The Hakubun-kwan, Honcho Sanchome, Nihonbashiku, Tokio.

Price: $350.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Collectible-Near Fine (Near Fine)


Original manuscript handwritten in black ink on six leaves of beige lined paper. No date, circa 1910. 8 1/2" x 13 1/2." Six pages, complete. Manuscript includes original proofreading marks and notations in pencil. It is unclear if or when this article was published. Leaves and handwriting are very clean and intact. There is slight wrinkling at the top of the paper and the occasional light stain. Small pinhole in upper right corner of the leaves. Manuscript is Near Fine. Hakubunkwan (or Hakubunkan) was one of Japan's leading publishing houses. It was founded by Sakei Ohashi (1835-1901) in 1887 and was also representative of the wealth and prosperity associated with the Meiji era. Sakei had a prolific and successful career even prior to being the owner of Hakubunkwan and had served as an official of the Niigata Prefectural Office in 1869, was Chief of the Nagaoka Post Office, and established two newspapers, Hokuetsu Shimbun and Essa Shimbun, in 1880 and 1881, respectively. Hakubunkwan began by publishing ten magazines, but its number of published materials quickly increased partly due to Sakei's commitment to keeping prices low and affordable. In its prime, Hakubunkwan published dozens of magazines and thousands of books. Sakei donated ten thousand yen to the formation of a public library in Bancho, Japan upon his passing in 1901, and his son Shintaro Ohashi (1863-1944), inherited the business. Shintaro also donated thousands of yen to several literary and educational institutions and served in Japan's House of Representatives and House of Peers. Today, Hakubunkwan is known as Hakubunkan Shinsha. This article provides a concise history of Hakubunkwan and its founders. Pages 1-3 discuss the founding of the publishing house, the backgrounds of Sakei and Shintaro Ohashi, the latter of whom was the proprietor at the time the article was written, and some notable magazines and books published by Hakubunkwan. Page 4 includes information on Shintaro's accomplishments and appointed positions. Page 5 focuses on Hakubunkwan's printing shop, its sister company Hakushinsha which was in charge of paper supply, and Hakubunkwan's paper consumption from sources both at home in Japan and abroad. Page 6 concludes with information about the Ohashi Library in Tokyo, which was established in 1902 and built in Shintaro's own residence.