Call for Participants: Workshop – Reading Edo-period texts in the raw

Reading Edo-period texts in the raw: learning how to read manuscripts and woodblock-printed books as Edo-period readers read them

We welcome applications for the following workshop: “Reading Edo-period texts in the raw: learning how to read manuscripts and woodblock-printed books as Edo-period readers read them”.

Venue: The British Library (London, UK)

Address: St Pancras
96 Euston Road

Time: 27 June 2012 (Wednesday) – 29 June 2012 (Friday)

Organisers: The British Library (Hamish Todd), Cambridge University (Peter Kornicki), Newcastle University (Laura Moretti)

Instructors: Peter Kornicki, Laura Moretti, Rebekah Clements, Alessandro Bianchi

Distinctive features of the workshop:

1.     We shall work with a range of original materials containing hentaigana andkuzushiji and explore their diachronic development through the Edo Period.

2.     Easy and progressive approach starting from easier hentaigana in woodblock-printed texts of the later Edo period, moving on to an introduction to texts with kuzushiji and progressing towards more difficult forms of writing in both manuscript and printed books of the early Edo period. The texts used will be original editions from the superb collection of the British Library.

3.     A method developed to teach non-Japanese students with a small class of a maximum of twenty participants.

4.     An easy-to-follow manual for working on your own. By the end of the course students will be equipped to work on their own with materials relevant to their own interests.

Profile of the participants:

This course is suitable for students who have done at least three years of Japanese including bungo and will be useful for students interested in any field relating to pre-modern Japan.

Number of participants and selection process:

The number of participants for the course is limited to twenty. Priority will be given to those with more than three years of Japanese study and a research interest in a subject relating to the Edo period. If there are more than twenty suitable candidates then a selection will be made by the instructors.

Application process and deadline:

Applications must be sent to, with the title “BL Edo Texts Workshop 2012”.  In order to apply please send the following documents:

1. A Letter of Intent which explains your background, why you are applying to the workshop and what your research interests are.

2. Your updated CV.

The deadline is 15 December 2012. The names of the selected participants will be released by the end of January.

Tuition fees: There are no tuition fees for the workshop.

Travel and accommodation: The organisers do not cover travel or accommodation expenses. Participants will be responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements, but a list of nearby hotels will be provided.

For further information please contact: Dr. Laura Moretti at

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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