Oshima-bon Manuscript (大島本)

Oshima-bon is one of the older manuscripts of "Genji Monogatari" (The Tale of Genji). Among the surviving manuscripts of "Genji Monogatari," it has almost all chapters in it and is considered as one of the best among the manuscripts of the 'Aobyoshi-bon' (Blue Book) line. Many of the recently-published academic recensions of "Genji Monogatari" use it as an original text. The name of the "Oshima-bon manuscript" comes from the fact that an old-established family in Sado sold it to Masataro OSHIMA in 1929 or so, after which it then became widely known.
As Masataro OSHIMA collected old manuscripts of various kinds of books, there are many old manuscripts called by the name 'Oshima-bon.'
But when people talk about 'the Oshima-bon,' it usually refers to this one.

A manuscript of "Genji Monogatari" written in Murasaki Shikibu's own hand did not survive, and there are no manuscripts recognized as being from the Heian period.

In this situation, the so-called 'Aobyoshi-bon' revised by FUJIWARA no Sadaie is considered to be the most similar to the original. Other than the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand and the Meiyurinmo-bon, the Oshima-bon manuscript is considered to be the one that best conserves the text revised by Sadaie among the existing manuscripts of the 'Aobyoshi-bon' line.

History

According to the postscript, it was made in 1481 by a court noble of the Muromachi period, Masayasu ASUKAI (1436-1509), at the request of the Shugo daimyo (a provincial military governor turned daimyo) Masahiro OUCHI (1446-1495), the head of the Ouchi clan.

As of 1564, it was owned by Masayori YOSHIMI (1513-1588), the head of Yoshimi clan in Iwami who was originally a vassal of the Ouchi clan and became a vassal of the Mori clan after the Ouchi clan was overthrown.

During this period, the chapters of Kiritsubo (The Paulownia Court) and Yume no Ukihashi (The Floating Bridge of Dreams) were added, which had been copied by Dozo(1508-1571), the 25th monzeki (the priest in charge) of the Shogoin Temple who is known for having engaged in mediation to make peace between the Mori clan and the Amako clan, and his nephew Docho (1544-1608). Although the history after that is unknown, the manuscript is considered to have been read without being buried because throughout it there are a large number of revisions made by multiple different hands.

In 1929 or so, Masataro OSHIMA bought it from an old-established family in Sado and added it to his collection "Seikei Shooku," after which it became known to the world.

Masataro OSHIMA, serving as a director of Mitsui Gomei Kaisha, used his prodigious wealth to engage Kikan IKEDA as an advisor and collected many valuable books and manuscripts.

But after World War II, he sank into dire poverty and had to relinquish most of his collection when his financial circumstances changed drastically due to the dissolution of the big financial combines and other reasons. Most of his collection became the possession of the National Diet Library and the library of Keio University, which was Masataro OSHIMA's alma mater. However, the manuscript 'Oshima-bon Genji Monogatari' was not included in this and its whereabouts were unknown for a while.

It was later ascertained that it had come into Toshie OBAMA's possession and been added to his collection "Obama bunko" (the library of Toshie OBAMA) although the details are unknown. On February 8, 1958, it was designated as a nationally important cultural property. In 1968, the Paleological Association of Japan, Inc. bought and added it to its collection as a special-feature exhibit when establishing the Heian Museum of Ancient History. The Museum closed its doors in 1988, but the manuscript was handed down to its successor, joining the collection of the Museum of Kyoto, and is available to scholars. In addition, it is often opened for public viewings, such as in the special exhibition held from September to October 2008 to celebrate Genji Monogatari's thousandth anniversary.

Appraisal of the text

Kikan IKEDA praised the manuscript as 'the most reliable shohon (a verified text) among the Aobyoshi-bon line and a rare book in its volumes, form and contents.'

For that reason, during the project of making a variorum for Genji Monogatari that he himself had been engaged in since 1926, he destroyed the notes that he had already composed based upon the manuscripts of the Kawachi-bon line, the very notes that he had once completed in 1931and had even held an exhibition to celebrate.

