Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-9

Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Figures

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pp. xi-xiv

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

Elizabeth Huff came to Berkeley as founding curator and head of the East Asian Library in 1947, the year I was born. Then a recent Harvard Ph.D. in Chinese literature, she had spent most of the previous seven years in China, including thirty months of internment by the Japanese army in Shantung. ...

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1. A Traveling Clerk Goes to the Bookstores

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pp. 1-12

Suppose you lived in Kyoto about three hundred years ago and were facing your first trip to Edo, the Tokugawa shogun’s capital, some five hundred kilometers away. To flesh out this fantasy, let’s make you a senior clerk in a firm that retails silk cloth. You are being sent on a temporary assignment from the main shop in Kyoto to a branch in Edo. ...

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2. The Library of Public Information

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pp. 13-53

Saikaku’s tour of the storehouses is a flaming piece of parody. Loaded with lists and totals and taxonomic tricks, it takes immediate aim at the bookkeeping culture of the tradespeople who made up the prime audience for contemporary fiction. More broadly, the tour mimics a contemporary style of knowledge that dominated the sort of texts I assigned my hypothetical clerk. ...

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3. Maps Are Strange

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pp. 54-103

A colleague called me one day to ask where he could find a medieval map of Kyoto—or, really, a good reproduction of any original drafted between, say, the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. He needed it fast. So one quick reference would do until he could examine the full record later. ...

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4. Blood Right and Merit

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pp. 104-138

We keep in the locked and climate-controlled treasure room of Berkeley’s East Asian Library a body of texts that don’t really belong there. These are personnel rosters of the Tokugawa administration—texts printed so prolifically in the early modern period (in tens of thousands of copies annually) that surviving examples still flood used bookshops in Japan. ...

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5. The Freedom of the City

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pp. 139-184

The Japan of early modern maps is a place not of hills and farms but cities. As political geography replaces most physical features, and agrarian production figures swallow the village landscape, the country seems a mass of urban points—the castle towns of daimyo, the ports and post stations that connect the polity, and the famous sites that intimate a common culture. ...

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6. Cultural Custody, Cultural Literacy

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pp. 185-208

Several summers ago I traveled around Kyoto following a tour guide written in 1706 by the Confucian polymath Kaibara Ekiken. I brought with me a late seventeenth-century map of the capital region and, to help with reference questions, an all-purpose family encyclopedia published in 1692. ...

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7. Nation

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pp. 209-252

I began this book by staking out a temporal boundary. The “library of public information” that took shape after 1600 signifies, for me, a quiet revolution in knowledge—one separating the early modern period from all previous time. In empirically grounded accounts of contemporary, often mundane experience, investigators created from fissured parts an integrally conceived “Japan.” ...

Notes

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pp. 253-290

Bibliography

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pp. 291-308

Index

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pp. 309-325

Production Notes, Further Reading

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pp. 345-347