Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

June 16, 1997

New Library of Congress Publication Publishes Previously Unknown Works From Library's Japanese Section

The Library of Congress recently published Pre-Meiji Works in the Library of Congress, a bibliography of books in Japanese from the Library's Japanese Section. The bibliography contains works of literature, linguistics, drama, and music dating from the early 17th century to 1867, the year before the Meiji Restoration.

The book's entries include some of the Library's most valuable Japanese works, including special pieces previously unknown to much of the general public and to many scholars. Among the many rare items mentioned in the book is the Library's edition of the classic Japanese work The Tale of Genji, which is the only known complete set of that particular edition. Great works from the medieval period are also listed, such as a volume in The Tale of the Heike that indicates the way in which the text should be chanted during a performance, making it an extremely valuable item. There are also many volumes related to the art of the haiku poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), the most revered figure in early modern Japanese literature.

Containing 628 entries arranged alphabetically by their romanized titles, the bibliography also includes a glossary and name index. Each entry consists of an entry number, title, author and statement and is usually accompanied by an annotation.

The book was compiled by Shojo Honda, a former senior reference librarian in the Japanese Section from 1961 to 1992 and annotated by Jin'ichi Konishi, president emeritus of Tsukuba University and member of the Library's Council of Scholars.

Pre-Meiji Works in the Library of Congress is available for $16 and may be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. When ordering, please cite stock number 030-001-00166-1. Credit card orders are taken at (202) 783-3238 and fax orders at (202) 512-2250.

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PR 97-109
ISSN 0731-3527

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