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New Exhibit at Green: The Pleasures of Edo Period Books: Illustrated Volumes from Stanford's East Asia Library

The Stanford University Libraries, Department of Special Collections, is pleased to announce the exhibition The Pleasures of Edo Period Books: Illustrated Volumes from Stanford's East Asia Library. This small exhibition highlights the early-modern Japanese illustrated book collection at the Stanford University Libraries' East Asia Library. Each volume included in the exhibition represents aspects of Japanese culture during the Edo period (1600-1868), when printing houses produced massive quantities of volumes still admired for their form and content.

The Pleasures of Edo Period Books will be on view at Stanford University's Cecil H. Green Library, Peterson Gallery, second floor of the Bing Wing from April 29 through June 19, 2005. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The Pleasures of Edo Period Books: Illustrated Volumes from Stanford's East Asia Library is the work of students in the winter 2005, advanced graduate seminar in Japanese literature of the Edo period, taught by Professor Jim Reichert. The Edo period (1600-1868), is noteworthy in Japanese history for its highly sophisticated print culture. The seminar focused on various aspects of this commercial book trade. For a final project, the students organized this exhibition.

The volumes on display are from the Stanford East Asia Library's special collection of early-modern Japanese illustrated books. The collection, acquired in 1984, consists of more than 500 titles totaling approximately 2,000 volumes.

Each of the four cases in this exhibition represents an aspect of Japanese culture during the Edo period: Social Stratification in the 'Tokogawa Era' contains images representing different aspects of the Edo period class system; Literacy and the Marketing of Information offers illustrations from educational and informational books; Religion and the Supernatural presents images of ghosts and deities; and Edo Arts and Entertainment provides a glimpse of popular recreational activities.

Hours:   Exhibit cases are illuminated Monday-Friday from 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 1 to 6 pm. The gallery is accessible whenever Green Library is open and hours vary with the academic schedule. For library hours, call 650-723-0931 or see

Last modified: June 24, 2005

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