Lin Kuei-ju (National ChengChi University)
Translation by Michael Day

Original title: Lin Kuei-ru (Lin Guiru). “Cong Jianghu chuqi qimeng cishu bianzuanlun Wanbao quanshu zhi dongchuan” 從江戶初期啟蒙辭書編纂論《萬寶全書》之東傳. This article was commissioned by Lingua Franca.


The proliferation of “daily-use” encyclopedias in late Ming China is indicative of one of the major developments of the commercial boom of the period: the increased production of texts at least purporting to supply practical information useful in daily life to a broad population of readers. These encyclopedias drew no distinctions between popular and refined content, and their intended audience included all four classes of people — that is, scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants — in the orthodox definition of the Chinese social order. Compiled and published in geographically scattered publishing sites, they often had a distinct regional character. They were generally written in simple classical Chinese or the vernacular. Thus, unlike books used by the upper classes, such as Confucian classics and historical records, they could be translated relatively easily and used immediately after transmission to Japan; they were, in fact, transmitted to Japan in great numbers. The aim of this study is to investigate the degree to which they were used and what specific sections of them were used upon their dissemination in Japan.

Japanese collections contain large numbers of Ming and Qing Chinese daily-use encyclopedias, which Japanese scholars have studied extensively. However, nearly all such studies focus on China and fail to consider the transmission of these texts to and their use in Japan. As these works traveled to Japan over at least two centuries in a large number of different versions and editions, I cannot treat their full impact in this brief essay. This essay focuses on daily-use works explicitly titled wanbao quanshu imported to Japan in the early Edo period (1603-1868), roughly the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and their use in the production of educational texts.

Wanbao quanshu—or excerpts from these works — first made an appearance in Edo in works of instruction. After a brief discussion of the transmission of wanbao quanshu to Japan, I will focus on these works, tracing the ways in which various editions of wanbao quanshu were appropriated in Japanese texts in hopes of gaining a clearer understanding of the role of these works in Japan. The discussion below focuses on two educational works, Essential Tales for Childhood Education (Kunmō koji yōgen 訓蒙故事要言) and Key Classified Stories (Bunrui koji yōgo 分類故事要語), and briefly addresses a third such work in manuscript.

The Transmission of Wanbao quanshu to Japan

What Chinese daily-use encyclopedias were available in Japan and how accessible were they? Study of this question is just beginning, but we can make a few observations here that provide some general responses to these questions.

Research in Japanese holdings of Chinese works yields eight separate titles from the late-Ming period (and one other title that appears to be another printing or another edition of one of the eight), dating from the early-seventeenth century (the earliest date of publication is 1612, the latest 1636); and seven works from the Qing, specifically the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (see the appendix for a list of these works). Six of the Ming dynasty texts were published in Jianyang, Fujian, the center for the production of the most popular (that is to say, the ones most clearly designed for as broad an audience as possible) daily-use encyclopedias — and, indeed, the titles listed are among the most popular of these works. The Qing encyclopedias reflect the development of the works in China — that is, the various editions and versions of the late Ming, with their elaborate titles, have been consolidated into what appear to be one or two generic titles (e.g. Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures, Expanded and Supplemented, Zengbu wanbao quanshu 增補萬寶全書) in different numbers of fascicles. Although the number of texts in Japan is naturally far lower than the number of Chinese daily-use encyclopedias, it is clear that the Japanese imports reflect the overall publishing trajectory of the works.

Osama Ōba’s very useful study of Chinese texts shipped to Japan during the Edo period confirms the titles imported in the Qing and, more helpfully, provides some information about the prices of the wanbao quanshu. Records of sale of these imported volumes provide information of verifying precision about titles, dates, and prices: 1

“Brought back two copies of the fifty-volume Wanbao quanshu

“Sold forty-eight volumes of Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures, Expanded and Supplemented for gendai three monme, an increase of 50% or one monme over two monme

General cargo vessel: “Sold nineteen volumes of Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures, Expanded and Supplemented for gendai three monme and one fun, an increase of 50% or one monme and one fun over two monme

1721: “One set of Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures, Newly Cut, Expanded, and Supplemented (Xinjuan zengbu wanbao quanshu 新鐫增補萬寶全書)”

1731: “One set of Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures

The second and third entries above indicate the prices paid to the Chinese merchant ship (gendai 元代) in Edo-period units of silver; ten fun are equal to one monme. The “increase of 50%” refers to the tax set by officials in Nagasaki. Thus, the meaning of “gendai three monme, an increase of 50% or one monme over two monme” is “bought from a Chinese merchant ship for two monme, and with the addition of a 50% tax of one monme, then sold for three monme.” This price can be compared with another Chinese import, an edition of the fifth-century work A New Account of Tales of the World (Shishuo xinyu 世說新語), which frequently cost more than ten monme per volume. At just three monme, Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures, Expanded and Supplemented was quite inexpensive.

It seems, then, that the wanbao quanshu were not prohibitively expensive in Japan. Nonetheless, the very slender evidence we have about consumption of the texts suggests that they were likely to be the property of men of high social status and political standing. We know that one Chinese daily-use encyclopedia, Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures Selected for Convenient Consultation from the Best of Mr. Ai’s Pavilion of Heavenly Reward (Xinke Ai Xiansheng Tianluge huibian caijing bianlan wanbao quanshu 新刻艾先生天祿閣彙編採精便覽萬寶全書, 1628), was in the collection of Tokugawa Yoshinao 德川義直(1601-1650), lord of Omari. He occupied a very elevated position in the Tokugawa hierarchy; the ninth son of the founder of the shogunate, as the lord of the Owari domain he was the head of the foremost of the three noble houses established by his father to ensure the longevity of the Tokugawa regime. A studious man who employed Confucian scholars like Hori Kyūan 堀杏庵 and spearheaded the opening of a sanctuary and domain school within his castle, he was the owner of this Chinese “popular” daily-use encyclopedia. Of course, this single piece of evidence is far from conclusive. But if Tokugawa Yoshinao was typical of the collectors of the wanbao quanshu in Japan, they enjoyed a circulation among the elite.

Chinese Wanbao quanshu as Sourcebooks for the Educational Texts

I turn now to a discussion of the use of the wanbao quanshu in the compilation of educational texts for children in the Edo period. I begin with a consideration of the first example of this phenomenon, but then focus the discussion on two later important works, Essential Tales for Childhood Education (Kunmō koji yōgen 訓蒙故事要言) and Key Classified Stories (Bunrui koji yōgo 分類故事要語), and one brief manuscript “textbook.” I am particularly interested in the ways in which various editions of wanbao quanshu were appropriated in these Japanese texts.

Hayashi Razan and Early Tokugawa Encyclopedias for Children

In the early Edo period, Confucian scholar Hayashi Razan 林羅山(1583-1657), a high-ranking official in the administration of the shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu 德川家康, compiled a series of children’s educational works in Chinese, including Elementary Selections (Dōkanshō 童觀抄), Humble Selections (Shigenshō 巵言抄), and Selections for Childhood Education (Dōmōshō 童蒙抄, 1666). The last of these titles, Selections for Childhood Education, was a compilation of gems of wisdom useful in children’s education. In addition to citing the basic textbooks of Confucian education, the Four Books and Five Classics, this work makes reference to early Chinese daily-use encyclopedias including Complete Collection of Essential Household Knowledge (Jujia biyong shilei quanji 居家必用事類全集) and Expansive Record of the Forest of Affairs (Shilin guangji事林廣記) by Chen Yuanjing 陳元靚 of the Southern Song (1127-1279).2

