Genji monogatari taisei (源氏物語大成)

Genji monogatari taisei (Comprehensive Study of The Tale of Genji) is a study of The Tale of Genji written and compiled by Kikan IKEDA, and it mainly dealt with the differences among the various versions of text.

It consists of four parts: 'book of comparison,' which shows the differences among the texts of The Tale of Genji, 'book of index,' which consists of detailed word-and-phrase index based upon the result of the comparative study, 'book of research materials,' which is a collection of materials concerning The Tale of Genji such as old annotations, old genealogies, etc., and 'book of pictorial records,' which is a collection of pictorial records concerning The Tale of Genji such as Genji monogatari emaki (Illustrated Handscroll of the Tale of Genji). The book of comparison was the earliest full-scale academic variorum edition, and it has had a great influence on the study of The Tale of Genji later.

How it was completed
The origin of the project
It was originally planned as a memorial project on the occasion when Yaichi HAGA, a classical Japanese scholar and the first compiler of a synonym dictionary in Japan, took voluntary retirement from Tokyo University in March, 1922. In March, 1923, 'Memorial Association of Yaichi Haga's Achievements' was also formed in order to promote the project. In the end, Kikan IKEDA, a promising young scholar at that time, was commissioned to do the work in April, 1926.

At first, it was a project of creating a commentary of The Tale of Genji consisting of two or three volumes, but in the process of collecting necessary materials, Kikan IKEDA felt a necessity to make something that enabled scholars to easily access old annotations, that is to say, 'a collection of old annotations.'
That is why he offered the memorial association to change the project into 'the project for creating a collection of old annotations of The Tale of Genji,' which was later approved.
While he was making work progress further, he noticed that a common view which was believed in those days about the differences among the manuscripts of The Tale of Genji was wrong; it was said that 'there are a lot of tiny differences among the manuscripts and woodblock books of The Tale of Genji, which were due to simple mistakes made in copying, but there is almost nothing which affects the meanings of sentence or the plot.'
Then, he changed his plan again into one for making a variorum which could be used for academic study as a first step of his work because there was no full-scale variorum of The Tale of Genji in those days and also because he thought that 'it is nonsense to simply compare old annotations which were made for the different texts, so I need to make it clear the differences among the annotated texts first in order to make a collection of old annotations.'

The first period, the work of making a variorum
At first he created a variorum based on the Kawachi-bon line manuscripts for the following reasons.

Most of the earliest old commentaries on The Tale of Genji which were made from the Kamakura period to the Muromachi period such as "Suigen-sho Commentary," "Shimei-sho," "Genchusaihi-sho,"etc., were based on the dominant Kawachi-bon line manuscripts.

The good-quality Kawachi-bon line text which had been considered already lost actually became available thanks to Hatasu YAMAWAKI's discovery of the various kinds of Kawachi-bon manuscripts such as 'Hirase-bon manuscript of The Tale of Genji' in 1921.

In those days, the discovery of the Kawachi-bon was regarded as a contribution to the study of The Tale of Genji ---it can be said an overvaluation today, though--- and such situation was called 'Kawachi-bon boom.'

On November 19 and 20, 1932, even an exhibition to celebrate the completion of the first draft in 1931 was held at Department of Japanese Literature, Faculty of Letters, at Tokyo University. On that occasion, the final draft consisting of five volumes in total, which was made by further revision on the first draft based on the Kawachi-bon, was exhibited together with various collections of materials such as old manuscripts of The Tale of Genji.

To the variorum based on the Oshima-bon manuscript
However, as the text study of The Tale of Genji was rapidly advanced at that time, it was gradually revealed that the text of the Aobyoshi-bon line manuscript was better than that of the Kawachi-bon line. Moreover, the Oshima-bon manuscript, which was considered a quite good-quality manuscript of the Aobyoshi-bon line was found one or two years before. Then IKEDA tore the completed draft to pieces and threw it away, and decided to start making a variorum based on the Oshima-bon from the beginning, spending about 10 more years completing it in 1942.

It is said that he completed the variorum adopting the research results of Western textual criticism which was not known at all to the Japanese people, especially those who were experts on classical Japanese literature, so he had to order the literature from abroad and studied it while he was making the variorum. He carried out his primary work of the textual collation of The Tale of Genji, and at the same time he presented his research paper on methodology, and also practically applied the method he learned to studying the text of the small-scale work.

