October 26, 2021

Literature Journal

World literature news

List of National Treasures of Japan

The term “National Treasure” has been used in Japan to denote cultural properties since 1897,[1][2] although the definition and the criteria have changed since the introduction of the term. The written materials in the list adhere to the current definition, and have been designated National Treasures according to the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties that came into effect on June 9, 1951. The items are selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology based on their “especially high historical or artistic value”.] The list presents 56 entries from the 7th century Tang Dynasty to the Kamakura period with more than half originating in China. The total number of items is higher, however, since groups of related objects have been joined as single entries. The list contains works that have been originally compiled in China by Chinese authors. A large proportion of these works are Chinese classics.[4]

Written language was introduced to Japan around 400 AD in the form of Chinese books written in Classical Chinese. Japanese interest in Chinese writings and culture gradually increased towards the end of the 6th century when Japanese rulers sent missions to the mainland for cultural studies, and to bring back books. During circa 300 years in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, a large number of Chinese books were brought to Japan. By the 8th century, Chinese works were customarily copied at Japanese libraries to satisfy the demand for education of the male aristocracy. Until the early 17th century, copying in Japan was largely by hand. However, Chinese printed editions of the Song Dynasty were imported following an increased trading activity at the start of the Kamakura period (after 1192). The designated manuscripts are either transcriptions of the original works produced in China or in Japan or are Chinese printed editions. The Chinese manuscripts, both handwritten and printed editions, were imported to Japan at the time. The designated treasures are housed in temples, museums, libraries, shrines, universities and in private collections.[4]

The objects in this list represent about one fourth of the 223 National Treasures in the category “writings”. They are complemented by 68 Japanese book National Treasures of the List of National Treasures of Japan (writings: Japanese books) and 99 other written National Treasures of the List of National Treasures of Japan (writings: others).[4]




File:National Treasures of Japan (writings-Chinese books).pngMap showing the location of Chinese book writings National Treasures in Japan

PrefectureCityNational Treasures
Period[nb 1]National Treasures
Tang Dynasty21
Nara period4
Heian period15
Southern Song Dynasty14
Kamakura period2



The table’s columns (except for Remarks and Image) are sortable by pressing the arrows symbols. The following gives an overview of what is included in the table and how the sorting works.

  • Name: the name as registered in the Database of National Cultural Properties[4]
  • Authors: name of the author(s)
  • Remarks: information about the type of document and its content
  • Date: period and year; The column entries sort by year. If only a period is known, they sort by the start year of that period.
  • Format: principal type, technique and dimensions; The column entries sort by the main type: scroll (includes handscrolls and letters), books (includes albums, ordinary bound books and books bound by fukuro-toji)[nb 2] and other (includes hanging scrolls)
  • Present location: “temple/museum/shrine-name town-name prefecture-name”; The column entries sort as “prefecture-name town-name”.
  • Image: picture of the manuscript or of a characteristic document in a group of manuscripts


Chinese manuscripts[edit]

Japan’s first experience with books and written language[nb 3] came from books written in Classical Chinese in China, brought to Japan from the Korean kingdoms, at least by the 5th and probably by the end of the 4th century.[5][6] According to legend, the scholar Wani came to Japan in 406 and brought with him the Confucian Analects and Thousand Character Classic.[nb 4][5][6][7][8][9] These were followed, in later years, by the Five Classics (Book of OdesBook of HistoryBook of RitesBook of Changes and the Spring and Autumn Annals), which, by the 6th century, became well-known among the Japanese literary elite.[6][8][10] The Seventeen-article constitution, compiled in 604 by Prince Shōtoku, has quotations that allow the identification of 18 Chinese books known to have existed in Japan at the time:[6] Odes, Rites, Classic of Filial Piety, Analects, Chronicle of Zuo, the Han Chronicles (Book of Han and Book of the Later Han), Wen Xuan anthology, Zhuangzi and other classical Chinese writings.[nb 5][11][12]