The author of Complete Collection of Essential Household Knowledge is unknown; it is most likely a work of the Yuan period (1279-1368).3 The entries are classified according to the ten heavenly stems, 4 and the content is highly heterogeneous. There are extant Chinese editions of this text from the sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries,5 as well as an imperial court workshop edition (jingchangbe經廠本). Following the encyclopedia’s transmission to Japan, a Japanese edition — meaning an edition of the transmitted Chinese text reprinted by a Japanese bookseller — was issued by Kyōto Shōhakudō Izumoji Izumi no Jō 松柏堂出雲寺和泉掾based on Hong Fangquan’s 洪方泉critically collated edition of 1611.6 In this Japanese edition, the entries are preceded by a preface by Tian Rucheng田汝成 (1503-1557), a high-ranking Ming dynasty official. Tian emphasized that the book is comprehensive in nature and plays an indispensable role in not only “administering households” but also “administering governments.” The preface further describes the circumstances of the book’s publication as follows: “The imperial treasury printed this book in the past, but the large illustrations led to printing difficulties. The beautiful, carefully collated edition with small illustrations by Hong Fangquan is, therefore, superior to its precursor.”7 Finally, the preface emphasizes that in using this book, “the self will be cultivated and the family regulated, the family regulated and the state governed; its applications in this regard are significant.” Given that an imperial treasury edition of the text was printed, that preface-writer Tian Rucheng was a high-ranking official, and that the first three fascicles of the compilation include basic educational content needed by the lettered classes, the book would have indeed been of use in both “administering households” and “administering governments.”8 It targeted the children of the lower elite classes in offering foundational instruction in proper conduct and social relations and thus would have been of use to Hayashi Razan in compiling his own Selections for Childhood Education.

Hayashi would have had access to both texts, but perhaps most easily to Complete Collection of Essential Household Knowledge, because the Japanese edition was printed by Kyōto Shōhakudō Izumoji Izumi no Jō, a family bookshop headed by second-generation proprietor Hayashi Tokimoto 林時元 (style name Shōhakudō 松柏堂), who is said to have been one of Razan’s relatives.9 As for the Expansive Record of the Forest of Affairs, a Japanese edition of this work was published in 1699 by Kyoto booksellers Imai Shichirōbee 今井七郎兵衞 and Nakano Gorōzaemon 中野五郎左衞門; it is likely Hayashi Razan would have used this edition.

Essential Tales for Childhood Education

Following the publication of Hayashi Razan’s Selections for Childhood Education, Miyagawa Dōtatsu 宮川道達 (?-1701, style names Issuishi 一翠子, Sanyōgen 三養軒) 10 compiled Essential Tales for Childhood Education.11 While Hayashi Razan’s Selections for Childhood Education consisted merely of bits of wisdom copied and translated from Chinese books, Essential Tales for Childhood Education added classic stories. It achieved great popularity immediately upon publication. Divided into ten sections comprised of a total of 856 entries, the ten-volume Essential Tales is much longer than Selections for Childhood Education. The ten sections follow the order of sections in the Chinese encyclopedias, as follows:

  1. “Heaven and Earth Section” (Tiandi men 天地門in Chinese encyclopedias, Kenkon mon 乾坤門in this text; 100 entries)12;
  2. “Sovereigns Section” (J. Jinkun mon; C. Renjun men 人君門, separated into two parts consisting of 137 entries and 54 entries, respectively);
  3. “Retainers Section” (J. Jinshin mon, C. Renchen men 人臣門, 93 entries);
  4. “Fathers and Children Section” (J. Fushi mon, C. Fuzi men 父子門, 55 entries);
  5. “Brothers Section” (J. Kyōdai mon, C. Xiongdi men 兄弟門, 34 entries);
  6. “Husbands and Wives Section” (J. Fūfu mon, Fufu men 夫婦門, 35 entries);
  7. “Friends Section” (J. Hōyū mon, C. Pengyou men 朋友門 , 35 entries);
  8. “Creatures of Air and Land Section” (J. Kinjū mon, C. Qinshou men 禽獸門, 109 entries);
  9. “Miscellaneous section I” (J. Zatsu mon jō, C. Za men shang 雜門上, 132 entries);
  10. “Miscellaneous section II” (J. Zatsu mon ge, C. Za men xia 雜門下, 73 entries).

Each section begins with bits of wisdom, then presents classical stories. Japanese translations are presented after the Chinese text, with the Chinese written in large characters and the Japanese written in small characters. Some classical stories are presented in Japanese translation only. A source is noted for each entry but scholars believe the citations may not come from the attributed sources. Long passages are cited from such texts as Precious Mirror for Enlightening the Mind (Mingxin baojian 明心寶鑑),13 Categorized Collection of Writings on History and Literature (Shiwen leiju 事文類聚),14 Tales behind Literary Allusions (Shuyan gushi 書言故事),15 and Allusions in Chinese Stories (Gushi chengyu kao 故事成語考).16

The first edition of Essential Tales for Childhood Education17 was published in 1694 by the publisher-booksellers Kosaji Han’emon 小左治半右衛門, Nakamura Shichirōemon 中村七郎右衛門, and Uemura Hachirōemon 上村八郎右衛門of Horikawadōri Honkokuji Maemachi 崛川通本國寺前町, all in Kyoto. The book begins with three prefaces, all from 1694, by Matsushita Kenrin松下見林 (1637-1704), Kyōzai 恭齋 (unknown), and the author, Miyagawa Dōtatsu, in that order. Matsushita Kenrin was from Osaka and later practiced medicine in Kyoto. His preface states that the book is intended as “an aid to elementary studies.” He advises educators to keep it at hand in order to facilitate advances in their students’ knowledge and conduct and points out that the book’s content “often consists of stories employing Chinese characters that encourage virtue and condemn vice, leading the young with instructions and admonitions.”18

Kyōzai’s preface explains, “Knowing of Razan’s Record of Unusual Tales (Kaidan saihitsu 恠談載筆),19 Elementary Selections, Humble Selections, and other such works, I pronounce approvingly that this work is much like them. This accessible volume bears comparison to the other great written works of the world.”20 In comparing Miyagawa’s work to those by the great Hayashi Razan, Kyōzai is heaping praise on Essential Tales for Childhood Education. Finally, the preface by Miyagawa Dōtatsu emphasizes that the book’s “intent is to urge virtue and condemn vice, fostering awareness of the five cardinal Confucian relationships.21 It is far from a work of lofty erudition.”22

Indeed, the contents of Essential Tales are oriented toward a more popular readership than are the works of Hayashi Razan. Moreover, because it collects stories about virtue and vice, it includes excerpts from Chinese morality books such as Record of Good Fortune (Diji lu 迪吉錄), On Self-Vigilance (Zijing bian 自警編), Record of Karmic Cause and Effect (Baoying lu 報應錄), Book to Promote Good Deeds (Quanshan shu 勸善書), Daily Reflection (Risheng bian 日省編), Record of Influences (Yingxiang lu 影響錄), and True Stories of Filial Piety (Xiaoshun shishi 孝順事實).23 But Miyagawa Dōtatsu apparently did not take excerpts directly from these morality books, but from encyclopedias of moral tales excerpted from the morality books. For instance, the fifth “Brothers Section,” contains four consecutive entries, “A Servant Becomes a Brother,” “Brothers Fight for an Inheritance,” “A Stepfather Cheats a Brother,” and “A Son and his Stepmother Fall in Love.” Although on the final page it is noted that the entries are drawn from three books, Daily Reflection, Record of Influences, and Record of Forests and Streams (Linquan jiwen 林泉紀聞), the four entries are actually copied from Tales to Exhort Virtue and Condemn Vice (Quan cheng gushi 勸懲故事), compiled by Ming dynasty scholar Wang Tingna 汪廷訥 (1569-?) of Huizhou.24 This theory is further substantiated in the “Fathers and Children Section,” specifically the entry “A Daughter who Fails to Respect her Father.” This story describes how Ouyang Huan’s wife, Ms. Wang, treats her father rudely, not only failing to respect him but driving him away. When her father complains to the gods, a great thunderbolt strikes her dead the next day. While Essential Tales for Childhood Education notes that the entry is drawn from On Self-Vigilance, the entry also appears in the first fascicle of Wang Tingna’s Tales to Exhort Virtue and Condemn Vice, where it is likewise annotated as originating from On Self-Vigilance. The sole difference is that the word used for “the next day,” that is, the time at which the unfilial daughter is struck dead, is “mingri 明日” (J. “myōnichi”) in Wang’s text rather than “myōtan” (C. “mingdan” 明旦) as in Essential Tales for Childhood Education. The Japanese edition of Tales to Exhort Virtue and Condemn Vice (published 1669) also uses “mingdan” which seems to have been an erroneous change from “mingri” in the original Chinese text. On this basis, it may be conjectured not only that Miyagawa Dōtatsu drew from the encyclopedia Tales to Exhort Virtue and Condemn Vice, but that he drew specifically from the Japanese edition published in Kyoto in 1669, Tales to Exhort Virtue and Condemn Vice (Kanchō koji 勸懲故事), rather than from the Chinese edition.

