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Accepted Paper:

Coexisting rival books and publishers: the case of the Kyoto Guidebooks  

Author:

Takaaki Kaneko (Ritsumeikan University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses a discussion between the publishers who published similar Kyoto guidebooks including Miyako Meisho Tebiki An'nai. This study reveals how they survived in the constraints of copyright and contributes to understand of the circumstances of the publishing industry in the Edo-period.

Paper long abstract:

Various Kyoto guidebooks had been published during Edo period because Kyoto has already the popular tourist spot. In 1762, the publisher Hachimonjiya Hachizaemon was ready to publish the Kyoto guidebook Miyako Meisho Tebiki An'nai 都名所手引案内. At the same time, the three publishers including Zeniya Soshirô who held the copyright Miyako Suzume 都雀 planned to publish the enlarged edition as Karaku Meisho Junranki 花洛名所巡覧記 and the publisher Shohon'ya Kichibei had published the guidebook Karaku Meishoki 花洛名所記, and Kyô Uchimairi 京内参りwas being sold by Kawanamiya Shirobei. Thus, many similar guidebooks were coming onto the market at the same time from rival publishers.

Some of them might have been regarded as partly plagiarised books (ruihan). The publishers of ruihan were subject to penalties by the publisher's guilds because ruihan snatched away profits from the publisher of the original 'legitimate' book. But in this case, the publishers didn't charge one another though they could insist no their rights and try to block the production and sale of their rivals' publications. How did they protect their profit?

In the early Edo period, a system of the collaborative publishing by multiple pub-lishers(aiaiban) was widely used. In the case of aiaiban, each publisher had a portion of the copyright and fractional ownership over the printing blocks. The pub-lishers distributed profits in proportion to ownership ratio. When a dispute for copyright occurred between publishers, they often chose to divide and share copy-right and profits. The surviving records of Zeniya Soshiro reveal that the publishers tried to coexist with his rivals to secure copyright and profits. By collaborating publisher-booksellers could expand their stock.

By referring to this and other cases, this paper tries to reveal the circumstances goerning copyright in the publishing industry in the Edo-period.

Panel LitPre16
The concept of copyright in early-modern Japan