The distribution of Chinese books to Japan reached its first peak in the Sui and Tang dynasties.[8] During this period books were brought to Japan through two sources: people, who were mostly literate, moving from the continent; and by official missions sent out by the Japanese court.[6] Four envoys to Sui China were dispatched under Prince Shōtoku, but this number quickly increased during the Tang dynasty, which saw 16 envoys of circa 200 to 600 people, each sent to study Chinese culture and to acquire Chinese books.[8]One of the most well-known missions was that by Kibi Makibi who left Japan in 717, spent 17 years in China and returned with books on various subjects.[8][13] Examples of works imported during this period include the first Chinese pharmacopoeia (Xinxiu Bencao), compiled and imported in the same year (713), and Tang poetry by Li BaiWang Weiand Bai Juyi.[nb 6][8][14] Towards the end of the Tang Dynasty, at the end of the 9th century, about half of the canon of Chinese literature was present in Japan, including texts of all major Tang poets.[8][14] The Book Catalogue in Japan, compiled between 876 and 884 by the aristocrat and scholar Fujiwara no Sukeyo, showed entries for 1,568 Chinese books, located in Japan, in classics, history, philosophy and anthologies.[8] Due to the cessation of missions to China in the late 9th century, relatively few Chinese books were imported through the mid and late Heian period.[15]

Some books such as the Yupian or the Meihōki were lost early in China, because of the persecution against Buddhism or for other reasons. The titles survived, however, because of the large volume of books previously imported to Japan, which were then subsequently re-exported to China.[16][17] Today, some of the oldest extant manuscripts of Chinese books dating to the Tang Dynasty are located in Japan.[18] Few of the early imported manuscripts have survived. Some of those that survived are listed as National Treasures below.[16] Twenty Chinese book National Treasures exist that were created in China and subsequently imported to Japan. Of these, 19 date to the Tang Dynasty and one to the Southern Song. The designated items are of various type: six treasures are manuscripts of the Five Classics of Confucianism and associated commentaries, four are poetry and prose anthologies of Chinese poets, calligraphers and Emperor Huizong of Song, four are dictionaries, five are anecdote collections and one is a music score.[4]