Then he started the work of making the variorum all over from the beginning, and completed the "Koi Genji monogatari" in 1942 after approximately 10 years using the Oshima-bon manuscript as the original text. Due to the high valuation of the Oshima-bon manuscript by Kikan IKEDA and the high degree of perfection of the "Koi Genji monogatari," which was a variorum using the Oshima-bon manuscript as the original text, after that it became common practice for the variorum of the Genji Monogatari to use the Oshima-bon manuscript as the original text except a few manuscripts copied by Teika and ten-something chapters of the Meiyu-bon manuscript that seems to have been made by copying the manuscripts copied by Teika. Tokuhei YAMAGISHI believed that the text of the so-called "Sanjonishike manuscript," which had been conserved in the Imperial Household Archives as a shohon (a verified text), being closer to the text of books printed during the Edo period such as the Shusho Genji monogatari (Tale of Genji with Headnotes) and Kogetsusho (The Tale of Genji Moon on the Lake Commentary), was better than the text of this Oshima-bon manuscript. And he did not use the Oshima-bon manuscript, but the Sanjonishike manuscript as the original text for Genji Monogatari in the "Nihon koten bungaku taikei (series)," which was published by Iwanami Shoten between 1958 and 1963.
While studying the printed books of the Edo period such as the 'Genji Monogatari Kogetsusho' and the 'Shusho Genji monogatari," at first the text of this Sanjonishike manuscript was considered, 'The text of these printed books of the Edo period is the good text of the Aobyoshi-bon line using the text of Sanjonishike line with a history.'
However, further study has made it clear that there are many differences when compared with the manuscripts copied by Teika and the Meiyurinmo-bon and other manuscripts equivalent to Teika's, and many of the differences are considered to be an influx from the text of the Kawachi-bon. For the above reasons, there spread the understanding that the text of the Sanjonishike manuscript is not exactly a good one. Therefore, for Genji Monogatari in the "Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei" series published by Iwanami Shoten from 1993 to 1997, they used the Oshima-bon manuscript as an original text, not the Sanjonishike manuscript.

There are traces of a large number of revisions in the text of this manuscript, such as misekechi (deletions that leave the original line still readable), erasures, corrections, and supplementary notes throughout almost all chapters, which appear to be by different people in different periods. The details of these revisions are mostly left unclear in both the "Koi Genji monogatari" and the "Genji Monogatari taisei Koi hen," which was based on the former. Although overall the text used as 'the original text' is as it was before being revised, there are some parts using the text after the revisions and the policy is inconsistent. Therefore there is criticism that the text does not reproduce the original Oshima-bon manuscript.
At present, the reputation of the text of the "Genji monogatari taisei Koi hen" is as follows: 'it is difficult to say that it is a particularly accurate variorum.'
According to the latest study, the original text before the revisions looks overall like a good-quality text of the Aobyoshi-bon line similar to the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand and others, except for the chapter "Hatsune" (The First Warbler), which was considered to be a text of the Beppon line (outside the Aobyoshi-bon and Kawachi-bon lines) in the first place. However, the text is not completely the same as the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand and has some individual sentences that other manuscripts of the Aobyoshi-bon line do not have, and it is said to be necessary to evaluate its nature again. In addition, the text used to revise the manuscript is estimated to have been one similar to the text of the Kawachi-bon line. For detailed information on these revisions, some scholars have studied the manuscript firsthand and a part of the results has become clear in some variorums published later (e.g. "Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei Genji Monogatari " from 1993 through 1997). Then the eiinbon (a reproduction) of the Oshima manuscript was published in 1996, which made it easier to study the traces of the huge number of these revisions throughout all the chapters. Although the first eiinbon published as a book had black-and-white pictures, the manuscript was photographed using full-color film and a DVD=ROM version with full-color photographs was published in December 2007. Thanks to being digital media, various kinds of search functions were added to it.

As for the text of the chapter "Hatsune" in the Oshima-bon manuscript, Kikan IKEDA considered it as 'not Aobyoshi-bon but Beppon,' and it was not adopted in the original text of the '{Genji monogatari taisei}.'

