What is the Eisei Bunko?

"Eisei Bunko" is a collective term for the foundations that curate and manage collections of art and literature documents passed down from the Hosokawa Clan daimyo of the Kumamoto Domain, other historical documents (ancient texts and records) related to that period, etc.
Among these items are several tens of thousands of historical documents and manuscripts that were stored in the warehouse of the Hosokawa Clan Kitaoka Estate (in Kumamoto City) until 1964, when they were entrusted to the Kumamoto University Library. Since then, the Faculty of Letters has used these materials in its academic research.

It is no exaggeration to say that the contents of these tens of thousands of Eisei Bunko historical materials entrusted to Kumamoto University cover practically every element of life in the Edo Period, including politics, economics, administration, the legal system, social activities, medicine, pharmacy, architecture, philosophy, and art. These primary source records have been handed down by the feudal rulers of their era and are first-rate historical documents of the daimyo period, on the same order as other famous records such as those of the Mori Clan (of the Choshu Domain) and the Ikeda Clan (of the Okayama Domain).
The collection can be roughly classified into the following types of historical documents:

  1. Medieval Hosokawa Clan literature
  2. Books from the collection of Fujitaka Hosokawa
  3. Correspondences between Tadaoki, Tadatoshi, and Mitsutoshi Hosokawa
  4. Printed materials issued by feudal lords (early documentation of written approvals, etc.)
  5. The writings of Takuan
  6. The writings of Shigekata Hosokawa (journal entries, etc.)
  7. Modern Period daimyo documents
  8. Writings, etc. of daimyo renshi (offshoot lineages)
  9. Picture scrolls
  10. Daimyo bureaucracy records
  11. Daimyo bureaucracy documents
  12. Official public records compiled by daimyo administration
  13. Diagrams, maps, and written orders
  14. Uncategorized documents
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