As medieval shogunate officials sought to project their influence outward over the land as well as in competition with one another, classical Chinese scholarship served as an important means of demonstrating cultural attainment and justifying authority. Despite the political and economic power of these figures, neither the texts themselves nor instruction in them were necessarily immediately accessible. I examine the reception of Chinese literary and philosophical texts in thirteenth-century Kamakura, reconstructing the modes of reproduction specific to such works within the larger medieval textual sphere. Analyzing paratextual features of one 1280 manuscript of the anthology Wenxuan indicates the institutional forces that slowed the efforts of eastern elites to replicate the cultural capacities of Kyoto. Such extant manuscripts provide the necessary evidence for a holistic analysis of medieval Japanese textual culture, revealing its network of circulation in the midst of historic changes.