Also, unlike today, it was the time when manuscripts that were valuable enough to be used for investigation and study were owned by distinguished families who were descended from daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) or court nobles, and wealthy persons, so he often met with refusals to investigate manuscripts and even if he was allowed to do it, there were various restrictions. It is said that once he had been allowed to read the manuscript and began investigation, but in the middle of his work, he was refused further investigation of manuscript. There were a number of manuscripts that he was restricted from studying for various reasons. Although he was allowed to take pictures of many important manuscripts and the number of photos reached about five hundred thousand, he was not allowed to take the manuscripts out in order to take pictures or to bring a camera and other implements in the place where the manuscripts were preserved.
He also had recorded the differences of the text by bringing a small printed book of The Tale of Genji circulating in those days into the place where the manuscripts were preserved, comparing them on the spot, and writing down the differences on the book, because he 'had to finish investigation in quite a short time and he was not allowed to see the manuscripts again for the owner's convenience.'
Also, IKEDA experienced situations in which he was not allowed to see some manuscripts directly, so had to use the investigation results carried out by the other scholars in the past.
For example, IKEDA asked a foreign rich person living in Japan at that time to let him investigate an important manuscript called 'Abutsuni-bon,' then he recorded that 'Not only that I was treated with contempt but also I was not allowed to investigate the manuscript.'

As a result of long-term and large-scale work, the variorum became a much bigger publication than what he had first planned. That is why the publishing company which was supposed to publish his work turned it down, so he gave up publishing it and thought of having the Tokyo University Library own his final draft as a material for a while. However, after IKEDA and other staff involved in the work tried to develop connections, Chuo Koronsha Inc. decided to publish "Koi Genji monogatari" (book of comparison of The Tale of Genji) (four volumes in total) in October 1942 as a publishing project which followed publication of the (then) contemporary translation of The Tale of Genji by Junichiro TANIZAKI. By the way, the 'Memorial Association of Yaichi Haga' achieved their goal and dissolved after publication of "Koi Genji monogatari," so Tsukuru FUJIMURA contributed a foreword to the 'Koihen (book of comparison), Genji monogatari taisei' in memory of the association.
(The Memorial Association's original aim of presenting completed research results to Yaichi HAGA was not achieved due to his death in 1927.)
It is said that this frequent changing of plans were approved by the 'Memorial Association of Yaichi Haga' and also accepted by HAGA until his death in 1927, so IKEDA stated in the foreword to Genji monogatari taisei that 'these frequent changes were the proper development of the original plan.'

The work of the second period
The Memorial Association of Yaichi Haga dissolved after completion of "Koi Genji monogatari," so the works hereafter were formally Kikan IKEDA's individual project. As the second stage of his work, Kikan IKEDA started compiling a collection of old annotations, but he gave up completing a full-scale collection because IKEDA, who was not necessarily in robust health by nature, got sick, and due to the chaotic period during and after the war.
So, he slightly revised "Koi Genji monogatari," adding the differences of Meiyurinmo-bon manuscript to "Koi Genji monogatari," and made a main 'book of comparison.'
Besides that, he created a detailed word-and-phrase index of The Tale of Genji, using the completed recension, and made it the 'book of index.'
He also compiled various achievements of the text study so far into the 'book of research,' and a part of various materials collected in order to make a collection of old annotations were compiled into 'book of materials' and 'book of pictorial records.'
This is how "Genji monogatari taisei" was completed and published by Chuo Koronsha Inc. from June to December.
It seems that the work of making the index itself began from an early period, and Gene IMAI, who attended a lecture on The Tale of Genji by Kikan IKEDA at Tokyo University in 1943, said, 'he already gave a lecture on lexicology of The Tale of Genji on the basis of the index which seems to have already been completed partly at that time.'

It is considered that as the third period of his work, Kikan IKEDA set about compiling 'a collection of old annotations on The Tale of Genji,' which was his original goal. However, he got out of condition again, and passed away in December after he ascertained publication of "Genji monogatari taisei." Kikan IKEDA graduated from Department of Japanese Literature, Faculty of Letters, Tokyo University in 1926, and passed away in December, 1956, so he devoted almost whole life of studying as a scholar to completing the work.

Book of comparison
This is the core of "Genji monogatari taisei." Although it was the first academic variorum in the history of studying The Tale of Genji, it reached such a high degree of perfection that people even commented that the text study of The Tale of Genji stopped after this.

The book of comparison was almost the same as "Koi Genji monogatari" published precedently in 1942 (a few misprints were corrected), and explanatory notes and wording in a book of comparison were exactly the same as the ones in "Koi Genji monogatari." However, among the differences in the adopted manuscripts, a few text differences which was not on "Koi Genji monogatari" were collected in each end of the book, and differences in Meiyurinmo-bon manuscript were also added.

