The following year they established their own Japan Calligraphy Association and actively campaigned to have calligraphy exhibited at art exhibitions sponsored by the Ministry of Education and at other exhibitions and expositions. The Rikusho Kyōkai merits renewed attention as a pioneering group that aspired to have calligraphy recognized as a form of "art" and held exhibitions of only calligraphy on a continuing basis.