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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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Models of Children’s Play in the Old Days
The 15th year of Tenpo (1844)
Oga Mantei, Artist: Eiichi Seisai

 This is an illustrated book of songs, daily games of children, how to play them and so on. “Recently, children playing childlike games are not often seen. On the contrary, they sing popular vulgar songs and the fact their parents have no trouble with this is disappointing.” Models of Children’s Play in the Old Days, which begins with a scolding of this kind that you may hear even nowadays, was published in the 15th year of Tenpo (1844) by Oga Mantei, who was a popular writer. It is a book to introduce the play-style of children of the Edo era. Oga thinks the plain old play-style of earlier days promoted the healthy growth of children. There are detailed explanations of 75 ways in which Oga himself played as a child and recommends. Inside are ways which we may remember playing as well as some that are completely lost now and may cause us to think, “Oh! Was there really this kind of game?” It is a very pleasant read.
 Each game is depicted in a lovely illustration by ukiyoe artist Eiichi Seisai. You can almost hear the shouts of joy from the children absorbed in play. In addition, there is a list of the hairstyles of children of the time so this is a valuable resource of manners and customs.
 The heartwarming nature of this book is not its most appealing point. The author’s strict comments placed here and there are very amusing. Here is an example, “Good baby steps”. Say, “Come here” to the wobbling toddler. “If you get here, I’ll give you sweet sake.” Then, let them walk. However, no one would ever really give alcohol and so the author comments that this becomes the first time a parent tells their child a lie.
 Other books are historical records of traditional customs during annual festivities. Through this extremely rare book we can learn about the usual daily play of the children in the Edo era. Furthermore, Models of Children’s Play in the Old Days was widely published in its time, however, the one at Iwase Bunko Library is the only one left, meaning it is extremely valuable.