Cultural historians Morgan Pitelka and Reiko Tanimura partner with one of Japan’s premier experts in calligraphy and letter writing, Takashi Masuda, to translate and annotate twenty-three unique letters alongside images of the hand-brushed originals. Each letter is presented first in its original format as a brushed piece of calligraphy. The authors provide a transcription of the letter into Japanese, followed by an English translation. Next is a commentary with the biography of the letter’s author and in some cases the addressee, the context for its writing, and brief descriptions of relevant locations, individuals, and historical events mentioned therein. Letters from Japan's Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (IEAS, 2021) offers readers rare access in English to the voices of renowned historical figures from Japan’s Age of Unification and early Edo period.
Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
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