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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



This project looks at the birth of printed popular literature in seventeenth-century Japan with a focus on prose works. In the monograph Dr Moretti is currently finalizing she first discusses how basic literacy as well as learning were encouraged at all levels of society and explores how commercial publishers saw in this an excellent business opportunity. She then examines how printed texts offer easily-accessible teachings in a variety of areas considered important to be successful in early-modern society, within and outside the sphere of private life. She also studies how the vernacular tongue is used to reach out to readers equipped only with basic phonetic literacy and in what way texts are conceived as fluid entities, constantly repackaged to maintain and increase their popularity. The close reading of selected texts is combined with the distant reading of the publishing market in a scholarly work that defies the received view of seventeenth-century Japanese literature. 

Faculty Researchers