Many various recensions afterwards followed this policy, but in recent years, there has appeared another theory that doubts it.

Therefore, in the "Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei," the Oshima-bon manuscript, including the chapter "Hatsune," was adopted as the original text.

The condition of the manuscript
Although it does not have the chapter "Ukifune" (A Boat upon the Waters), 53 chapters out of 54 chapters survived. The chapter "Hatsune" (The Tale of Genji) has the text of the Beppon line. The copies of "Kiritsubo" and "Yume no Ukihashi" were done by other hands ("Kiritsubo" was copied by Dozo and "Yume no Ukihashi" was by Docho). There are two theories about this: one says that although the set was originally complete, some chapters got lost later and were supplemented by manuscripts written in other hands; another says that the chapters written in other hands were paired with the set when it was made in the first place.

The usage of the Oshima-bon manuscript in various recensions
The following presents the usage of the Oshima-bon manuscript in current academic recensions.

Kikan IKEDA, ed., "{Genji monogatari taisei}," Chuo Koronsha.
47 chapters except the following:
For Kiritsubo, Yume no Ukihashi, Hatsune and Ukifune, the Ikeda-bon manuscript was used. For Hanachirusato (The Orange Blossoms), Kashiwagi (The Oak Tree) and Sawarabi (Bracken Shoots), the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand was used.

Takuya TAMAGAMI, ed., Genji Monogatari Hyoshaku (Annotated Tale of Genji), Kadokawa Shoten.
42 chapters apart from the following:
For Hanachirusato, Miyuki (The Royal Outing), Kashiwagi and Sawarabi, the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand was used. For Kiritsubo, Hahakigi (The Broom Tree), Hana no En (The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms), Wakana (New Herbs): Parts One and Two, Hashihime (The Lady at the Bridge) and Ukifune, the Meiyu-bon manuscript was used. For Hatsune, the Ikeda-bon manuscript was used.

Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku zenshu, Shogakukan.
41 chapters with the exception of the following:
For Hanachirusato, Miyuki, Kashiwagi and Sawarabi, the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand was used. For Kiritsubo, Hahakigi, Hana no En, Wakana: Parts One and Two, Hashihime and Ukifune, the Meiyu-bon manuscript was used. For Hatsune and Yume no Ukihashi, the Ikeda-bon manuscript was used.

Nihon koten shusei, Shinchosha.
41 chapters except the following:
For Hanachirusato, Miyuki, Kashiwagi and Sawarabi, the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand was used. For Kiritsubo, Hahakigi, Hana no En, Wakana: Parts One and Two, Hashihime and Ukifune, the Meiyu-bon manuscript was used. For Hatsune, the Ikeda-bon manuscript was used. For Tenarai (At Writing Practice), the Tameuji manuscript was used.

Kanyaku Nihon no koten, Shogakukan.
42 chapters apart from the following:
For Hanachirusato, Miyuki, Kashiwagi and Sawarabi, the manuscript written in Sadaie's own hand was used. For Kiritsubo, Hahakigi, Hana no En, Wakana: Parts One and Two, and Ukifune, the Meiyu-bon manuscript was used. For Hatsune and Yume no Ukihashi, the Ikeda-bon manuscript was used.

Nihon koten bungaku zenshu, Shogakukan.
51 chapters except the following:
For Kiritsubo and Ukifune, the Meiyu-bon manuscript was used. For Hatsune, the Yomei bunko bon (literally, the Yomei Archives manuscript) was used.

Akihiro SATAKE, ed., Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei, Iwanami Shoten. 53 chapters were used, apart from Ukifune. For Ukifune, the Meiyu-bon manuscript was used.

Eiinbon (a reproduction of the manuscript)
Supervised by Bunei TSUNODA and Shinsuke MUROFUSHI, Paleological Association of Japan, Inc. and the Japan Institute of Paleological Studies, ed., "The Oshima-bon manuscript Genji Monogatari," 10 volumes (with one supplementary volume of commentary)
Kadokawa Shoten, ISBN 4-04-862005-3