Re: Shunga ukiyo-e identification

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Posted by Alec W. ( on January 26, 2021 at 02:42:12:

In Reply to: Re: Shunga ukiyo-e identification posted by Crinkle on January 26, 2021 at 00:05:16:

Yes, exactly, when image search alone fails you, text-based search is key. In this case, I transcribed the first part of the text in your last image as "倭文庫", and that got me useful answers right off the bat.

In terms of getting started on transcribing Japanese text yourself, find a good multi-radical kanji lookup tool. I mostly use, but there are several others. The learning curve is unfortunately high, partly due to the complexity of the Japanese writing system itself (kanji plus two kana systems), but also due to the problem of dealing with old text predating the reforms of the Meiji period. A lot of what can appear on a print is obsolete now, and modern tools are not usually well-optimized for transcribing Edo-era Japanese.

That said, if you can get a few kanji right, that's often enough to get some good hits, so it's usually worth your effort to try!


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