Recasting tradition: eighteenth-century Japanese picture-books by the Edo publisher Urokogataya

Third Thursday Lectures
Thursday 16 Nov 2017 | 6 PM

Weston Room
Norwich Cathedral Hostry
Norwich NR1 4DH

Dr Laura Moretti
University of Cambridge

About the Lecture

In the second half of the eighteenth century the entrepreneurial Edo publisher Urokogataya issued a number of picture-books (kusazōshi) that were adaptations of earlier literary works. There were many challenges facing Urokogataya and his illustrators in recasting this past tradition: How to adapt relatively lengthy source texts to a shorter format of fifteen folios? How to fashion the language of the source texts into something that a reader with limited literacy could understand? How to create new images for tales that had already been released with illustrations? After an introduction to the physical qualities of the picture-books from the Urokogataya firm, this talk will address these and other questions through an exploration of three Urokogataya picture-books that feature three figures well-known in previous literature—the court poet Ariwara no Narihira, the quack doctor Chikusai and the eccentric monk Ikkyū. There will also be the opportunity to view first-hand original Japanese picture-books that were contemporary with Urokogataya publications.

About the Speaker

Dr Laura Moretti is a Lecturer in Pre-Modern Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow at Emmanuel College. Her research focuses on early modern Japanese literature, with a special interest in popular prose. She has published in English and Japanese on a variety of topics that include seventeenth-century prose, early modern ephemera and parodic rewritings. She is also actively engaged in the training of scholars in the palaeographical skills required to decode early modern manuscript and printed materials.

To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

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About the Third Thursday Lecture Series

The Third Thursday Lectures hosted by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures are on a range of topics related to the art and culture of Japan. Talks begin at 6pm (50-minute lecture followed by refreshments). Speakers are all specialists in their field and the talks are intended to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Japanese history.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking essential. To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

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The lecture will be held at the Weston Room, Cathedral Hostry, Norwich NR1 4DH.


Future Third Thursday Lectures

21 December 2017 – Professor Toshio Watanabe, Sainsbury Institute and University of the Arts, London.
WWII, Japan and the Gardens

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18 January 2018 – Dr Simon Kaner, Sainsbury Institute and University of East Anglia.
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The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Yakult and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust.

Third Thursday Lectures is a monthly lecture series supported by

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