Kawachibon is a group of The Tale of Genji manuscripts allegedly created by Daikenmotsu (duty) MINAMOTO no Mitsuyuki and his son, MINAMOTO no Chikayuki, and their copies. The name 'Kawachibon' was derived from the fact that both Mitsuyuki and Chikayuki had experiences as Kawachi no kami (the governor of Kawachi Province).
MINAMOTO no Mitsuyuki and his son MINAMOTO no Chikayuki cooperated to collect 21 old manuscripts that were hereditary to correct the text of The Tale of Genji that was in total chaos at that time.
It is said that it was started by MINAMOTO no Mitsuyuki on March 16, 1236, and completed once, after MINAMOTO no Mitsuyuki's death, by MINAMOTO no Chikayuki on August 17, 1255 after 'resolving questions' through 'several collations' and 'repeated proofreading.'
It is said that, among collected old manuscripts, they placed importance on the one MINAMOTO no Mitsuyuki originally had and the following seven manuscripts.
FUJIWARA no Korefusa bon
FUJIWARA no Tomotaka bon
MINAMOTO no Toshifusa bon
MINAMOTO no Yoshiko bon
FUJIWARA no Tadamichi bon
FUJIWARA no Toshinari bon
FUJIWARA no Teika bon
This book was almost completed by MINAMOTO no Chikayuki after MINAMOTO no Mitsuyuki's death and was handed down as the authentic book, but it is said that Chikayuki's child MINAMOTO no Yoshiyuki, his grandchild MINAMOTO no Tomoyuki, etc. successively made improvements. Because both MINAMOTO no Mitsuyuki and MINAMOTO no Chikayuki were appointed to Kawachi no kami, it is called Kawachibon. This book was valued during the Kamakura period and early Muromachi period, and had significant influence thereafter. Copies of this 'Kawachibon' are called Kawachibon line.
It is said 'questions were resolved' through repeated Kokan (revisions). In other words, it seems that Kawachibon was a newly created composite text by actively modifying the original text so that the meaning was easily put across. Until the Northern and Southern Dynasties and the early Muromachi periods, Kawachibon was actively used rather than Aobyoshibon (Blue Book) manuscripts, but during the mid Muromachi period, at around the time of Sogi and Sanetaka SANJONISHI, it was emphasized that importance be placed upon Teika's Aobyoshibon. Since then, Kawachibon rarely attracted researchers' attention until recent times and was buried alive. However, it is suspected that the text of Aobyoshibon which became influential after declination of Kawachibon and printed books during the Edo period including Eiri Genji monogatari (Illustrated Tale of Genji) and Kogetsusho that are said to belong to the Aobyoshibon line seemed to have significant influence by Kawachibon.
It is thought that it is because Aobyoshibon includes many nonsensical parts and descriptions that seem to contradict descriptions in other parts, but the corresponding parts of Kawachibon often contained understandable description, so Aobyoshibon was sometimes revised according to Kawachibon. Even Oshima bon, which is said to be the best quality manuscript of Aobyoshibon, contains many traces of revisions to the original text that seem to be based upon Kawachibon.
There are major manuscripts among which are published by duplication (photograph), see the following:
Bishu ke bon
In June 1258, it is said that Sanetoki HOJO lent the original Kawachibon owned by MINAMOTO no Chikayuki right after it had been completed, had a writer copy it, and put it in Kanesawa bunko. This is a manuscript where the date of establishment is the oldest among Kawachibon (some part was supplemented later). Whereabouts during the Muromachi period is unknown, but it was owned by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA after being owned by Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI, the chief adviser to the emperor, and after Ieyasu TOKUGAWA's death, it was given to Yoshinao TOKUGAWA, the ninth child, as one of the 3,000 books called 'Suruga oyuzuri bon' and belonged to the Owari Tokugawa family. In 1931, its administration was moved from the Owari Tokugawa family to Tokugawa reimeikai established by the 19th family head Yoshichika TOKUGAWA, and in 1950, its administration was moved to Nagoya City and it has been managed by Hosa Library, City of Nagoya. Currently, it is designated as an important cultural property.
It is also called "Hichigo-Genji" because it is said that this book was written by seven people: the Emperor Godaigo, Takauji ASHIKAGA, Tameaki NIJO, Keiun, Joben, Kenko YOSHIDA, and Tona.
TAKAMATSU no MIYA ke bon
It used to belong to a book collection of the Takamatsunomiya family. Currently, it is possessed by the National Museum of Japanese History.
NAKAYAMA ke bon
This was found to be a good quality Kawachibon manuscript by Takeshi YAMAWAKI during his research on manuscripts of The Tale of Genji performed in recent period. It was formerly possessed by the Hirase family. Currently, it is possessed by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
This is an old manuscript different from Oshima bon in the Aobyoshibon line.
Kohon (a compilation of varying classical texts from a classic)
The following books contain Koi (match-up):
"Genji Monogatari Koi hen" edited by Kikan IKEDA (CHUOKORON.SHA INC., 1953 -)
"Kawachibon of Match-up corpus of The Tale of Genji" edited by Yosuke KATO (Kazamashobo Co., Ltd., 2001) ISBN 4-7599-1260-6