The Era of Movable Type and the Nejime Library in the Age of “Civilization and Enlightenment”(Bunmei Kaika): Concerning a World with BooksThe Era of Movable Type and the Nejime Library in the Age of “Civilization and Enlightenment”(Bunmei Kaika): Concerning a World with BooksAA12687381
In this article, I have first considered the historical and cultural relations between Japan and Korea and referred to important problems concerning movable type technology. Interestingly, this technology was introduced to Japan through two routes. In the late sixteenth century, at approximately the same time as the Tenshō embassy, which left Japan in 1582 and returned in 1590, brought movable type technology from the West, it was also introduced from the Korean peninsula through a tragic event. I have clarified what kinds of books and cultures were created by this new technology, which was introduced across the seas between East and West. I have then added a discussion of the world of Meiji, focusing on regional culture. At this time, Japan was promoting rapid modernization or Westernization. In Nejime, on the Ōsumi Peninsula at the southern tip of Kyūshū , there was a library established for the sake of improving the education of the local residents, so as not to fall behind the trends of the new era. Considering that, perhaps, there were similar examples in Korea that transcend national boundaries, I have looked back on such achievements of our forebears as they worked towards modernization.