Publishing about Asia in Academic Journals and Book Series (Roundtable)

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3) Dylan McGee, Nagoya University
Mapping the Book Trade in Early Modern Nagoya (1794–1854)

With the establishment of its own independent publishers guild in Kansei 4 (1794), Nagoya became the first castle town in Japan to secure the rights to produce and retail books―and only the fourth market after Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo to do so. By the turn of the century, its downtown commercial district had become home to a bustling book trade, with over forty small-scale booksellers operating in the niches of a market dominated by the publishing houses of Eirakuya Tōshiro and Fugetsudō; Magosuke. It was also in this environment that an extensive rental book market took shape, presided over by the Daisō, the largest commercial lending library in all of Japan. Relying on data gathered from early modern diaries, commonplace books, extant shop records, and the front matter to dozens of printed books, this study presents a chronology of all documented booksellers and lending libraries that operated in Nagoya between 1794 and 1854 and maps their locations in the downtown commercial district. Moreover, this study considers the Nagoya market within a broader, regional context, situated vis-à-vis critical supply chains and labor sources that made large-scale book production possible. The aim is to propose a new model for understanding the development of print markets in castle towns, as distinct from the three major urban markets. Accordingly, this study will also include comparative research into the markets of Matsumoto and Kanazawa, highlighting filiations in scale, structure, and modes of production.

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