The stories in Essential Tales for Childhood Education are drawn not only from Chinese story collections, but also from daily-use encyclopedias — and not only from Expansive Record of the Forest of Affairs and Complete Collection of Essential Household Knowledge, the works designed for an elite audience used previously in Hayashi Razan’s Selections for Childhood Education — but also from more popular encyclopedias: a work referred to simply as a wanbao quanshu and Seas of Knowledge and Clusters of Jade (Xuehai qunyu 學海群玉). The wanbao quanshu is mentioned in the entry “Weaving a Palindrome Brocade” in the “Husbands and Wives Section.” The entry tells of Su Ruolan 蘇若蘭, wife of Dou Tao 竇滔, of the Jin dynasty (266-420) who crafted a brocade of 840 interwoven characters while her husband was stationed as a soldier in a faraway place. The poem contains the line, “I am weaving a brocade to send to the emperor in hopes my husband will be sent home soon.” A chancellor took pity and allowed Dou Tao and his wife to reunite. The annotation “See wanbao quanshu, fascicle 37” appears at the conclusion of the entry.25

Wanbao quanshu indeed commonly included the story of Su Ruolan’s brocade in forms identical in content to the version in Essential Tales for Childhood Education. Unfortunately, Miyagawa does not provide a precise source for his story — “wanbao quanshu” does not tell us much. But it happens that the Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures Selected for Convenient Consultation from the Best of Mr. Ai’s Pavilion of Heavenly Reward26 contains, in fascicle 37, this same “Weaving a Palindrome Brocade.”27 It seems likely, then, that this is the “wanbao quanshu” cited so vaguely in Essential Tales. This work does not, however, reproduce the illustration included in the encyclopedia.

The difficulties of tracing the citations from the Japanese texts back to their precise sources in the daily-use encyclopedias often arises because of the complexity of the publishing history of these works. For example, Essential Tales for Childhood Education cites a work referred to simply as Seas of Knowledge and Clusters of Jade as a source of riddles like “I go to your house in search of mine, I reach your house before mine, In your house I do not speak of my house, When I find your house I find my own,” as well as two “poems on things”28 in the shape of a liquor bottle and a liquor cup. The only extant book whose title includes the phrase “Seas of Knowledge and Clusters of Jade” is Newly Published Expanded Revised Hanlin Edition of Seas of Knowledge and Clusters of Jade Convenient for All Four Classes of People (Xinkan hanyuan guangji buding simin jieyong xuehai qunyu 新刊翰苑廣記補訂四民捷用學海群玉), published by the Xiong 熊family publishing house Zhongdetang 建陽熊氏種德堂in Jianyang, Fujian, in 1607. But this work does not contain either the riddle cited or the two liquor-bottle and liquor-cup poems (although such poems can be found in other wanbao quanshu like the above-mentioned Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures Selected for Convenient Consultation from the Best of Mr. Ai’s Pavilion of Heavenly Reward). It is likely, then, that Miyagawa was relying on another version or edition of Seas of Knowledge and Clusters of Jade when he copied the poems on the liquor bottle and cup.

Key Classified Stories

Following the example of the widely popular Kyoto publication, Essential Tales for Childhood Education, Surugaya 敦賀屋, a bookseller in neighboring Osaka, published Key Classified Stories by Hirazumi Sen’an 平住專菴 (?-1734). Hirazumi Sen’an (courtesy name Shūdō 周道, also known as Sen’an 專菴,29 Kenshun Sanjin 建春山人, Kitton 橘墩), was a literatus-physician and scholar of Chinese medicine in the Iyo Yoshida 伊予吉田domain. In later years he moved to Osaka, where he practiced and instructed students in medicine, and authored a number of important works on such topics as the Classic of Changes, medicine, philology, and Japanese history.30

Key Classified Stories consists of eleven fascicles in ten volumes.31 On one front cover, the title Key Classified Stories appears in the middle, with text to the right reading “Compiled by Seizai Sensei 靜齋先醒” and text to the left reading “Rōka Bookshop 浪華書鋪Bunkaidō 文海堂/Hōbundō 寶文堂edition.” At the end of Section 11 a publication note indicates the date as “the first day of the ninth month of 1714” and the publisher as Setsuyō Shorin Tsurugaya 攝陽 書林 敦賀屋Kyūbee 九兵衛/Ōnogi Ichibee 大野木市兵衛. The opening pages include two prefaces: the first, written by Murata Michinobu 村田通信 in the autumn of 1714, states that “[encyclopedias] are currently circulating widely. Comprised of strange and unusual content, they are selling very well.”32 What seems to distinguish Key Classified Stories from these other works at least this is the reason Murata gives for writing the preface — is that, during an outbreak of malaria in the autumn, children, ordered to recite the book, benefited from its wisdom (that is, perhaps, its curative powers). This is followed by a 1714 preface by the author, who describes the reclusive life he leads on the seaside in Naniwa (i.e. Osaka) after resigning from his official post. One day, a publisher read a manuscript he had authored and expressed a desire to print it, so he corrected its oversights, appended an essay titled “History of Perversions” (Hekishi 癖史), and sent it to the printing shop for publication. Murata’s preface confirms this account, noting that the book “contains sections from “Heaven and Earth” (Tenchi 天地) to “Miscellaneous,” with an additional “History of Perversions” fascicle, for a total of eleven fascicles.”33 That is, the book originally ended with the tenth “Miscellaneous” section, and the eleventh “History of Perversions” fascicle was a later addition.

In order, the book consists of the following sections, with a total of 566 entries:

“Heaven and Earth” (Kenkon; C. Qiankun 乾坤), 55 entries

“Sovereigns” (Jinkun 人君; C. Renjun), 68 entries

“Retainers” (Jinshin 人臣, C. Renchen), 60 entries

“Fathers and Children” (Fushi; C. Fuzi 父子), 55 entries

“Husbands and Wives” (Fūfu; C. Fufu夫婦), 56 entries

“Brothers” (Kyōdai; C. Xiongdi兄弟) , 20 entries

“Teachers and Friends” (C. Shiyū mon, Shiyou men 師友門), 35 entries

“Creatures of Air and Land” (Kinjū; C. Qinshou禽獸), 67 entries

“Plants and Trees” (Sōki; C. Caomu草木), 50 entries

“Miscellaneous” (Zō; C. Za 雜), 52 entries

“History of Perversions” 48 entries

Except for the addition of the last section, the structure of the work and the ordering of the sections are nearly identical to those in Miyagawa Dōtatsu’s Essential Tales for Childhood Education. The only differences are that the order of the “Husbands and Wives Section” and “Brothers Section” sections have been reversed, the title of the “Friends Section” has been changed to “Teachers and Friends Section,” and a “Plants and Trees Section” has been added. The number of entries is far fewer, with the “Fathers and Children Section” numbering fifty-five entries and “Teachers and Friends Section” numbering thirty-five entries. With the exception of the “Husbands and Wives Section,” which has a greater number of entries, all the sections have been drastically reduced. Within the text, all entries are given four-character titles, and each section likewise consists of bits of wisdom followed by classical tales. Not all sections note the sources of the tales; “Husbands and Wives,” for instance, does not.

