Workshop: Intensive Workshop in Japanese Early-modern Textual Scholarship 2015

J-PATS (Japanese Palaeography and Textual Scholarship Network; www.jpats), The University of Cambridge (Department of East Asian Studies) and Emmanuel College (Cambridge) are organizing the first Intensive Workshop in Japanese Early-modern Textual Scholarship. This three-day intense course offers an introduction to the bibliography and materiality of Japanese illustrated woodblock-printed books, 1615-1912. The goal of this workshop is to enhance understanding of and access to Japanese illustrated books. It is aimed at a broad constituency that encompasses curators, librarians, art historians, cultural historians, and historians of the book.

While the focus of the workshop is on illustrated books, the skills learned in it may, of course, be applied to all other categories of commercially printed books of the Edo period.

Period: Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 March 2015

* You are requested to arrive in Cambridge on March 18 and leave Cambridge on March 22.


The workshop is based at:

Emmanuel College (Cambridge) – Harrods Room
St Andrews Street
CB2 3AP Cambridge

Some of the sessions will take place at:

Fitzwilliam Museum
Cambridge University Library – Aoi Pavilion

Topics to be covered will include:

  • the physical characteristics of the books and their modes of production;
  • the bibliographic information contained in books (on title slips, in front matter and back matter, prefaces etc.) and how to interpret it;
  • early, late and variant printings of books from the same set of blocks;
  • online resources available for the study of Edo-period books;
  • the creation of meaningful bibliographic descriptions of books;
  • marketing strategies — the commodification of artists — the descriptions of books in publishers’ blurbs;
  • the major categories of illustrated books (painting manuals/copy books, picture books ‘without words’, poetry anthologies, popular fiction, erotica, gazetteers, histories, encyclopaedias).

For whom is this workshop useful?

–    Librarians and curators who are in charge of antiquarian and archival materials of the Edo period.
–    Art historians
–    Cultural historians
–    Historians of the book
–    PhD students and scholars who deal with Japanese primary sources and want to know how to handle them, how to quote them, how to assess them.


Knowledge of Japanese is required.

Teaching staff

Dr Ellis Tinios (primary instructor)
Dr Craig Hartley
Dr Laura Moretti

Teaching style

Lectures; viewing and comparing copies of woodblock-printed books; creating bibliographic descriptions of assigned books; working with online resources.

Tuition fees

This workshop is free of charges.

Accommodation costs

Accommodation will be provided in Emmanuel College. You can choose between basic rooms (with bathroom in common) for £30 a night including breakfast or ensuite rooms for £50 per night. No children are admitted in college.

How to apply

By 10 January 2015 send you application via email to (Dr Laura Moretti).

Subject of the email: Application Summer Course on Edo Cambridge / SURNAME

Body of the email: please include the following contents:

–        a statement about why you need to take part in this course (be as detailed and concrete as possible)
–        an explanation of how this course relates to your current research work (if a PhD, a scholar, a librarian or a museum curator), your studies (if an undergraduate student), your daily work with your collections (if a librarian or a museum curator)

We can only accept 10 participants. If the requests go beyond this number a selection will be made on the basis of the relevance of the course to your work.

For any inquiry please send an email to:
Dr Laura Moretti

About Paula

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