University of Illinois Library Names 13-Millionth Volume
By Jeff Bossert
The first illustrated book from Japan is the 13-millionth volume at the University of Illinois library.
Ise Monogatari, or Tales of Ise, was first published in 1608.
The Director of the U of I’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library said that makes it one of the earliest books printed with movable type in Japan, an anonymous collection of more than 200 poems and 125 episodes from a poet’s life. Valerie Hotchkiss said the book was the vision of a wealthy art connoisseur, a famous painter, and literary scholar.
"In the early 17th century in this town near Kyoto, Japan, three wealthy men got together and decided they were going to make beautiful books and printed books using new technologies," she said. "And they produced these extremely beautiful, very delicate books, on very delicate handmade paper."
The book will be on display at the Rare Books and Manuscript Library at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on Sept. 27 and 28.
The library houses many more illustrated Japanese works from the 17th century through the 19th century called the Yamagiwa Collection.