While the overall structure of the text resembles that of Essential Tales for Childhood Education, the contents are not entirely identical. This is also the case with the texts employed. Key Classified Stories makes active use of the Chinese works Notes on the Origins of Things and Affairs (Shiwu jiyuan 事物紀原),34 Compendium of Materia Medica (Bencao gangmu 本草綱目),35 and Miscellaneous Jottings under Five Headings (Wu zazu 五雜俎),36 texts not used in compiling Essential Tales for Childhood Education. Illustrations have also been added to the entries.37 The reasons for Hirazumi Sen’an’s tendency to add material from Compendium of Materia Medica and his addition of the “Plants and Trees Section” have a great deal to do with the fact that he was a scholar of Chinese medicine. Although the “Plants and Trees Section” presents common knowledge regarding plants, it places greater emphasis on the medicinal properties of plants and trees.38 In fact, these entries resemble a specialized medical text and were likely selected by Hirazumi from dedicated medical works.

Additionally, the book makes extensive use of Assembled Illustrations of the Three Realms: Heaven, Earth, and Man (Sancai tuhui 三才圖會, a Chinese encyclopedia whose presence in Japan is confirmed by the contemporary publication of the Japanese-Chinese Edition of Assembled Illustrations of the Three Realms (Wa Kan sansai zue 和漢三才圖會, 105 fascicles, preface dated 1712 and the afterword 1715). The editor, Terajima Ryōan 寺島良安 (1654-?), was a physician at Osaka Castle, and it is generally believed that his motivation for compiling this edition was the statement by his teacher, Wake Nakayasu 和氣仲安 (dates unknown): “A doctor must know the entire universe.”39 It was Osaka bookseller Ōnogi Ichibee of Hōbundō, the publisher of Key Classified Stories, who published Japanese and Chinese Edition of Assembled Illustrations of the Three Realms.

What is striking about the Chinese sources listed above is that they are all works a cut above the daily-life encyclopedias in orientation and intended readership; all are texts for the elite or for very knowledgeable specialists. But Key Classified Stories also draws on the more popular wanbao quanshu. “Creatures of Air and Land” contains two entries from wanbao quanshu. The first:

Wanbao quanshu tells of the celebration of the birth of a phoenix. All the birds gathered to celebrate except for the bat. The phoenix called the bat to account, saying, “You, who are below me, have no cause for being arrogant and failing to wish your superior well.” The bat said, “I have an excuse for my absence. I am not your subordinate. I have legs, and this makes me a creature of the land. This is why I did not take part in your celebration. Of what use would my well wishes be to you?” The phoenix listened and did not object. One day, a qilin was born, and all the two-hundred creatures of land gathered to celebrate, except for the bat. The qilin demanded, “Why have you failed to attend my celebration?” The bat said, “I have an excuse for my absence. I have legs, which makes me a creature of the land. This is why I did not attend your celebration.” Later, the qilin and the phoenix were talking, and mention was made of the bat. Sighing, they said, “In this world, there is a creature that seems to be a bird, but is not. It also seems to be a creature of the land, but is not. It is a truly loathsome beast.”

The second entry contains a clearer moral:

The same book [that is, the wanbao quanshu] tells of a man who was chanting the name of the Buddha when he dropped his prayer beads onto a piece of meat. Drawn by the delicious aroma, a cat came and snatched away the prayer beads. The mice saw this and said, “Father Cat, we see that your heart has turned merciful and you clutch a strand of prayer beads. May you no longer do us harm.” Just as they let their guard down, the prayer beads lost their delicious aroma and the cat cast them away, caught a mouse, and devoured it. An impious person may chant the name of the Buddha even though his heart has not changed. Perhaps this can be said of all of us.

In wanbao quanshu, both entries appear in the “Joke Section” (Xiaohua men 笑話門, alternately, Xiaotan men 笑談門), where they are called, respectively, “A Rebuke For Disobedience” and “A False Show of Mercy.” It seems that the entries are placed in the “Creatures of Air and Land Section” because they are fables about animals. It is unlikely that Hirazumi intended them to be read as jokes, despite their source, for Key Classified Stories, in addition to the medical information it supplies, contains a great many stories about goblins, spirits, and strange phenomena, certainly more than in other collections of tales.40 The book also includes jokes; for instance, the tenth “Miscellaneous Section,” includes three entries from Li Zhuowu’s 李卓吾Open the Book and Laugh (Kaijuan yixiao 開卷一笑), and the final fascicle, “History of Perversions” is drawn directly from the Chinese Brief History of Obsession and Lunacy ( Pidian xiaoshi 癖癲小史),41 which consists of tales that tend toward the humorous. But, Hirazumi does not categorize these tales as “jokes” or even as “fantastic tales” largely because his intentions were educational. He selected entries from the “Jokes” section of the wanbao quanshu for their satirical rather than their humorous intent, and redeployed them to exhort and educate. The other advantage of these entries was that they were short, making them suitable as teaching material for children.

There is one additional tale that originates from wanbao quanshu, although its source is not noted: “Brocade tortoise back,” in the “Miscellaneous Section.” This in fact is the previously described tale of Dou Tao’s wife Su Ruolan and her embroidered palindrome. The reference in Key Classified Stories is brief:

The palindromic verse in brocade was embroidered by the wife of Dou Tao of the Jin dynasty and presented to the emperor. Many other books have told this tale. The illustration [of the palindrome] presented here is from [a work in] a private collection and was deciphered by my friend Ransai Kenshū 蘭齊見秀 . . . . as seen to the left. Ransai has now passed away, and the illustration and the deciphered poem are recorded here for those who are curious and have not yet seen it.42

The emphasis on the illustration and explanation suggest that they are something new in Key Classified Stories; it seems that previous reproductions of the story, like that in Essential Tales for Childhood Education, included only text. The illustration that Ransai Kenshū deciphered seems to have come from a book in someone’s collection — that is, a wanbao quanshu. The inclusion of a previously unknown illustration and explanation of the palindrome indicates that the content added to Key Classified Stories comes directly from a Chinese wanbao quanshu. This is further evident in the entry that follows.

The entry after “Brocade tortoise back” consists of four “poems on things and events” drawn from a work titled Mr. Chen Meigong’s Complete Compilation of Strange Phenomena (Meigong xiansheng yuanzuan souqi quanshu 眉公先生緣纂搜奇全書). The poems are then followed by a line of text reading, “There are dozens of fascinating poems like those to the right. Here only a few are presented.” Among extant copies of Mr. Chen Meigong’s Complete Compilation of Strange Phenomena held in Japan, the edition held by Kansai University has the characters “Wanbao quanshu” written on both the cover and the label,43 indicating to Japanese readers that the work belonged to the wanbao quanshu lineage.

In wanbao quanshu, Su Ruolan’s palindrome and the four poems on things and events are all part of the “Miscellaneous Readings” section, generally the last section of wanbao quanshu. But Essential Tales for Childhood Education places the palindrome in the “Husbands and Wives” section, while Key Classified Stories puts it in the final “Miscellaneous” section. Why the different placements? Miyagawa Dōtatsu emphasizes the Su Ruolan’s dedication to her husband and thus puts the tale in the “Husbands and Wives” section in his Essential Tales, to highlight the proper relationship of wife to husband. But Hirazumi Sen’an, in Key Classified Stories, saw the palindrome and the other poems — as they were accompanied by illustrations in a wanbao quanshu held in a private collection — as a means of providing engaging material for children studying Chinese characters.

