TYPE: Encyclopedia
ITEM ID: 5136
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Japanese Pocket Encyclopedia of Divination

DATE
Notes: Late Edo period

According to scholar Peter Kornicki, “On the page before the table of contents, there is passage giving the history of zassho 雑書 (i.e. encyclopedias and the like) so probably this text has both Bandai 万代 and zassho 雑書 in the title.

The only one that seems to fit the bill is Bandai ôzassho kokon taisei 万代大雑書古今大成 of 1839, but that seems to be in one volume only. Hmmm.

The publishers from Edo and Osaka are listed on the inside of the back cover but there is no publication date, either. From the style of the book, it would appear to be late Edo period and it is indeed an encyclopedia. Judging from the images and content shown here, the book is similar to, if not a forerunner of, of the modern Takashima ekidan and other compendia of divination methods and folk beliefs. Such texts and the world view they present synthesize ideas, images and practices from a range of Asian traditions.”

According to scholar Sugihiko Uchida regarding the drawing of a black demon-like figure, “A Buddhistic charm and an amuletic figure of Tsunodaishi (角大師), namely Ryougen (良源), a priest of Tendai sect (天台宗)(10th century). He is said to have transformed himself into this figure as a guardian against disease demons. The charm here is of Nyoirin-Kannon (如意輪観音).”

According to scholar Angelika Koch,
“Unfortunately, there is no title slip and no title appears in the table of contents, either. You have a middle volume here (of a set of three) – perhaps other volumes may turn up and solve the mistery? I spotted a shortened title in the gutter of the last page, where it says 万代 (a relatively common term included in the title of household encyclopedias), but not enough to identify the full title. The publishers from Edo and Osaka are listed on the inside of the back cover but there is no publication date, either. From the style of the book, it would appear to be late Edo period and it is indeed an encyclopedia.”