Notable Characteristics of the Oregon Tekagami 


Scholar’s Pick 1: Fragments 143, 172, 264, 276, 279


Sasaki Takahiro
Keio Institute of Oriental Classics, Tokyo, Japan


A tekagami album is at once a sampling of calligraphy and Japanese manuscript types. Japanese books were bound in a variety of ways, and they also came in an array of shapes and sizes (see video below).

Because there are 319 fragments in the Oregon Tekagami, it gives a good sense of the multivariant nature of Japanese manuscripts (Fig. 13, see below).

A notable characteristic of the Oregon Tekagami is the unusual number of fragments of small codices. Generally speaking, premodern books can be categorized into vertical rectangular or square formats with a size of roughly 16 x 24 cm and 16 x 16 cm, respectively. This album includes five fragments taken from small books with a height of less than 10 cm, all dating from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries (Fragments 143, 172, 264, 276, and 279). Although the height differs by about 1 cm, Fragments 143 and 276 most likely derived from the same book.

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