A Brief Record to Awaken the Poor

One other educational work reliant on the Chinese wanbao quanshu survives in the form of one fascicle of a manuscript text titled A Brief Record to Awaken the Poor (Xingpin jianyao lu 醒貧簡要錄). This work, part of the “Ranking of Officials” (Guanpin 官品) section of a wanbao quanshu, was copied by Matsudaira Shūun 松平秀雲 (1697-1783, courtesy name Shiryū 士龍, style names Kunzan 君山, Ryūginshi 龍吟子, Fushun Sanjin 富春山人), a feudal retainer of the Owari 尾張domain and grandson of the eminent Confucian scholar Hori Kyūan 崛杏 (1585-1643). The purpose of the Brief Record, like that of its source, is to remind officials to lead clean and honest lives and not to sacrifice their reputations and bring shame upon their families for the sake of momentary gain. Its opening reads:

These days, officials do not take their titles seriously. Even though they have no difficulty surviving on their official salaries and supporting their families and even have money left over, they are unsatisfied with their basic salaries and commit corrupt, illegal actions, harming themselves and destroying their families. They even go so far as to leave widows, orphans, and their parents with no one to care for them. Their official salaries are provided by the people who toil to work the fields and raise livestock, enduring extreme suffering. We will now set forth nine rankings of official salaries for review by the wise

A listing of official rankings and salaries immediately follows.

For whom was this work intended in Japan? The status of the copyist, Matsudaira Shūun, supplies some clues. The owner of a large personal library, he was also employed in what we might call library work. For approximately thirty-eight years, between the ages of forty-seven and eighty-five, Matsudaira served as an official overseeing the management of books (shomotsu bugyō 書物奉行) of the Owari domain. This was the collection, numbering twenty thousand titles and dominated by Chinese language works, accumulated by the scholarly domain lord Tokugawa Yoshinao. His successors continued his tradition of scholarship and book collection; and in 1749, eighth-generation domain lord Tokugawa Munekatsu 德川宗勝 (1705-1761) established the Habishita Academic Institute (Habishita Gakumonjo 巾下學問所), where Matsudaira Shūun became an instructor in 1752. It seems likely that Matsudaira copied A Brief Record to Awaken the Poor from the wanbao quanshu Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures Selected for Convenient Consultation from the Best of Mr. Ai’s Pavilion of Heavenly Reward, in the Owari collection, because it was particularly suited to the key purpose of the domain’s school: to cultivate ministers capable of assisting in the future governance of the domain.

Conclusion: The Subsequent Development of Wanbao quanshu

In the early Tokugawa period, Japanese scholars looked to the popular wanbao quanshu imported from China primarily as sources for stories, didactic and humorous, that could be used to both teach the Chinese language and Chinese culture (in that many of the stories were famous allusions from Chinese literature and history) and instill proper, largely Confucian, moral values. Key Classified Stories had a somewhat broader scope, as it also drew on Chinese pharmaceutical texts as well as the daily-use encyclopedias to instruct young readers on the medicinal uses of various plants and trees. Alone among these works A Brief Record to Awaken the Poor had a relatively restricted audience: the sons of the samurai and daimyō of Owari who attended the domain school to train for official service.

The wanbao quanshu seem to have been granted a status in Japan rather different from that awarded them in China — that is, they took on in Japan the role of authoritative reference works rather than somewhat questionable aids to nouveaux riches aspiring to participate in elite social and cultural spheres. To be sure, the distinguished Confucian scholar Hayashi Razan relied largely on the relatively orthodox daily-use encyclopedias of the Yuan and Ming like Expansive Record of the Forest of Affairs and Complete Collection of Essential Household Knowledge, works written for the use of the literati and gentry elite; and Hirazumi Sen’an drew on the elite-oriented Assembled Illustrations of the Three Realms as well as other scholarly works such as Compendium of Materia Medica and Jottings under Five Headings. But he, Miyagawa Dōtatsu, and even the distinguished Confucian scholar Matsudaira Shūun relied, too, on popular works like Mr. Chen Meigong’s Complete Compilation of Strange Phenomena, Seas of Knowledge and Clusters of Jade, and Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures Selected for Convenient Consultation from the Best of Mr. Ai’s Pavilion of Heavenly Reward. The last work was even part of the library of a high-ranking domain lord. Lacking access to the full array of Chinese texts cited in the encyclopedias, they had to rely on these works — although, as we have seen, they at times tried to disguise their dependence by citing the original sources provided in the encyclopedias rather than the encyclopedias themselves.

The works surveyed here excerpted wanbao quanshu largely to provide materials to help children of the elite learn to read Chinese. But these works were also used for other purposes in Japan. For instance, famed Confucian scholar Kaibara Ekiken 貝原益軒 (1630-1714) included the wanbao quanshu among the works he referred to in compiling the fascicle titled “Predicting the Weather” (Sen tenki 占天氣) in his Record of Myriad Mundane Things (Banpō hijiki 萬寶鄙事記). The characters “banpō” (Chinese: “wanbao”) in the title obviously originates from wanbao quanshu, and Record of Myriad Mundane Things is in fact a Japanese language daily-use encyclopedia.

Thereafter, the characters “banpō” and “banpō zensho” (C. “wanbao quanshu”) were commonly seen in the titles of Japanese daily-use encyclopedias, for instance Great Miscellany of Myriad Treasures (Banpō daizassho 萬寶大雜書), Sack Full of Myriad Treasures of Knowledge (Banpō chiebukuro 萬寶知惠袋), Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures and Precious Techniques (Chinjutsu banpō zensho 珍術萬寶全書), Golden Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures, Newly Expanded (Shinzō kenkin banpō zensho 新增懸金萬寶全書), and Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures, Ancient and Modern, Chinese and Japanese (Kokin Wa Kan banpō zensho 古今和漢萬寶全書), as well as in the titles of educational texts for women such as Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures for the Instruction of Women (Fukyōkun banpō zensho 婦教訓萬寶全書), Holding up the Mirror of Myriad Treasures for Women (Onna banpō sōkan 女萬寶操鑑), and Eastern Mirror of the Comprehensive Compendium of Myriad Treasures for the Instruction of Women (Jokyō banpō zensho tōkyō 女教萬寶全書東鏡).44

Subsequently, a type of encyclopedia with more clearly defined subject matter, “records of collected treasures” (chōhōki 重寶記),45 appeared in Japan. Although these compilations also included a great deal of daily-use information from China, in terms of format, they are not large books like Chinese daily-use encyclopedias. In many cases they were printed in pocket-sized, easily portable editions. As a result of their small size, their contents were simplified to the greatest possible extent. For instance, the first volume of Record of Myriad Tricks from Around the World (Sekai banpō chōhōki 世界萬寶調法記) is a guide to games such as . The second volume presents information on haiku, types of medicines, secret medicinal formulas, and so on. The final volume is a collection of instructions for patients with certain diseases, recipes, information on romantic compatibility, and so on. It is apparent that the content is very similar to wanbao quanshu. From excerpting Chinese wanbao quanshu, Japanese authors moved on to compile their own daily-use encyclopedias of “myriad treasures.”


Extant Ming and Qing dynasty editions of Wanbao quanshu held in Japanese collections.

Ming dynasty:

Quanbu wenlin miaojin wanbao quanshu 全補文林妙錦萬寶全書, 38 fascicles, edited by Liu Shuangsong 劉雙松 in the Ming dynasty, preface dated 1612, reprinted by Liu Shi Anzhengtang 劉氏安正堂 (Jianyang, Fujian), held by the Kobe University Kobayashi Collection.

Xinke souluo wuche hebing wanbao quanshu 新刻搜羅五車合併萬寶全書, 34 fascicles, compiled by Xu Qilong 徐企龍in the Ming dynasty, published by Minshudetang 閩樹德堂 (Fujian), held by the Archives and Mausolea Department of the Imperial Household Agency of Japan (two volumes).