NameAuthorsRemarksDateFormatPresent locationImage
Template:Nihongo vol. 28unknownUeno Family collection; part of a 30 volume collectionTang DynastyTemplate:Sortprivate, Tokyo150px
Template:Nihongo vol. 29, 30[19]unknownOldest extant copy of a portion of Wang Bo‘s 30 scroll collected writings: one verse from the biography section, five of six verses from the prayer section (all vol. 29) and four memorial prayer verses (vol. 30); brought from China during the Nara period and stored at Kōfuku-ji; later owned by the painter Tomioka TessaiTang Dynasty, 7th–8th centuryTemplate:SortTokyo National MuseumTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo fragments of vol. 2[20]unknownReverse side contains a 1078 transcription by a Kōyasanmonk; manuscript returned to China during the Meiji period, returned to Japan 50 years laterTang Dynasty, 7–8th centuryTemplate:SortTemplate:NihongoKyoto150px
Template:Nihongo vol. 57unknownTemplate:CenterTang DynastyTemplate:Sortprivate, TokyoTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoEmperor Gaozong of SongWritten in regular scriptSouthern Song, 1154Template:SortAgency for Cultural AffairsTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo vol. 59[21]Template:NihongoFormerly in the possession of Tanaka MitsuakiTang DynastyTemplate:SortWaseda UniversityTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo[22][23]unknown60 four and five character verses (shigonshi/gogonshi) by great calligraphers working under Emperor Taizong of TangChu SuiliangOuyang XunYu Shinan; reverse side contains a mid Heian period transcription of volume 5 of 正広智三蔵表制集Tang DynastyTemplate:SortŌsu KannonTemplate:NihongoNagoyaAichiTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, fragments of vol. 9[24][25]unknownPart of a 30 volume Chinese character dictionaryTang Dynasty, 8th centuryTemplate:SortWaseda UniversityTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo, first half of vol. 27[17]unknownPart of a 30 volume Chinese character dictionary; one half of an extant complete volume[nb 7]Tang Dynasty, 7th–8th centuryTemplate:SortKōzan-jiKyoto150px
Template:Nihongo, second half of vol. 27[17]unknownPart of a 30 volume Chinese character dictionary; one half of an extant complete volume[nb 8]Tang Dynasty, 7th–8th centuryTemplate:SortIshiyama-deraŌtsuShiga150px
Template:Nihongo, vol. 6[26][27]unknown“Document of Antiquities” is another name for the Book of History; brought to Japan in Nara period; Japanese annotations from the mid-Heian period in red and black ink; on back of scroll: Genpisho, a document on the research of era namesbeginning of Tang Dynasty, 7th centuryTemplate:SortTokyo National MuseumTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo, vol. 3, 5, 12unknown“Document of Antiquities” is another name for the Book of History; on back of scroll: Genpisho, a document on the research of era namesTang DynastyTemplate:SortTōyō BunkoTokyoTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, fragmentunknownChinese dictionary; oldest extant manuscript of this work; brought to Japan by Naitō Torajirō; fragment concerns the  section headerTang Dynasty, 9th century, presumably 820Template:SortTemplate:NihongoOsaka150px
Template:Nihongo fragments of vol. 6; parts of the “Admonitions and warnings” and “Quick perception” chapters[28][29]unknownCollection of anecdotes about distinguished people of the Later Han Dynasty to the Eastern Jin Dynasty; backside contains transcription of an esoteric Buddhist manual; oldest extant transcription of this work; handed down in the Kanchi-in subtemple of Tō-ji; split in four parts (all National Treasures) during the Meiji periodTang Dynasty, second half of 7th to first half of 8th centuryTemplate:SortKyoto National MuseumKyoto150px
Template:Nihongo fragments of vol. 6; “Virile Vigor” chapter[30][31]unknownCollection of anecdotes about distinguished people of the Later Han Dynasty to the Eastern Jin Dynasty; backside contains transcription of an esoteric Buddhist manual; oldest extant transcription of this work; handed down in the Kanchi-in subtemple of Tō-ji; split in four parts (all National Treasures) during the Meiji periodTang Dynasty, second half of 7th to first half of 8th centuryTemplate:SortTokyo National MuseumTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo fragments of vol. 6[32]unknownCollection of anecdotes about distinguished people of the Later Han Dynasty to the Eastern Jin Dynasty; backside contains transcription of an esoteric Buddhist manual; oldest extant transcription of this work; handed down in the Kanchi-in subtemple of Tō-ji; split in four parts (all National Treasures) during the Meiji periodTang Dynasty, second half of 7th to first half of 8th centuryTemplate:SortAgency for Cultural AffairsTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo fragments of vol. 6unknownCollection of anecdotes about distinguished people of the Later Han Dynasty to the Eastern Jin Dynasty; backside contains transcription of an esoteric Buddhist manual; oldest extant transcription of this work; handed down in the Kanchi-in subtemple of Tō-ji; split in four parts (all National Treasures) during the Meiji periodTang Dynasty, second half of 7th to first half of 8th centuryTemplate:Sortprivate Template:NihongoItamiHyōgoTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo fragments of vol. 6; Zheng Jian edition[33]unknownCollection of Chinese poemsearly Tang DynastyTemplate:SortTōyō BunkoTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo[17]unknownCollection of Buddhist karmic tales; oldest extant manuscript of this work; thought to have been brought to Japan by Template:Nihongo, a pupil of Kūkai, in 838; one of two Chinese collections that the Nihon Ryōiki was modelled on[34]late Tang DynastyTemplate:SortKōzan-jiKyoto150px
Template:SortunknownAbridged copy of “Score for the seven-stringed zither” (guqin); transcription of the original by the zither player Qiugong (also known as Ming) from Huiji province; in text explanation of the finger movements to perform the piece “Elegant Orchid” and titles of 59 pieces at the end; original lost in ChinaTang Dynasty, 7th–8th centuryTemplate:SortTokyo National MuseumTokyo150px

