by INCENSE GAMES (KUMIKO)
Many brush & ink illus. & tables in the text. 8; 10; 5; 7; 9; 16; 8.5 folding leaves. Seven parts in one vol. Oblong 8vo (136 x 198 mm.), orig. dark blue wrappers (some minor repairs), modern stitching. [Japan]: from the last leaf (in trans.): "Passed down by Master Yonekawa...March 1664...copied from a Yonekawa scroll by Chintada(?) Miyake." An early and most interesting manuscript, which appears to be unpublished, regarding the incense games (kumiko) of the Yonekawa school of incense, active throughout the Edo period. The Yonekawa ryu school was a branch of the Shino ryu school. Many royal and daimyo (feudal lord) families supported the Yonekawa ryu, including Empress Consort Masako (1607-78), second wife of the cultured Emperor Go-Mizunoo. From the manuscript, we learn that our copier, Miyake, was in service to Empress Masako, a patron of the arts and a skilled calligrapher. The manuscript is divided into seven parts. The first is concerned with the various implements and scented woods used in the incense ceremony. Parts II-IV describe the jicchuko (the early kumiko games), the more modern games, and the acceptable patterns of the ashes within the incense burner. Part V is a detailed manual about writing answers on nanorigami (or kigami, special paper) for each of 16 different games. Miyake has provided 16 intricate charts with genji-ko symbols and other answer formats. Part VI describes the kinds of incense burners, with 28 illustrations of the burners (several in shapes such as duck, phoenix, and lion), ash patterns, and kogo (small, lidded incense containers used in tea ceremonies). There are 15 finely drawn illustrations of various kinds of kogo made from different materials including porcelain and carved lacquerware (tsuishu). The final part contains a series of 15 fine illustrations of elaborate display shelves with containers holding the tea ceremony tools; trays for laying out the tools and incense burner; tables; displays stands for incense burners; and a floor plan of an idealized incense ceremony room. Fine copy, preserved in a modern chitsu.
(Inventory #: 7654)