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Subject:Japanese Orihon Seals
Posted By: TKNZ Wed, May 08, 2019 IP:

Hi all,

Firstly, sorry to post just the seals and not the actual book, but as it's several metres long this just wouldn't be practical (I'd be happy to provide photos at request).

I bought a badly damaged orihon recently, and was interested to know if anyone is able to recognise/decipher any of the seals used to sign it? It's very long and in quite an elaborate calligraphy hand (along with a couple of passages in seal script), so I haven't been able to make head nor tail of what it means.
Someone put the effort into salvaging it by having it rebound at some point in the early 20th C, so I'm trying to get a toehold into making some sense of what its subject and age might be (like if it's a historical account or some type of story etc.).


Subject:Re: Japanese Orihon Seals
Posted By: I.Nagy Wed, May 08, 2019

Upper (Intaglio) seal,
惇信之印 - Seal of Atsunobu
Lower (Relief) seal,
別號消日居 - Another pseudonym Shōjitsu-kyō -
Retired scholar who spends the day without much trouble -

The name of calligrapher: Hirabayashi Seisai 平林静斎 1696-1753  famous Mid-Edo period calligrapher. His original given name was Atsunobu 惇信
The other seals are collectors'-seals.

With regards,

Subject:Re: Japanese Orihon Seals
Posted By: TKNZ Thu, May 09, 2019

Hi I.Nagy,
Thanks so much for your informative reply! Given I bought it in Japan it must be a fake if he's well known, though I don't know why a forger would want to include bookworm, mould, and what even looks like burning...
Cool to know there's a miniscule chance it may be that old, though!

Subject:Re: Japanese Orihon Seals
Posted By: I.Nagy Sat, May 18, 2019

Dear TKNZ,
Sorry for the delayed answer due to my longer absence from home. Your orihon should be original with its bookworm holes and moulds etc.
With regards,
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