Xinke Ai Xiansheng Tianluge huibian caijing bianlan wanbao quanshu 新刻艾先生天祿閣彙編採精便覽萬寶全書, 37 fascicles, compiled by Ai Nanying 艾南英in the Ming dynasty, 1628, published by Tanyi Chen Huaixian Cunrentang 潭邑陳懷軒存仁堂 (Jianyang, Fujian), held by the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (five volumes), the University of Tokyo Nagi Collection (later revised edition by the Tokugawa family of Kishū, four volumes), and the National Diet Library (eight volumes).

Xinke Ai Xiansheng Tianluge huibian caijing bianlan wanbao quanshu 新刻艾先生天祿閣彙編採精便覽萬寶全書, 35 fascicles, edited by Ai Nanying in the Ming dynasty, published by Tanyi Wang Taiyuan Sanhuaitang 潭邑王泰源三槐堂 (Jianyang, Fujian), held by the Hōsa Library (six volumes), the National Archives of Japan Cabinet Collection (six volumes), the Kansai University Hakuen Collection (five volumes), and the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (missing fascicles, five volumes, front cover states “carved by Lizhengtang 立正堂”).

Xinke yejia xincai wanbao quanshu 新刻鄴架新裁萬寶全書, 34 fascicles, Zhu Dingchen 朱鼎臣 of the Ming dynasty, prefaced dated 1614, published by Tangyi Shulin Duishan Xiong Shi 潭邑書林對山熊氏 (Jianyang, Fujian), held by the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (four volumes).

Xinban quanbu tianxia bianyong wenlin miaojin wanbao quanshu 新板全補天下便用文林玅錦萬寶全書, 38 fascicles, edited by Liu Ziming 劉子明in the Ming dynasty, reprinted in 1612 by Liu Ziming Anzhengtang 劉子明安正堂 (Jianyang, Fujian), held by Ryōsokuin, Kenninji Temple 建仁寺兩足院Kyoto and the University of Tokyo Nagi Collection.

Wanbao quanshu simin bu qiu ren 萬寶全書四民不求人, 11 fascicles, edited by Jiang Sanji 江三汲in the Ming dynasty, published by Ming Chao Cunqingtang Yu Yiming 明朝存慶堂余翊明 held by the Hiroshima University Shiba Collection (two volumes).

Xinke tianru Zhang Xiansheng jingxuan shiqu huiyao wanbao quanshu 新刻天如張先生精選石渠彙要萬寶全書, 34 fascicles, edited by Zhang Pu 張溥in the Ming dynasty, published by Cunrentang 存仁堂in 1636, held by the University of Tokyo Central Library. There is also a 1771 edition held by the Kagoshima University Tamazato Collection (four volumes).

Jingtang dingbu wanbao quanshu 敬堂訂補萬寶全書, 34 fascicles, compiled by Zhang Pu in the Ming dynasty, published by Chen Xiling 陳錫齡, held by the Kobe City Central Library.

Qing dynasty:

Zengbu zhengxu wanbao quanshu 增補正續萬寶全書, 20 fascicles with 5 additional fascicles, edited by Chen Haozi 陳淏子in the Qing dynasty, 1898 lithographic edition by Shanghai Liuxian Shuju 六先書局, held by the Tohoku University Kanō Collection.

Zengbu wanbao quanshu 增補萬寶全書, 20 fascicles, additions made by Mao Huanwen 毛煥文in the Qing dynasty, preface dated 1739, published by Yugushanfang 漁古山房(four volumes, held by Tohoku University), Jixiutang 積秀堂(six volumes, held by Tohoku University), and Sanrangtang 三讓堂 (four volumes, held by the Kansai University Naitō Collection). In addition, there is an 1874 edition by Airitang 愛日堂held by Tohoku University (six volumes) and the University of Tokyo Ōgai Collection (three volumes). The 1851 Sanrangxinji 三讓信記edition is held by the Tōyō Collection (four volumes). The 1823 reprint by Jinchang Jingyitang 金閶經義堂is held by Tohoku University (six volumes), the Kobe University Kobayashi Collection, Nagasaki University (six volumes), and the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (six volumes). The 1886 edition by Chang Shuxi Jiansao Yeshanfang 常熟席鑑掃葉山房is held by the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (six volumes). There is a further 1906 lithographic edition with an additional six fascicles and illustrations by Shanghai Longwen Shuju 龍文書局 that is held by the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library (eight volumes).

Zengbu wanbao quanshu 增補萬寶全書, 30 fascicles, additions made by Mao Hanwen in the Qing dynasty, published in 1746 by Jinchang Shuyetang 金閶書業堂(six volumes, held by Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia), preface dated 1747 reprint edition by Jinchang Shuyetang held by the National Diet Library. There is also an 1806 edition by Zhihetang 致和堂 (four volumes, held by Tohoku University), a Bogutang 博古堂(six volumes, held by the University of Tokyo Seishū Collection and Tohoku University as well as two volumes held by the University of Tokyo Oka Collection and four volumes held by the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia and the Yonezawa City Library), and an 1811 Zhihetang 致和堂reprint edition (four volumes) held by Tohoku University.

Zengbu wanbao quanshu, 6 fascicles, printed during the Qianlong era [1736-1796], held by the Seikadō Collection (six volumes).

Zengbu wanbao quanshu, 4 fascicles, additions by Mao Hanwen in the Qing dynasty, published in 1828 by Guiwentang 貴文堂, held by the Kansai University Masuda Collection (four volumes). 1850 edition held by the Tōyō Collection (four volumes).

Zengbu wanbao quanshu, 6 fascicles surviving, additions by Mao Hanwen in the Qing dynasty, published in the Qing dynasty by Shidetang 世德堂, held by the Niigata Prefectural Library (one volume, Fascicles 1-6 survive).

Jingtang dingbu wanbao quanshu 敬堂訂補萬寶全書, 26 fascicles, edited by Yanshui Shanren 煙水山in the Qing dynasty, held by the Kagoshima University Tamazato Collection and the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (four volumes). There is also a 1746 edition with additions made by Mao Huanwen in the Qing dynasty held by the Osaka University Kaitokudō Collection (six volumes).