Japanese manuscripts[edit]

In Japan, until the Heian period, the language of government and ritual was Classical Chinese in which was composed decrees, codes, commands, communications and certificates.[35][36][37] Consequently, Chinese books were essential for the education of the (male) aristocracy, and beginning readers studied books such as the Mencius or the Thousand Character Classic.[38][39] Towards the end of the 7th century, to prepare selected sons of the nobility for a government career, Emperor Tenji established the Daigaku-ryō (“Academy”).[40][41] At first the curriculum consisted mainly of Confucian Classics and Chinese history.[nb 9][40][41] Chinese learning thrived in the 9th century, and the Academy’s curriculum saw a rise in literary composition based on the Chinese books Wen Xuan, Records of the Grand Historian and the Books of Han and Later Han.[35][37][42][43] Unlike in China at the time, Classical Confucian studies, especially the historical and political side of Confucianism, were still held in high esteem in the Heian period with commentaries used for study dating to the Han Dynasty.[44] In fact, one of the Japanese emperor‘s prescribed activities was listening to lectures on the Chinese classics, histories, and poetic anthologies.[45]

Chinese books had reached Japan since circa 400 AD and had been imported in large quantities through a number of missions during the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Official missions ended after 894, but books continued to reach Japan in the mid to late Heian period through commercial exchange or via priests travelling to China.[46] Imported Chinese books were copied at Japanese libraries, but unlike sutra copying little is known about the actual copying process of Chinese secular works in Japan.[47] The Japanese aristocracy and clergy sponsored the transcription of religious and government texts on a large scale by the Nara period.[48]

The first state library was the Zusho-ryō (“Bureau of Archives”) established by the Taihō Code from 701.[nb 10][49] Attached to the Daigaku-ryō, it oversaw the custody (collection and preservation) and transmission of Buddhist and Confucian books from the Nara period, until its destruction by fire in the mid-Heian period (11th century).[8][40][49][50] Collection depended largely on the copying of texts held elsewhere.[47][49] In addition to the Zusho-ryō, books were also copied at imperial palace libraries, private libraries of aristocrats, temple libraries and at libraries of organs of the state.[40][49][51] In the Heian period, the majority of works held in libraries (both those produced in China and those copied in Japan) consisted of Chinese works and scholarly collections were dominated by Chinese secular works.[52] At the end of the Heian period, the great fire of Kyoto in 1177, and the burning of temples by the Taira in 1180, destroyed a large part of the literary heritage.[53][54] During the Kamakura period, the warrior class founded new libraries such as the Kanazawa Bunko.[54]

There are 23 Chinese book National Treasures that are transcriptions produced in Japan. Of these four date to the Nara period, 17 to the Heian period and two to the Kamakura period. The designated items are of various type: four are historical chronicles, four are poetry collections, three are dictionaries or reference books, two are medical or botanical books and one is a book on politics.[4]

