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12.03.2015 г.

Japanese Manuscripts at the Russian State Library and the History of 20th Century

Maria V. Toropygina

The acquisition of early Japanese book collection of the Russian State Library in Moscow dates back to the 20th century. More than half of all manuscripts are former belongings of the Library of the Eastern Institute in Vladivostok. Others are from the Library of South Manchurian Railway Company, from Japan Institute in Berlin, some documents (dated back to Meiji era) were moved from the Archive of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and some were bought from private collections.

All manuscripts of the Russian State Library are kept in the collection of the Department of Manuscripts[1]. There are about 25 items, including Japanese manuscript books and some documents. Till now they were excluded from the public attention. Only one manuscript from the collection was published (Oroshiakoku suimudan in 1961 by V.Konstantinov[2]).

Till the end of the 19th c. St.Petersburg University was the only University in Russia that already had tradition of the Eastern studies. The alumni of St.Petersburg University became first professors of the Eastern Institute in Vladivostok established in 1898. Among prominent orientalists who worked at the Institute were Alexander V. Grebenshikov (1880-1941), Nikolay V. Kyuner (1877-1955), Grigory V.Podstavin (1875-1924), Apolinary V. Rudakov (1871-1949), Pyotr P. Shmidt (1969-1938), Dmitry M. Pozdneev (1865-1937). Alexey M. Pozdneev (1851-1920) was the first head of the Institute.

From the very first steps of the functioning of the Institute the formation of the Library became very urgent task for the professors and the students[3]. Donations, purchasing, book exchange were the sources of the library acquisitions. The Japanologist Evgeny Spalvin (1872-1933) acted as the Librarian (it was an elective position) from 1900 till 1923.

Evgeny Spalvin graduated from St.Petersburg University and came to Vladivostok in 1900. Next 25 years in Vladivostok he taught Japanese language and a lot of courses, was a head of Japanese Chair and the Dean of the Eastern Department of the State Far Eastern University, was active in social life, and wrote many books and manuals.

One of the methods to enlarge the library was to buy books during study and research trips. Spalvin was among those professors who were good book-hunters. Thus it is known that he bought three manuscripts in secondhand bookshop in Japan in 1906. All three manuscripts give the information about the early relationships between Japan and the outer world. All three are illustrated.

These three manuscripts are: Oroshiakoku suimudan (魯斉亜国睡夢談; Bandan (蕃談); Kankai ibun (環海異聞)[4].

In 1920 the State Far Eastern University was established and the Eastern Institute was reorganised into the Department of the University. The Library of the Eastern Institute became the part of the University library. In the second half of the 30-s came the dark times of Stalin repressions. A lot of people were imprisoned, some perished. In 1939 the University was abolished.

The majority of the books from the Eastern Institute has two seals: one of the Library of the Eastern Institute and another one of the State Far Eastern University. Among the materials from the library of the Eastern Institute the manuscript department of the Russian State library has such materials as: Kokinwakashū yozaishō (古今和歌集餘材抄) by Keichu (1640 - 1701); Dazai dokugo (太宰獨語) zuihitsu text by Dazai Shundai (1680-1747); Kyūsō shōsetsu (鳩巣小説) zuihitsu text by Muro Kyuso (Muro Naokiyo, 1658 - 1734) (not the whole set); Zōhō gion e saiki and Zōhō gion e yamaboko raireki (増補祇園会細記 and増補祇園会山鉾来暦) - the manuscript about the Gion fest and some others.

Evgeny Spalvin left Vladivostok in 1925. In 1925 the embassy of Soviet Russia was opened in Tokyo. Spalvin became Secretary for Culture and the representative of Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (known as VOKS, organized in 1925). He worked in Tokyo till 1931, then moved to Harbin, where he was appointed advisor to The Chinese Eastern Railway. He died in Harbin in 1933.

Harbin was the main place for Russian emigration in the Far East. From these place starts the Manchurian railway line, which was the branch line of the Russian-built Chinese Eastern Railway. In 1905 after the Russo-Japanese this line was transferred to the ownership of Japan.

The South Manchuria Railway Company (Minami, Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki-gaisha, or Mantetsu) was founded in 1906. The Company was the largest economic enterprise in Manchuria and the main agency of Japanese penetration into China.

The South Manchuria Railway Company opened Libraries in all places on the way. There were over 30 libraries with the largest library in Dalian.

In 1932 the northeast China and Inner Mongolia (that is Manchuria) became the new state called Manchukuo. It was constitutional monarchy with pro-Japanese government. In 1945 it was invaded and overran by Soviet Russia. Mantetsu was dissolved by order of the American occupation authorities in occupied Japan. Book and document collections of the Mantetsu Library are preserved now in China, Japan, USA, Russia, and perhaps in other countries as well.

