An Important Bibliography
Bengisho mokuroku [List of Scholarly Books].
151 folding leaves. Three parts in one vol. Thickish 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers (upper wrapper a little worn), orig. block-printed title label on upper cover (label somewhat defective), new stitching. From the colophon: Kyoto: Nakamura Magobei, 1710.
First edition of this important and useful bibliography. In 1710 “the Kyoto publisher Nakamura Magobei compiled a catalogue known as Bengi shomokuroku. The aim of this catalogue was to help the reader disentangle book titles which could be easily confused because they were read in the same way, because they used the same characters but different readings, or because they were known by several titles…Nakamura Magobei included manuscripts (kakihon) and explained that he had ‘given the majority of the many titles of manuscripts that have been circulating since past times’.”–Laura Moretti, “The Japanese Early-Modern Publishing Market Unveiled: A Survey of Edo-Period Booksellers’ Catalogues,” in East Asian Publishing and Society, Vol. 2 (2012), pp. 206n & 245.
Nice copy, preserved in a chitsu. Some minor worming, carefully repaired.
❧ Peter Kornicki, The Book in Japan, pp. 441-42–”The publication of Bengisho mokuroku in 1710 went considerably further. The author was Nakamura Magobee, a Kyoto publisher and bookseller, and it was written for fellow members of the book trade. He considered books printed with movable type as a separate category and was the first to draw up a catalogue of them. He directed some attention to the book trade, which also explains his attention to the titles of books not yet published and to books with homophonic titles that could easily be confused. At the same time, the compilation of catalogues for commercial and for private purposes was becoming commonplace, and bespeaks a growing concern with the identification of books by their distinguishing characteristics.”.
Item ID: 7548