Naraehon Digital Database

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nezumi Digital Database of Nara Ehon Around the World is an open digital archive which makes available works of Nara ehon ("Nara picture books"),
short illustrated narrative manuscripts produced during the Muromachi to Edo periods, in collections from all over the world.
In terms of format, Nara ehon may be grouped into three categories of horizontal books, vertical books, and large vertical books. While the bindings of the manuscripts also vary, the most common are ones with navy blue covers with designs of autumn grasses in gold pigment and attached with vermillion title slips that were sometimes called yomeiri-bon ("trousseau books"). The illustrations, provided on a single page or as a spread, may generally be grouped to those either executed in the so-called "Nara-e style" using inexpensive opaque pigment (doroenogu) or in a more delicately rendered luxurious style. Both styles employ the standardized composition of framing the top and bottom of the pictorial surface with trailing mist (suyari-gasumi). Vivid colors such as vermillion and green are combined with lavish uses of gold and silver foils and pigments in Nara ehon, not unlike miniatures.


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Professor. Toru Ishikawa

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