  1. Osamu Ōba大庭脩, Edo jidai ni okeru Tōsen mochiwatari sho no kenkyū江戸時代における唐船持渡書の研究 (Kansai University Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies, 1967), 512, 583, 585, 689, 725.
  2. The edition of Dōmōshō referred to is held by Nara Women’s University. The two entries drawn from Jujia biyong are “Jujia biyong says: Those who agree easily are little trusted. Those who praise men openly slander them in secret” and “Jujia biyong says: To be filial is to love one’s parents as one’s wife. To be loyal is to cherish one’s lord as one’s honor and wealth.” The three entries drawn from Shilin guangji are “Mothers who spoil their children betray them,” “When a child returns from a trip with toys and other things, he must be asked where they came from. If he does not respond adequately, he must be punished,” and “It is better to wear a heavy coat than to warm up from the cold, and it is better to educate oneself than rest idly.”
  3. The preface by Tian Rucheng says, “The name of the editor is not known, but it is likely that he lived in the Yuan dynasty. This is apparent in that most of the books cited are the work of Song and Yuan dynasty authors.” (1)
  4. Translator’s note: A numbering system originally used for days of the week and later adapted to many other functions.
  5. Translator’s note: The Zhengde, Jiajing, Wanli, and Longqing eras of the Ming dynasty which correspond to the years 1505-1620.
  6. The edition referred to is held by the Japanese National Diet Library.
  7. Tian Rucheng, preface to Jujia biyong shilei quanji, 1-2.
  8. The content useful to the educated classes includes: citations from the writings of Zhu Xi 朱熹(1130-1200) and an entry on “Dong Po’s Rules of Composition” (Dong Po zuowen fa 東坡作文法) in the first fascicle; an entry on Sima Guang’s Miscellaneous Domestic Rituals” (Sima Wengong jujia zayi 司馬溫公居家雜儀) and information on ceremonies such as weddings and funerals in the second fascicle; and warnings regarding litigation by officials in the “Unfair Verdicts” (Duanyu bugong 斷獄不公) and “Carelessness in Trying Cases” (Tingsong bushen 聽訟不審) entries in the third fascicle.
  9. Izumoji is his family name and Izumi no Jō is an official title granted by the shogunate. In addition to Kyoto, where the bookshop was located, Tokimoto pioneered other markets, opening a branch in Nihonbashi 1-chōme, Edo (present-day Tokyo).
  10. According to Dr. Katsumata Motoi’s 勝又基research, there are seven extant works by Miyagawa Dōtatsu in addition to Kunmō koji yōgen, a collection of Chinese and Japanese jokes entitled Mingoshū Wago tsuirui 眠寤集和語對類 (published 1682), Honchō teiō seitō roku 本朝帝王正統錄(published 1685), a Chinese poetry anthology entitled Sōrin ryōbu shō 叢林兩部鈔(published 1687), an annotated book of Chinese poetry entitled Shōshō hakkei shiika shō 瀟湘八景詩歌鈔(published 1688), a travel log entitled Shirin ikōshū 詞林意行集(published 1690), a travel log entitled Shūi ikōshū 拾遺意行集(published 1693), and a Chinese poetry composition manual entitled Wago enki kappō 和語円機活法 (published 1696). See Katsumata Motoi, “Miyagawa Issuishi oboegaki: Wa Kan no isō“ 宮川一翠子覚え書―和漢の位相―, Gobun kenkyū 語文研究81 (June 1996): 1.
  11. The edition referred to is held by the Kagoshima University Library, Tamazato Collection.
  12. Translator’s note: In general, Japanese readings are given when entries or fascicles are being discussed in the context of Japanese editions. When the author refers to Chinese sources, readings are given in both languages whenever possible, as the titles of fascicles and entries are generally written with the same Chinese characters in both languages. Hereafter “J.” indicates the Japanese reading of the characters, “C.” the Chinese reading.
  13. Translator’s note: Attributed to Fan Liben 范立本 (fl. late 14th c.), this was a collection of quotations and aphorisms from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism intended to provide moral guidance to young readers.
  14. Translator’s note: An encyclopedia compiled by Zhu Mu (1221-after 1246) during the Southern Song; it was revised and expanded in the Yuan. It contains citations from ancient historical and literary texts on a wide range of topics (a total of one hundred) and is notable for its relatively comprehensive citations; unlike other encyclopedias, it quotes whole passages rather than just single sentences or fragments from is sources. It does not purport to be a daily-use encyclopedia.
  15. Translator’s note: This was a compendium of literary and historical allusions, glossed and arranged topically. Compiled in the Southern Song, the earliest extant edition was published in 1589 and the work was revised and reprinted many times in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century; a Japanese reprint was published in 1646.
  16. Translator’s note: Allusions in Chinese Stories was a very popular educational work in Ming and Qing China; produced in many different versions and titles, it explained commonly used allusions found in the great works of the literary and historical tradition and was used in particular as an aid to writing essays. In addition to Chinese encyclopedias, use is made of Japanese texts such as Hayashi Razan’s Kanreishō, Dōmoshō, Dōkanshō, and Shigenshō as well as Chie kagami 知惠鑑, Shingoen 新語園, and Yugu zuihitsu 愈愚隨筆; fully 60% of the content is duplicated. See, for example, Watanabe Morikuni 渡辺守邦, Kana zōshi no kitei仮名草子の基底 (Tokyo: Bensei Shuppan, 1986); Katō Sadahiko加藤定彦, Rigen taisei 俚諺大成 (Tokyo: Seishōdō Shoten, 1989); Kamiya Katsuhiro神谷勝広, Kinsei bungaku to wasei ruisho近世文学と和製類書 (Tokyo: Wakakusa Shobō, 1999).
  17. Japanese instructional works for children did not originally use the word “koji” 故事 (Chinese: “gushi” [tale]) in their titles. Katō Sadahiko 加藤定彥believes that the word “koji” was added following the eastward transmission of collections of Chinese stories such as Tales behind Literary Allusions and Stories for Daily Learning (Riji gushi日記故事). Thus, Miyagawa’s choice of the title Essential Tales for Childhood Education establishes a link between this book and collections of Chinese tales. See Katō Sadahiko 加藤定彦, “Kaisetsu” 解説, in Rigen taisei 俚諺大成 (Tokyo: Seishōdō, 1989), 666. Kamiya Katsuhiro 神谷勝広also points out that the book cites Shuyan gushi as a source of only two quotations and that nine entries in fascicle 8 appear to be drawn from fascicle 11 of Shuyan gushi, “Qinshou.” See Kamiya Katsuhiro, Kinsei bungaku to Wasei ruisho 近世文学と和製類書 (Tokyo: Wakakusa Shobō, 1999), 283.
  18. Kunmō koji yōgen, 1: 3a.
  19. Another collection of Chinese stories suitable for reading by children.
  20. Kunmō koji yōgen, 1: 3b-4a.
  21. Translator’s note: Ruler to subject, father to son, husband to wife, elder to younger, and friend to friend (sometimes teacher to student).
  22. Kunmō koji yōgen, 1: 5a.
  23. Translator’s note: The titles listed here identify these works as either guides to self-cultivation or morality books — that is, texts designed to urge good behavior (which would, it was sometimes promised, receive reward from cosmic agents) and discourage bad (which, of course, would be punished). Some of the titles are clearly associated with known authors. Record of Good Fortune (1631) was the work of late Ming literatus Yan Maoyou (顏茂猷); and True Stories of Filial Piety, a work commissioned by the third emperor (r. 1402-1424) of the Ming dynasty for the instruction of his people. On Self-Vigilance is the title of a work by Southern Song scholar Zhao Shanliao 方孝孺趙善璙 (fl. 1231) and Ming scholar Fang Xiaoru 方孝孺 (1357-1402). With regard to the dissemination of Diji lu in Japan, two books extensively cite Diji lu: Kagamikusa 鑑草(published 1647) by Nakae Tōju 中江藤樹(1608-1648), a scholar who followed Wang Yangming, and Kanninki 堪忍記(1659) by Asai Ryōi 淺井了意(1612-1691), an author from Osaka.