NameAuthorsRemarksDateFormatPresent locationImage
Template:Nihongo vol. 10 of the Template:NihongoChronicle of Emperor Wen of HanDynasty[55]Template:SortTranscription; oldest manuscript of the shiki; handed down in the Ōe familyHeian period, 1073Template:SortTohoku UniversitySendaiMiyagi150px
Template:Nihongo, Kōzan-ji edition, vol. 2 and 5 of the Template:NihongoChronicle of the Xia Dynasty and Chronicle of the Qin DynastyunknownTranscriptionHeian period, 1145Template:SortTōyō BunkoTokyoTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, vol. 11 of the Template:NihongoChronicle of the Emperor Jing of Han DynastyTemplate:SortTranscription; oldest manuscript of the shiki; handed down in the Ōe familyHeian period, 1073Template:SortTemplate:NihongoTokyoTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, vol. 9 of the Template:NihongoChronicle of the Empress Lü Zhi Dynasty[56][57]Template:SortTranscription; oldest manuscript of the shiki; handed down in the Ōe familyHeian period, 1073Template:SortMōri MuseumHōfuYamaguchi150px
Template:Nihongo, vol. 96 and fragments of vol. 97unknownTranscription; oldest extant manuscripts of the shikiNara period, 8th centuryTemplate:SortIshiyama-deraŌtsuShigaTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, vol. 10unknownPart of a 30 volume work; backside contains considerations on the Diamond RealmHeian periodTemplate:SortTōyō BunkoTokyoTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, fragments of vol. 26[58]unknownPart of a 30 volume workmid Heian periodTemplate:SortIshiyama-deraŌtsuShigaTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, fragments of vol. 29[58]unknownPart of a 30 volume workmid Heian periodTemplate:SortIshiyama-deraŌtsuShigaTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoAnnals of Han Gaozu No. 2 and fragments of No.4 from the section Biographies[59]unknownTranscription; red annotations from the mid 10th centuryNara periodTemplate:SortIshiyama-deraŌtsuShigaTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo, No. 4 from Treatise on food and merchandise[60]unknownTranscription; end sheet with red ink marks of ministries of ceremoniesNaraHeian periodTemplate:SortŌsu KannonTemplate:NihongoNagoyaAichiTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoTemplate:Nihongo vol. 1 and Template:Nihongounknown, member(s) of Tanba familyAnnotated editions of the Chinese medical text Huangdi Neijing; transcribed and handed down in the Tanba familyHeian period1167–1168 (Taiso) and 1296 and 1383 (Myōdō)Template:SortNinna-jiKyoto150px
Template:Nihongo fragmentsunknownTang Dynasty imperial poetry collection; other manuscripts of work had been lost in China as early as 9th centuryTang Dynasty, and Heian period, 677–823Template:SortTemplate:NihongoKōyaWakayama150px
Template:Nihongo fragmentsunknownTang Dynasty imperial poetry collection; work had been lost in China as early as 9th centuryTang DynastyHeian periodTemplate:SortTemplate:NihongoKōyaWakayamaTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo vol. 22unknownPart of a 30 volume Chinese character dictionary; one of two extant complete volumes of the work[nb 11]Heian period, 904Template:SortIse Shrine IseMieTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo[61]unknownCommentary on the Book of Odes by Zheng XuanHeian periodTemplate:SortTemplate:NihongoOsaka150px
Template:Nihongo vol. 30[62]unknownDescription of people and geography of ancient Japan, the Three Kingdoms of Korea and China; only extant old manuscript of this workHeian period, 10th centuryTemplate:SortDazaifu Tenman-gūDazaifuFukuoka150px
Template:Nihongo fragment of vol. 4[63]Template:SortPart of an anthology of Chinese poems by Tang Dynastypoets containing 40 poems (282 lines); only extant part of this workHeian period, 9th centuryTemplate:SortKyoto National MuseumKyoto150px
Template:Nihongo vol. 3, Kanazawa Bunko edition[64]unknownAccount of the life[nb 12] in the capitals Luoyang and Chang’an; other manuscripts of this work had been lost in China; formerly stored at the Kanazawa Bunko libraryKamakura periodTemplate:SortMaeda IkutokukaiTokyo150px
Template:NihongounknownChinese poetry collectionmid Heian periodTemplate:SortTōyō BunkoTokyo150px
Template:NihongounknownChinese poetry collectionHeian periodTemplate:SortTemplate:NihongoYokohamaKanagawa; custody of Kanazawa BunkoTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo[65][66]various unknownSummary of good governing skill from various materials; transcription of a Tang Dynasty manuscript; oldest extant copies of the text; paper made of sheets dyed in purple, pale blue, and brown, as well as sheets decorated with flying-clouds; with annotations and grammatical notes; handed down in the Kujō familymid Heian period, 11th centuryTemplate:SortTokyo National MuseumTokyo150px
Template:Nihongo, vol. 12 and 14[67]unknownCollection of various topics concerning the Six DynastiesNara period, 747Template:SortŌsu KannonTemplate:NihongoNagoyaAichiTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo (Xinxiu bencao), vol. 4, 5, 12, 17, 19[68]unknownTranscription of the Tang Dynasty, worldwide first pharmacopoeia; also called Tang bencao (Materia Medica of the Tang Dynasty)Kamakura period, 13th centuryTemplate:SortNinna-jiKyoto150px

