Korean Books in Japan before Hideyoshi’s Invasion

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Peter Kornicki



This article draws upon the fragmentary evidence in various Japanese sources, mostly from the Heian, Kamakura, and Muromachi periods, to examine the extent and nature of imports of books from Korea to Japan before Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea in the 1590s. Some of the evidence comes from historical chronicles, but the Ishinpō, a voluminous compendium of medicine, also refers to some Korean texts, and the Annals of the Chosŏn Dynasty contain further information, mostly but not only relating to Japanese requests for copies of the Korean printed Buddhist canon.

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