genre of Japanese moralistic fiction from the Edo period, influenced by Chinese vernacular novels, with plot elements taken from Chinese and Japanese history

Yomihon (読本, yomi-hon, "reading books") is a type of Japanese book from the Edo period (1603–1867). Unlike other Japanese books of the periods, such as kusazōshi, they had few illustrations, and the emphasis was on the text. In storylines, Buddhist ethics such as karma are often preached, and characters with supernatural powers and imaginary creatures are often depicted.From the end of the 17th century to the early 18th century, Chinese novels such as Water Margin were translated and published in Japan. The mutual influence of Chinese novel styles, Japanese traditional war chronicles gunki monogatari, Buddhist tales, and Jitsurokumono based on social incidents promoted the stylization of yomihon and, in 1749, Tsuga Teishō published Hanabusasōshi establishing the style of yomihon. Takebe Ayatari, and Okajima Kanzan were also instrumental in developing the yomihon.Another early pioneer of the yomihon was Ueda Akinari, with his Ugetsu Monogatari and Harusame Monogatari. Kyokutei Bakin wrote the extremely popular fantasy/historical romance Nansō Satomi Hakkenden, in addition to other yomihon. Santō Kyōden wrote yomihon mostly set in the pleasure quarters until the Kansei Edicts banned such works.
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genre: yomihon


Jiraiya Monogatari

novel by Kan'watei Onitake

author: Kan'watei Onitake


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