Original text
As a whole, this variorum was made based on the Oshima-bon manuscript, which was considered 'exceptional existing manuscript in quantity, form, and contents.'
However, if you take a look at each volume, you will notice that some volumes were based on the books in FUJIWARA no Teika's own hand, as long as they existed.
(Kashiwagi (The Oak Tree), Hanachirusato (Falling Flowers) (property of Book Stock of Sonkeikaku Bunko, Maedake-bon manuscript), Sawarabi (Bracken Shoots) (property of Tokyo National Museum, Hosaka-bon manuscript)

Of the manuscripts in Teika's own handwriting, Miyuki (The Imperial Progress) (Sekido-bon manuscript) was not known in those days, so it was not adopted for "Genji monogatari taisei."

In addition, the following three kinds of volume of the Oshima-bon manuscript were not used for the original text, and the Ikeda-bon manuscripts (owned by the old Ikeda family) which was said 'the second best after the Oshima-bon' and transcribed by Tameuji NIJO were used instead: the missing volume in the Oshima-bon (Ukifune [A Drifting Boat]), the volumes in Oshima-bon that was not written by Masayasu ASUKAI, but supplementarily written by the posterity (Kiritsubo [The Paulownia Court], Yume no Ukihashi [The Floating Bridge of Dreams]), and the volumes in the Oshima-bon which were written by Masayasu ASUKAI, but based on the Beppon line manuscripts (Hatsune [The First Warbler]).

Most of the recensions which were made after this were not based on the Oshima-bon, but on the Meiyurinmo-bon, a copy book which REIZEI Meiyu faithfully transcribed from the manuscripts in Teika's own hand, from arrangement of letters to even letterforms, as long as the Meiyurinmo-bon manuscripts existed; the volumes based on the Meiyurinmo-bon were Kiritsubo, Hahakigi (The Broom Tree), Hana no En (The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms), Wakana (Spring Shoots) I and II, Hashihime (The Maiden of the Bridge), and Ukifune. However, the Meiyurinmo-bon was not known in those days, so it was not used when "Koi Genji monogatari" was made, and at the end of the book of comparison of "Genji monogatari taisei," the differences were supplementarily added.

The Oshima-bon manuscript, as the original text of "Genji monogatari taisei," contain many notes in black or red ink and deleted characters with a line, which seem to have been done by several people during the term from maybe not long after it was first transcribed till probably the late Edo period. The text first written is considered the text of the Aobyoshi-bon line manuscript, which preserved the text written by FUJIWARA no Teika relatively well (although it partly includes different sentences made by Teika, too), while it is considered that most of the notes made by the posterity are based on the Kawachi-bon line manuscripts (however, it also contains some corrections in accordance with the manuscript in Teika's own hand). Under such conditions, Kikan IKEDA mostly used the sentences corrected by posterity as the original text, if the text contained corrections. Moreover, he did not always follow the policy, and sometimes used the text before correction. Such attitude can be seen not only when he consulted the Oshima-bon manuscript, the original text, but also when he referred to other various manuscripts he used for collation.
That is why Haruki II called it 'an example of generating new variant sentences in the modern times.'
Therefore, in the comparative text study in these days, the 'Oshima-bon manuscript which was used for the original text of "Genji monogatari taisei"' is sometimes treated as one of the texts for collation in addition to 'the original Oshima-bon manuscript' (the original text of the Oshima-bon before it was corrected). Traces of many revisions and enlargement of the Oshima-bon has been partly revealed by "Genji monogatari taisei" and several successive recensions, but the total picture of revisions and enlargement has become clear by publishing a facsimile edition of the Oshima-bon in 1996.

It is known that when the work of creating the variorum started, the Kawachi-bon line manuscripts were referred to, but it is not clear which manuscript of the Kawachi-bon line was used. Kikan IKEDA's younger brother, Akira IKEDA, told that 'the original text was changed several times,' which suggests that he changed the original text more than one time, in which the change was made from the Kawachi-bon line manuscript to the Oshima-bon.

The manuscript used for comparison and collation
Kikan IKEDA is said to have investigated about 300 manuscripts, or 15,000 books of manuscript, and the number of films he used reached about five hundred thousand. Among them, 25 books of the Aobyoshi-bon, 20 books of the Kawachi-bon, and 16 books of the Beppon manuscripts were used for collation in creating "Genji monogatari taisei." Some volumes of the same manuscript were sometimes used for collation and sometimes not, and a criterion is not clear. The manuscripts found after 1938 were not adopted 'for the convenience of making drafts,' either. However, among the manuscripts which were not used for comparison and collation in making "Koi Genji monogatari," the text differences in Meiyu-bon (Meiyurinmo-bon) manuscript were supplementarily collected at the end of the book of comparison of "Genji monogatari taisei" due to its special importance.

