Keio University Library Exhibition of Rare Books "Japanese Reading in Ancient Times and the Middle Ages"
October 26, 2020
The 32nd Keio University Library Exhibition of Rare Books "Japanese Reading in Ancient Times and the Middle Ages" was held at the 4F Gallery of Maruzen's Marunouchi Main Store over the seven-day period from Wednesday, October 7 to Tuesday, October 13 (Host: Keio University Library; Co-Sponsor: Maruzen Company Limited.). The exhibition took as its main theme "classical Chinese literature," which was imported from China and became a mainstay of reading in the Japan of ancient times and the Middle Ages. The aspects of reading over this period of Japanese history were recounted through the holdings of the Keio University Library.
At the exhibition, the Lunyu shu, one of the oldest transmitted manuscripts of the Analects, was publicly exhibited for the first time. The Lunyu shu, formally referred to as the Lunyu yishu (論語義疏; Elucidation of the Meaning of the Analects), is an annotation of the Analects by Huang Kan 皇侃 (488–545) of the Liang dynasty, who is a known scholar from the Six Dynasties period of China. An analysis by a Keio University research group has surmised that this is a Chinese manuscript predating the Sui dynasty (581–618). It has attracted attention as one of the oldest extant examples of a manuscript comprising bound sheets outside Buddhist scripture, with press coverage in various media including newspapers. Over the course of the event, several gallery talks by Keio University Professor Emeritus and general supervisor of the exhibition Michio Sato were also held, with participants seen listening intently.
The exhibition saw over 1,600 visitors over its course, and remained well-attended throughout. Please refer to the website below (Japanese language only) for details of the main materials displayed at the exhibition.