The Analects of Confucius


Rongo (Analects) is famed as the collection of the words and deeds of Confucius and has greatly influenced the culture of China and neighboring nations as the most cherished scripture of Confucianism. It is said to have been introduced to Japan around the fifth century. This work is called the “Tenmon version,” the second version of the published Rongo in Japan after the Rongo shikkai (known as the Shōhei version) first published in Japan in the 19th year of the Shōhei era (1364). The Tenmon Analects were published in the second year of the Tenmon era (1533) by members of the Asaino family, a physician and a publisher in Sakai, who based it on the treasured book by Kiyohara Nobukata (1475−1550), the authority on Confucian studies in his time. The work in the collection of the National Diet Library has a back flyleaf with Nobukata’s autograph provenance notes dated November of the 16th year of the Tenmon era (1547) and is clearly printed; therefore this seems to be a rare first edition. A sumptuous cover made of Nishijin brocade was put on the book in the Edo period.

Date Created

Publication Information

Asaino families, Sakai


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Type of Item

Physical Description

1 book ; 27.6 x 21.2 centimeters

Last updated: February 12, 2016