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By Rebekah Clements

The interpretation of texts has performed a formative position in Japan's background of cultural alternate in addition to the advance of literature, and indigenous criminal and spiritual platforms. this can be the 1st ebook of its variety, in spite of the fact that, to supply a complete survey of the function of translation in Japan throughout the Tokugawa interval, 1600 1868. by way of analyzing quite a lot of texts that have been translated into jap from chinese language retailers, Jesuit missionaries and Dutch investors, in addition to the interpretation of classical jap into the vernacular, Rebekah Clements finds the circles of highbrow and political trade that came about in pre-modern Japan and that opposite to well known trust, Japan's 'translation' tradition didn't commence in Meiji. via analyzing the 'crisis translation' of army texts based on foreign threats to safety within the 19th century, the publication additionally bargains clean insights into the overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868."

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Extra info for A Cultural History of Translation in Early Modern Japan

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On the history of Ryukyuan trade see the essays contained in Yamamoto Hirofumi Sensei Kanreki Kinen Ronshu¯ Iinkai 1985, and Yokoyama 1987. Korea was also an important source of Chinese-language works in the seventeenth century (Kornicki 2013b). Data taken from Nichiran Gakkai 1984, pp. 51–9, and includes Chinese ships that were not allowed to unload their cargo. See the entries contained in Hiramatsu 1999. ¯ ba 1967. 19 Literacy was by no means uniform across the archipelago, and varied greatly over time depending on local contingencies and the provisions made by each domain.

Imano yo no zokugo’ 当世の俗語 (Inoura 1972, p. 207). ‘Ima no yo no. iro o fukumeru kotoba’ 今の世の. 色を含める言葉 (Inoura 1972, p. 204). ‘Inishie no chinpunkan’ いにしへのちんぷんかん and ‘to¯ sei no heichoku kotoba’ 当世の平直 詞. The advertisement may be found at the end of A Genroku Tale of the Soga (Genroku Soga monogatari, 1702). A transcription of the advertisement is available in Kawamoto 2007, p. 127. ‘Mimichikaki zokugo’ 耳ちかき俗語 (Taga 1915, p. 3). For a discussion, see Somerset and Watson 2003, pp. ix–x. 36 Language and society in Tokugawa Japan as low or vulgar by comparison.

37 The effects of this were felt not only among the more educated classes. 38 In previous centuries, a Heian (794–1185) court classic like The Tale of Genji had been almost exclusively the intellectual property of aristocrats, both male and female, who held the manuscripts themselves as well as the knowledge that was key to their interpretation. However, in the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, Genji was mined by authors of printed guides as a source of moral instruction and etiquette for young would-be ladies from samurai and urban commoner classes, and a complex web of euphemisms based on Genji allusion was used in the Yoshiwara prostitution quarters in Edo to obscure the less pleasant realities there.

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