  24. Other entries such as “Sakatsu nigihata ato ni kanadenu” 先賑後奏 (C. “Xian zhen hou zou”) (Baoying lu), “Shinpō tami o gaisu” 新法害民 (C. “Xinfa hai min”) (Quanshan shu), “Sakana o haha ni okuru” 哭魚於母 (C. “Song yu yu mu”) (Xiaoshun shishi), etc. can also be found in Quan cheng gushi. With regard to Quan cheng gushi, see Lin Kuei-ju 林桂如, “Di er zhang: Wang Tingne Quan cheng gushi zhi chengshu ji qi dongzhuan yingxiang” 第二章 汪廷訥《勸懲故事》之成書及其東傳影響, in Quanshan chuijie, xiaoxing kefeng: Cong Zhong Ri chuban wenhua lun Han ji zhi dongzhuan yu chengyan 勸善垂戒、孝行可風:從中日出版文化論漢籍之東傳與承衍 (Taipei: Chengchi University Press, 2018), 53-88.
  25. Original text: “In the Jin dynasty, a man named Dou Tao, who was married to a woman named Su Ruolan, became an ombudsman in the state of Qin and left home to take up his post in this distant land. Pained by this, Ruolan wove a brocade and sent it to a chancellor to plead for her husband’s return. The brocade was comprised of vertical and horizontal lines of text numbering about 840 characters expressing extreme despondence and stating that she was sending a brocade to the emperor to plead for her husband’s speedy return. Moved by pity, a chancellor ultimately allowed her husband to come home. See Wanbao quanshu, fascicle 37.” (10a)
  26. “Mr. Ai” is Ai Nanying 艾南英 (1583-1646), a noted literatus of the late Ming. The publishers of the daily-use encyclopedias often falsely attached the name of a famous writer to their texts, so it is not at all certain that Ai Nanying had anything to do with the compilation of this text.
  27. This fascicle, titled “Miscellaneous Browsings” (Zalan men 雜覽門), is separated into upper and lower registers: the upper register includes newly added riddles, the Four Books and ancient poetry, famous people of the present and past, and dominoes. The lower register consists of palindromic verses, poetic word searches, “jade chain” (yulianhuan 玉連環) palindromes, and poems in the shape of a liquor bottle and liquor cup.
  28. Translator’s note: “Poetry on things” (wushi shi 物事詩) refers to a category of Chinese poems that describe weather, animals, plants, or other objects.
  29. Translator’s note: The text points out that this can be written専菴, 専庵, or 専安.
  30. Including Ekigaku keimō sōkihen 易學啟蒙索驥編, Kōmon hitsudoku 孔門必讀, Gogyō kattō 五行活套, Sange zokkun產家俗訓 (1732), Shūeki hongi sekkai 周易本義拙解, Shūchin ihō taisei 袖珍醫方大成(1717), Shūchinbon sōshun 袖珍本草雋, Shōgaku kudoku sekkai 小學句讀拙解, Seigaku chiyō 星學知要, Zenzen taiheiki 前々太平記(1715), Nihon kosenki 日本古戰記 (1711-1715), Bunrui koji yōgo 分類故事要語(1714), Bokuzei shikō 卜筮私考, Bokuzei nagedama yōketsu 卜筮擲丸要訣, and Tōdo kunmō zui 唐土訓蒙圖彙 (1719).
  31. The edition of Bunrui koji yōgo referred to is held by the Yaguchi Tanba Memorial Collection.
  32. Hirazumi Sen’an 平住専菴, Preface to Bunrui koji yōgo 分類故事用語, held by the Yaguchi Tanba Memorial Collection, 1a.
  33. Ibid, 1-4a.
  34. An encyclopedia of general information by Southern Song scholar Gao Cheng 高承 first published in 1197, but later reprinted in the Ming.
  35. Written by Li Shizhen 李時珍 (1518-1593), this very influential materia medica was known in both China and Japan for its comprehensiveness and innovative method of classifying herbs and medications.
  36. By the scholar-official Xie Zhaozhe 謝肇淛 (1567-1624), a collection of anecdotes and descriptions of local customs in the areas in which he served.
  37. The entries with added illustrations are “Kokuwaku ryōnyū ari” 姑獲兩乳 (C.“Gu huo liangru”) (the “Qin bu” 禽部 of Bencao gangmu), “Kisha kyūtō ari” 鬼隼九頭 (C. “Guisun jiu tou”) (the “Qin bu” of Bencao gangmu), and “Bahei shōchō” 婆餅焦鳥 (C. “Pobing jiaoniao”) (Shiwu jiyuan) in fascicle 8, “Kinjū mon” 草木們; “Hana ni hitokubi o nasu” 花生人首 (C. “Hua sheng renshou”) (Entry 12 in the “Renwu” section of Sancai tuhui), “Chōbō no tetsuju” 丁卯鐵樹 (C. “Dingmao tieshu”) (Langya daizui 琅邪代醉), and “Kusa jashō o naosu” 草治蛇傷 (C. “Cao zhi sheshang”) (Waike zhengzong 外科正宗) from fascicle 9, “Sōki mon” 十雜門; and “Kinjiki mon” 錦字龜文 (C. “Jinzigui wen”) and “Gyokurenkan no mon” 玉連環文 (C. “Yulianhuan wen”) from fascicle 10, “Zatsu mon” (Meigong Chen Xiansheng yuanzhuan souqi quanshu). In addition, the first page of Meigong Chen Xiansheng yuanzhuan souqi quanshu is an illustration entitled “Pangu kai tian di” (Pangu separates the heavens from the earth) from which Hirazumi Sen’an may have drawn the idea of placing “Bankō zō” (Illustration of Pangu) prior to the main text.
  38. There is a 1706 edition of this text published by Kyoto’s Yorozuya Sakuemon.
  39. See Kunō Sayaka 久能清香, “Kinsei no sekaikan: Wa Kan sansai zue to Tōdo kunmō zui no kōsatsu” 近世の世界觀——『和漢三才圖會』と『唐土訓蒙圖彙』の考察, Hiroshima Jogakuin Daigaku kokugo kokubungaku shi 廣島女學院大學國語國文學誌 37 (Dec. 2007): 61-77.
  40. Fantastic tales appear in fascicle 1, “Kenkon mon,” fascicle 8, “Kinjū mon,” fascicle 9, “Sōki mon,” and as the final entry of fascicle 10, “Zatsu mon.” For instance, fascicle 1, “Kenkon mon,” includes “Chingi kaminari no mago” 陳義雷孫 (“Chenyi lei sun”) (Xuan guai lu 玄怪錄), “Raikō ushi o furuu” 雷公震牛 (“Leigong zhen niu”) (Gua yi zhi 括異志), “Udo kane o motomu” 羽土索金 (“Yutu suo jin”) (Wu za zu), and “Hakkotsu tachimachi oku” 白骨忽起 (“Baigu huqi”) (Kui che zhi 睽車志), while fascicle 8, “Kinjū mon,” and fascicle 9, “Sōki mon,” include tales of animals transforming into plants and fascicle 10, “Zatsu mon,” includes “Futo ke o nasu” 釜鐺為怪 (“Fudang wei guai”) (Lingguai lu 靈怪錄), etc.
  41. This work was compiled by Wen Daoren 聞道人, with commentary by the distinguished Ming literatus Yuan Hongdao 袁宏道 (1568-1610). Only one entry, “Er pi” 毦癖 (Liu Bei 劉備), is missing. Extant editions of Hekishi include one from 1831 with the cover reading “Publication of Osaka Shorin Fushigisai 書林 不自欺齋.” It was published by Izumiya Sōjirō 和泉屋荘二郎,Daimonjiya Sōjo 大文字屋荘助, and Kyōya Asajirō 京屋淺二郎.
  42. Hirazumi, Bunrui koji yōgo, 13a.
  43. Other editions are held by the National Diet Library and the Tohoku University Kanō Collection which is a handmade copy.
  44. In the Edo period, the characters “banpō 萬寶” appears in the titles of numerous books. The term “banpō” does not appear prior to the Edo period, and thus it is generally believed that the term originates from the Chinese wanbao quanshu. See Ono Sayaka小野さやか, “Wasei nichiyō ruisho toshite no chōhōki” 和製日用類書としての重宝記, in Chiba Daigaku Nihon bunka ronsō 千葉大學日本文化論叢 6: 28.
  45. Chōhōki shiryō shūsei 重寶記資料集成 (Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten 臨川書店, 2004-2008), compiled by Nagatomo Chiyoji 長友千代治, divides chōhōki into twelve types based on their qualities: daily-use reference works, instructional texts, acculturation and teaching, written characters, manners and dress, popular beliefs and history, arithmetic and government, medical and medicinal formulas, agricultural and industry, commerce and chorography, cooking and food, and arts and nightlife.

Cite: Lin Kuei-ju, “The Transmission of Wanbao quanshu to Japan in the Early Edo Period: Their Role in the Compilation of Educational Texts,” translated by Michael Day, Lingua Franca, Issue 6 (2020),