Beppon (別本)


It refers to a book based on the same original book, but has differences in the contents. Also called "Ihon" (alternative version). See the section on "manuscript."

It refers to a manuscript which, among those of The Tale of Genji, does not belong to either Aobyoshi-bon manuscript or the Kawachi-bon manuscript. It will be explained in this category.

Beppon is the manuscript of The Tale of Genji which does not belong to either the Aobyoshi-bon manuscript or the Kawachi-bon manuscript among those of The Tale of Genji. It also refers to the text of such manuscript.

The name, 'Beppon,' was first used in 'Koi Genji monogatari,' a variorum of The Tale of Genji, published by Kikan IKEDA in 1942, and later it also came to be widely used in '{Genji monogatari taisei}' (Comprehensive Study of The Tale of Genji), and so on. First of all, 'Beppon' was just an expedient name for a group of manuscripts not recognized as an Aobyoshi-bon manuscript or an Kawachi-bon manuscript, and it was treated under the name of 'Beppon' without considering the nature or line of the manuscripts. There were not necessarily a group of manuscripts which had common distinctions and that branched from the particular original manuscript such as Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon manuscripts.
According to Kikan IKEDA, an advocator of this term, 'it is wrong to call Beppon 'Beppon line' just like calling Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon 'Aobyoshi-bon line' and 'Kawachibon-line' respectively, and the name and characteristics of Beppon should be restudied, classified, and organized after the text study of The Tale of Genji is advanced and the distinction of Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon are revealed.'

Kikan IKEDA considered that the following manuscripts were classified into Beppon.

Beppon of old tradition line
Beppon of mixed texts line
Beppon of annotative text line
In fact, there are many 'Beppon' with characteristics that are unclear and which simply do not have any evidence to prove that they belong to Aobyoshi-bon or Kawachi-bon.

Old tradition line
Old tradition line Beppon are manuscripts which seem to contain the text before Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon were completed. The manuscript, owned by Konan Women's University, said to have been written by FUJIWARA no Tameie is famous. Whether the manuscript belongs to the old traditional line or not does not necessarily depend upon the year of transcription. It is certain that all the manuscripts that appeared before completion of Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon, including the manuscripts in Murasaki Shikibu's own handwriting which have been considered already lost, belong to this old traditional line of Beppon. However, distinction of manuscripts depends upon the original manuscript from which they were transcribed, so the manuscripts made after the completion of Kawachi-bon and Aobyoshi-bon, or those made even during the Edo period, could belong to the old traditional line manuscripts if they were based upon the old traditional version.

Mixed texts line
Mixed texts line of Beppon refers to existing manuscripts which contain the text of several groups of manuscripts completed after Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon. Among the Beppon which belong to the mixed texts line, there are the following various types of mixture.
Mixture of Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon
Mixture of Aobyoshi-bon and old traditional manuscript
Mixture of Kawachi-bon and old traditional manuscript

There are two reasons for the mixture of the text; one is that when the manuscript was collated, the different group of text was added to the original text, while the other is that the manuscript where the text was partly missing was supplemented by a different group of text.

Annotative texts line
Annotative texts line of Beppon refers to the existing annotations which were originally explanations on picture scrolls, old annotations, old genealogies, and so on. Compared with the regular texts of the manuscript, it could be considered that some were changed on purpose, so some people claim that these texts should be treated in a different way from the regular ones, therefore these are treated together as one group.

Theories of two groups
This is a theory advocated by Akio ABE that Aobyoshi-bon could be included in the Beppon group, so the texts of The Tale of Genji are divided into two groups, Kawachi-bon and Beppon lines, which was based on the idea that 'if Aobyoshi-bon had been a manuscript faithfully transcribed from the manuscript (one of the Beppon of the old traditional line in those days) which had been right in front of FUJIWARA no Teika, the Aobyoshi-bon, in fact, would be one of the Beppon of the old traditional line.'

Major manuscripts
Many of the following set of manuscripts often contain the volumes which belong to a different group of manuscripts, for example, one volume belongs to Aobyoshi-bon, but another volume is Kawachi-bon, or Beppon.

Yomei bunko bon (literally, the Yomei Archives manuscript), adopted as the original book of "Genji Betsubon, Another Tale of Genji corpus."

Kunifuyu-hon manuscript owned by Tenri University Library, attributed to Kunifuyu TSUMORI
Arima-bon manuscript previously owned by Arimaka-jinja Shrine, now owned by Tenri Library, attributed to Shoin KOSAKA
Munyu-bon manuscript owned by Tenri Library
Honokuni Bunko-bon manuscript
Toen Bunko-bon manuscript owned by Tokai University Toen Bunko Library
Tokyo University manuscript owned by Tokyo University Affiliated Library
Tsurumi University manuscript
Chukyo University manuscript
Nihon University manuscript
Iijima-bon manuscript previously owned by Shunkei IIJIMA

Books which collected differences among the texts are as follows.

"Genji monogatari taisei Koi hen" edited by Kikan IKEDA (Chuo Koronsha, since 1953)
"Genji Betsubon, Another Tale of Genji corpus" (15 volumes in total) Haruki II et al. Committee for Publishing The Tale of Genji Betsubon Corpus (Ofu, March 1989 - October 2002)
"Genji Betsubon, Another Tale of Genji corpus 2" (scheduled to be 15 volumes in total) Haruki II et al. Committee for Publishing The Tale of Genji Betsubon Corpus (Ofu, since 2005)