According to explanatory notes in a book of comparison, the criteria for selecting the manuscripts for comparison and collation are generally as follows: the Aobyoshi-bon line manuscripts which were made by the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan); the Kawachi-bon line manuscripts which were made during the Kamakura period; the Beppon manuscripts which were made during the Muromachi period. However, according to 'a book of research' and "Encyclopedia of The Tale of Genji," close investigation of some of the manuscripts during the Edo period was also carried out, so it is considered that the broader range of manuscripts were investigated than the manuscripts mentioned above.

Variant sentences to the original text were written in the following rough categories: the Aobyoshi-bon manuscript, the Kawachi-bon manuscript, and the Beppon manuscript. It is considered that this reflected the idea of Kikan IKEDA, that the texts in the different lines should not been compared and collated easily.

Evaluation of the book of comparison
A fundamental policy of collating "Genji monogatari taisei" was 'aiming at brevity,' so the differences which seem not to have affected the meanings such as the proper use of distinguishing between kanji (Chinese characters) and kana (the Japanese syllabary), hentaigana (anomalous Japanese cursive syllabary), itaiji (variant character), kana orthography, and so on, were mostly omitted. When the manuscript used for collation were chosen, the Aobyoshi-bon line manuscripts were treated as the most important, and the number of the Kawachi-bon line manuscripts and the Beppon line manuscripts which were adopted were limited. He selected the manuscripts by checking each volume, even though certain volumes of the manuscript had already been chosen for collation and other volumes of the same manuscript had possibility to be chosen. Also, the adoption of the manuscript except for the manuscripts considered the Aobyoshi-bon were relatively limited. In addition, it was not unusual that the differences in the texts were not written down even in areas where the adopted manuscript had the differences. Therefore it is basically impossible to restore the text of the particular manuscript adopted for collation out of this variorum.

In the first place, only the manuscripts where the existence was confirmed in the early Showa period, when the collating work started, and which he could collate were adopted, so many of the manuscripts found later or where the value was discovered were not collated. However, of such manuscripts, there are a part of the manuscripts in Teika's own hand and some manuscripts of Rinmo-bon and so on, which are considered important now. Also, there are some manuscripts selected for collation (probably in accordance with the owners' wishes in those days), but he indicated only 'owned by a certain family,' so nobody knew where the manuscripts were from in the beginning, or there were also other manuscripts which have been missing since the chaotic period during and after the war, although it was known in those days that they existed. Therefore, today it is impossible to go back and review the sentences which were recorded for collation and confirm whether they are correct.

At first, when this variorum was completed, some people even considered that the text study of The Tale of Genji was no longer necessary, saying that 'the text study of The Tale of Genji was almost perfected, so from now on we only have to advance the next step of research (such as discussion of the work itself) based on this results.'
Akio ABE, who regarded such situation as a problem, took an example of the chapter of Hahakigi, and verified the accuracy of the collated text in many ways, and particularly the substantial meaning of 'aiming at brevity.'
Although almost no simple mistakes were found, there were unreasonable standardization of usage of kanji and kana orthography.
So finally he concluded that 'it is hard to consider the work as a highly precise variorum. I do not think that it is totally impossible to carry out the text study of "The Tale of Genji" and collation based on this variorum, but we have to understand that all we can do is the very limited investigation.'

As mentioned above, there are many problems from the view of an academic level of the present text study of The Tale of Genji, and the variorum is often criticized, but it was the best organized variorum among those of The Tale of Genji which can be used for the regular study even in the 21st century, although it was the earliest academic variorum of The Tale of Genji in history.

Other parts than the book of comparison
The book of index
It consists of the chapters of general terms, postpositional particles and auxiliary verbs (Japanese grammar), and a list of items. The book of index was the central work after completion of the book of comparison, and it is said that in order to create this book of index, he made about five hundred thousand cards for the general terms, and about six hundred thousand cards for the postpositional particles and auxiliary verbs in the period when nobody could think of using a computer for such work.

In the middle of the 1990s, full-scale index of examples was made with a computer based on the text of Genji monogatari taisei.

The book of research
It is a collection of research results concerning the lines of the manuscripts and how the texts were handed down by the time this book (particularly the book of comparison) was completed.

The book was roughly divided into the two parts: before and after the distinction between the Aobyoshi-bon and the Kawachi-bon was drawn. Moreover, it devotes many of its pages to the statement about how the text of The Tale of Genji was handed down in the Heian period when the contemporary manuscripts did not exist and only the direct and fragmentary materials were extant. It is said that this is because IKEDA got interested in 'the original book' which Murasaki Shikibu wrote after the completion of this work, which tentatively perfected the study of the Aobyoshi-bon and the Kawachi-bon, and the results of the work revealed the changes in the text of The Tale of Genji before the Aobyoshi-bon and the Kawachi-bon were made.

