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Iwase Bunko Library was established as a private library in Nishio city.
Yasuke Iwase, a wealthy merchant, used his own funds and opened IBL in 1908.
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天明4年(1784)版 江戸時代後期写


Human Memorization Techniques
2nd year of Meiwa (1765) original
Writer: Kazuma Yamamoto
4th year of Tenmei (1784) version
Published: Late Edo era

 This is a very impressive book of memorization techniques from the Edo era. It has a mysterious title and unique pictures. The preface in which Kazuma Yamamoto wrote, “I was very poor at memorizing things and by evening would completely forget books which I had read in the morning. Due to this, I was always troubled at school. However, one day, Gomon, a school teacher, introduced me to a memorization technique and through it my memorization got better by leaps and bounds and I became able to memorize any book easily!” greatly resembles the catch phrases of today’s modern advertisements.
 And so, Kazuma Yamamoto asked Gomon to publicize this technique for the children of the world.
 To quickly summarize, at first, the parts of the body from head to toe was the chosen topic as a starting point. For example, the top of the head is one, forehead is two, eyes are three… and so on. It is symbolic memorization of things in order, in other words, by connecting the name to a number. In fact, this method resembles the “Peg system” or “Loci system” of today’s memorization techniques.
 This book was first published by a bookstore in Osaka in the 2nd year of Meiwa (1765). It was reprinted in the 4th year of Tenmei (1784) and the Meiji era and so there seems to have been many readers. The book at Iwase Bunko Library is a handwritten copy of one of the reprinted versions from the 4th year of Tenmei.
 The people of the Edo era hoped to improve their memorization and become wiser, in much the same way as we do today.