There are two manuscript books with the seals of the Mantetsu Library in the collection of the Russian State Library: Tōdatsu kikō (東韃紀行) by Mamiya Rinzo (1775-1844) and Shōgaku rangaisho (小学書欄外書) by Sato Issai (1772-1859).

When established in 1932 the Manchukuo was not widely recognized in the world. In 1933 the League of Nations declared that the territory should remain part of China. In spite of this declaration the new state was diplomatically recognised by El Salvador (1934) and the Dominican Republic (1934). The Soviet Union recognized Manchukuo de facto in 1935 and de jure in 1941. Some other countries recognized Manchukyo in late 30-s: Italy (1937), Spain (1937), Hungary (1939).

The Third Reich recognized the Manchukuo in 1938.

The copy-book with the title Manshūkoku shonin kangeki. Shinkyōshōgyō gakkōshūgaku ryokōdan (満州国承認感激 新京商業学校修学旅行團) - "The enthusiasm from the recognition of Manchukuo" was presented to the Japaninstitut in Berlin in April 1938 and was put into the library on June 28, 1938. The copy-book contains student's essays. Each essay is about two pages long. There are student's names and indication of the group. Apart from the seal of the Japaninstitut there is the seal of the Library of the Oriental department of the Military Institute of Foreign Languages (existed in Moscow in 1940-1956).

For several years since 1927 Martin Ramming (1889-1988) was a librarian in the Japaninstitut. Martin Ramming was born in St.Petersburg. After graduating from St.Peter School Ramming became the student of the Oriental department of St.Petersburg University. His first trip to Japan was in 1911, via Vladivostok. In 1916 he was appointed an elder interpretor at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo. Soviet Russia was not recognized by Japan till 1925. And up to 1925 the Embassy (Consulate) continued to function, helping Russian subjects in Japan[5]. Then Ramming taught Russian language and literature at the Foreign Languages High School in Tokyo. In 1927 he went to Berlin and in 1929 received German citizenship. He was the head of the Japaninstitut in 1934-1945.

The Collection has one more item with the seal of Japaninstitut in Berlin, which is the album in te-kagami genre (calligraphy practice model book). The first character of the title is damaged, but the title seems to be Ranbōrin (鸞鳳林).

Some manuscripts have no library seals, which means that they were private belongings before. One such an item is the album of the poetry collection known as "The New Thirty-six Immortals of Poetry" (新三十六歌仙). The item has no title and no date of producing. There are poets' portraits (all poets are from 12th and 13th cc.), painted on silk, and one poem of each person, written in cursive script [6]. This manuscript was bought in 1937 from a person named Himer, but there are no data about the person and where and how the item has got in his posession.

Thus the history of the collection's development reflects the turbulent history of the 20th century with its wars, revolutions, repressions, formation and vanishing of states, tragic personal destinies, and interweaving of lives.

[1] The early Japanese printed editions are kept at the Center of Oriental literature, for the description see Kornicki Peter F. Catalogue of Early Japanese Books in the Russian State Library. Moscow: Pashkov Dom, 1999; Kornicki Peter F. Catalogue of Early Japanese Books in the Russian State Library. Vol.2. Moscow, 2004.

[2] Оросиякоку суймудан (Сны о России). М., 1961.

[3] About the Library of the Eastern Institute see И.А.Дружинина, Н.И.Кудинова. Первая вузовская библиотека Дальнего Востока // Известия Восточного института, 1999, № 5/ C.117-125.

[4] The Institute of the Oriental manuscripts in St.Petersburg also has the manuscript of this work in the collection. The manuscript was prepared for the publication by Professor Vladislav N. Goregliad (1932-2002) and was published in 2009 (with CD-Rom of the manuscript). Оцуки Гэнтаку, Симура Хироюки. Канкай ибун. «Удивительные сведения об окружающих [землю] морях». Японская рукопись XIX в. Из рукописного фонда СПб ИВР РАН. СПб.: «Гиперион», 2009.

[5] About this period see D.Abrikossov. Revelations of a Russian Diplomat. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington press, 1964.

[6] Some images from this manuscript are published in: М.В.Торопыгина. 36 японских гениев на поэтическом турнире // «Восточная коллекция», 2014 № 2(57). С.57-69; М.В.Торопыгина. Поэтический сборник новых тридцати шести гениев японской поэзии // История и культура традиционной Японии 7. М., «Наталис», 2014, с. 125-146. (Orientalia et Classica: Труды Института восточных культур и античности; вып. LII).
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