In addition, it contains comments on the extant important manuscripts which he investigated in order to make the book of comparison, as well as the manuscripts which were not selected for the book of comparison.

The book of materials
Of many extant old annotations of The Tale of Genji and related materials which were collected to compile the collection of old annotations, the following materials, centering on the materials of the early time, which were considered the most important in the study of The Tale of Genji were severely selected.

Genji shaku (commentaries of the Tale of Genji), FUJIWARA no Koreyuki (Maedake-bon)
It was collected as the earliest commentary.

Okuiri (Genji commentaries) (the first: Meiyu-bon, Oshima-bon, the second: the manuscript in Teika's own hand)
It was collected as the source of the study of Genji.

Genji monogatari ekotoba (The Tale of Genji in Pictures)
This is an explanation on a picture scroll of The Tale of Genji, and was collected as the text material during the late Heian period.

Genji monogatari kokeizu (old genealogies on the Tale of Genji) (Kujoke-bon, Tameuji-bon, Shoka bon [book written in the Shoka era])
It was collected as text material in the late Heian period.

Koan Genji Rongi Commentary (Kujoke-bon)
It was collected as the oldest commentary in the form of discussion.

Genchu saihi-sho (Secret Notes of the Suigensho) (Awabunko-bon [Awa Province Library manuscript])
It was collected as the oldest commentary assuming the form of a secret book.

Sengen-sho Commentary (Oei-bon [book written in the Oei era])
It was collected as the oldest commentary in the form of a dictionary.

The book of pictorial records
It contains almost all volumes of Genji monogatari emaki and many important pictures, centering on the ones in the early time, such as Ban Dainagon Emaki (illustrated scroll of the story of a courtier Ban Dainagon), Shigisan engi emaki, Murasakishikibu Nikki Emaki (illustrated scroll of the Lady Murasaki's Diary), Makura no Soshi Ekotoba (Picture scrolls of scenes from the pillow book of Sei Shonagon), and so on.

The Asahi Prize was awarded for this book after it was published.

Book stock of Toenbunko
After the death of Kikan IKEDA in December, 1956, various materials concerning Heian literature such as the manuscripts for The Tale of Genji, "Ise monogatari" (The Tales of Ise), "Tosa Nikki" (Tosa Diary), and so on which he purchased in the process of making this book were preserved and looked after in almost the same condition as he used in his lifetime by Kikan's second son, Kenji IKEDA and others at Kikan's private residence for a while (it is said that there was a two-story concrete library adjoined his residence, and the books were preserved in order). However, Toshiaki HARADA, a chief librarian of Tokai University Library, came to be in charge of the books because he was an older brother of Kikan IKEDA's wife and for other reasons. Subsequently, in 1972, Tokai University officially decided to purchase all the books as a part of the 30th anniversary of the university foundation.
In November, 1973, after investigation and making a list which lasted almost a year, all the books were moved to Tokai University, and came to be preserved in its affiliated library as 'Toen Bunko.'

In May, 1976, 'Committee for preparing and reorganizing the Toen bunko' was established, and in April, 1983, 'Committee for reorganizing the Toen bunko' was created. In March, 1986, "A Catalogue of Toen Bunko, vol.1," which dealt with mainly narrative literature was published, and in March, 1988, "A Catalogue of Toen Bunko, vol.2" concerning other than narratives was published. In addition, 'Committee for publishing a photographic reproduction of Tokai University Toen Bunko' was also established, and "Photographic Reproductions of Tokai University's Toen Bunko Library" (13 volumes in total) were published, and important manuscripts and others are often exhibited.

Family cooperation
It is said that many scholars cooperated with Kikan IKEDA in making this book, and his family, especially his father Hirofumi, helped him with the work. The meaning of 'family cooperation' had been unclear, because only simple acknowledgments were expressed in the foreword to "Genji monogatari taisei," so it was not known who cooperated with him and what help was given concretely. Therefore, some people thought that it suggested just mental support for Kikan IKEDA and help in simple but laborious work. However, according to what Kikan IKEDA's younger brother, Akira IKEDA, revealed in the monthly bulletin of a popular edition, the family cooperated with him even in the quite important work of completing "Genji monogatari taisei," for example, Kikan IKEDA tried and failed the way of describing the differences in the book of comparison, and then he finally adopted Akira IKEDA's suggestion.