Song printed editions[edit]

Printing had been known in Japan from at least the 8th century, when a large number of dharani known as Hyakumantō Darani[nb 13] were printed from 764 to 770 and placed in miniature wooden pagodas. These count among the oldest extant printed texts in East Asia and were likely made by woodblock printing.[69][70] The Hyakumantō Darani were ritual Buddhist printings, neither meant for distribution nor for reading.[69][70][71] This practice of devotional printing continued into the Heian period. The first practical printing in Japan can be dated to the 11th century and is associated with sutra commentaries and doctrinal works for which handcopying did not entail religious merit.[71][72][73] Despite the increasing popularity of printing, many texts, particularly Japanese literature, continued to be copied by hand on manuscript scrolls. Commercial printing did not become common until the early 17th century.[72][74]

Printing in China initially had a similar development, starting with the printing of religious scriptures, prayers and popularly useful texts such as almanacs or calendars which were produced for local use by temples. By the Five Dynasties, the government realized the opportunities of printing political and ideological texts such as the Classics.[75] The ensuing Song Dynasty saw great advancements in art, religion and philosophy with scholarly activity greatly facilitated by printed books.[76][77] Consequently, the Chinese publishing industry took off during the Song Dynasty, several hundred years before the same happened in Japan.[75] Enhanced by the Song interest of foreign trade and the maritime activity of the Taira, the book exchange between China and Japan saw a second peak after the Sui and Tang Dynasties starting in 1192.[8][74][76][78] Japanese visitors to Song China returned with a large number of printed books, on a variety of subjects such as history, philosophy, Buddhism, Confucianism, literature, medicine and geography, causing a revival of pure scholarship, which had been sidelined during the earlier obsession with poetry in the Heian period courtier society.[76][77][78][79]

The supply of imported printed editions of Chinese texts was insufficient to meet the demand and by the time of the Taira supremacy collections of Chinese books had become status symbols among the upper class of Japan.[77][80] Books were collected and formed the nuclei of many new libraries, in particular those associated with Zen temples of Kyoto and Kamakura or those founded by samurai families of the Kantō region.[53][77] These libraries became centers of learning and to a great extent stimulated the varied and energetic scholarly activities of the coming medieval age.[77][81] The most important of these new libraries in the Kamakura period was the Kanazawa Bunko, established in 1275 by Hōjō Sanetoki.[82][83][84] Eclectic in scope, it had a huge collection of books embracing the literary culture of all of East Asia, including a great number of Song editions of Chinese works.[81][83][85] The collection was dispersed at the end of the 16th century and partially transferred to Edo by Tokugawa Ieyasu.[83][85] Librarians of Kanazawa Bunko used an ownership seal, making it possible to trace existing copies back to that library.[85] During the Muromachi period Uesugi Norizane revived in 1432 the Ashikaga Gakko library that came to house a bulk of mainly Confucian texts and exegetical works.[81][86][87][88]

Thirteen sets of Song printed books have been designated as National Treasures. Many of them have been handed down in feudal era Japanese clans and were stored at libraries such as Kanazawa Bunko, Ashikaga Gakko or at monasteries such as the one of Tōfuku-ji. They cover mainly Chinese Classics such as books and commentaries on Records of the Grand Historian, the Book of Han, the Book of Later HanClassic of HistoryBook of RitesBook of Songs or the Book of Changes. Two are encyclopedias.[4]

NameRemarksDateFormatPresent locationImage
Template:NihongoEncyclopedic account of BuddhismSouthern Song, 1127Template:SortTōfuku-jiKyotoTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoTemplate:NihongoFormerly stored at the Kanazawa Bunko librarySouthern Song, 1196Template:SortTenri Central LibraryTenriNara150px
Template:NihongoTemplate:CenterSouthern SongTemplate:SortTemplate:NihongoOsakaTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoTemplate:Nihongo[89]With contributions by Hōjō Ujimasa and Kyūka Zuiyo (九華瑞璵) from 1560; formerly stored at the Kanazawa Bunko library; from June 1560 in possession of Ashikaga GakkoSouthern SongTemplate:SortTemplate:ConvertTemplate:NihongoAshikagaTochigiTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoTemplate:NihongoHanded down in the Template:Nihongo, an Edo period clan school of the Yonezawa DomainSouthern Song, Keigen era (1195–1200)Template:SortNational Museum of Japanese HistorySakuraChibaTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoTemplate:NihongoChinese historical work, handed down in the Template:Nihongo, an Edo period clan school of the Yonezawa DomainSouthern SongTemplate:SortNational Museum of Japanese HistorySakuraChibaTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoTemplate:NihongoOldest Song edition of this work; formerly in possession of the Template:Nihongo, an Edo period clan school of the Yonezawa DomainSouthern SongTemplate:SortNational Museum of Japanese HistorySakuraChibaTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo[90]Postscript near the end of each volume indicating the year (1234–1236)Southern Song, 1234–1236Template:SortTemplate:NihongoAshikagaTochigiTemplate:Center
Template:Nihongo[91]Each page has 8 lines with 16–21 characters per line with annotation lines consisting of two rows instead of oneSouthern SongTemplate:SortTemplate:NihongoAshikagaTochigi150px
Template:Nihongo[92]With red seals and text in India ink indicating the hereditary in the Ashikaga Gakko LibrarySouthern SongTemplate:SortTemplate:NihongoAshikagaTochigi150px
Template:NihongoMassive encyclopedia, part of the Four Great Books of SongSouthern Song, 1199Template:SortTōfuku-jiKyotoTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoTemplate:NihongoFormerly stored at the Kanazawa Bunko librarySouthern Song, 1139Template:SortTemplate:NihongoOsakaTemplate:Center
Template:NihongoAnthology by Liu YuxiSouthern SongTemplate:SortTenri Central LibraryTenriNara150px

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up↑ Only the oldest period is counted, if a National Treasure consists of items from more than one period.
  2. Jump up↑ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named fukuro-toji
  3. Jump up↑ Inscriptions on imported coins and artefacts are older but were not perceived as language by the Japanese at the time.
  4. Jump up↑ The Thousand Character Classic as known today was not compiled at the time of Wani throwing doubt on the accuracy of this legend.
  5. Jump up↑ According to another source, the text composed by Prince Shōtoku shows familiarity with fifteen Chinese literary, historical, and philosophical works: the OdesBook of HistoryClassic of Filial PietyAnalectsChronicle of ZuoBook of RitesGuanziRecords of the Grand HistorianBook of HanWen XuanMenciusMoziLaoziZhuangziand Han Feizi.
  6. Jump up↑ Bai Juyi was the most influential Tang Dynasty poet in Japan and his collected works were imported in 836.
  7. Jump up↑ The second complementary half at Ishiyama-dera has been designated as a National Treasure. The only other extant complete volume of the Yupian is vol. 22 and survives in a transcription made in Japan located Ise Shrine. It has been designated as a National Treasure.
  8. Jump up↑ The first complementary half at Kōzan-ji has been designated as a National Treasure. The only other extant complete volume of the Yupian is vol. 22 and survives in a transcription made in Japan located Ise Shrine. It has been designated as a National Treasure.
  9. Jump up↑ In addition medicine, astronomy, mathematics and music were taught.
  10. Jump up↑ Promulgated one year later in 702.
  11. Jump up↑ The other complete volume is number 27 and exists in two halves located at Kōzan-ji and Ishiyama-dera, both designated as National Treasures.
  12. Jump up↑ At the palace, government offices, monks’ quarters, temples and residences
  13. Jump up↑ There are about 1000 extant, but contemporary sources such as the Shoku Nihongi mention that up to one million dharani were produced.