“Esopo no fabulas”: More Notes on Aesop in Sixteenth-Century Japan
In the year 1592/3 a three-volume set of materials was printed at Amakusa, Japan, the second element of which wasEsohono
Fabulas [‘he Fables of Aesop’, which survives as an unicum in the BL. This article first studies the sources for this book. There
is a link with the Steinhöwel collection, but other possible sources are a late edition of the Martin Dorp collection, the collection by
Joachim Camerarius, or the Romulus Roberti. Secondly, the history of the fables in Japanese is discussed. Originally they were probably
meant for the teaching of Latin. Soon they were — in a more literary form — used to attract the attention of cultured Japanese people. This
more literary version was the starting point of a purely Japanese tradition of fables and fable motifs.
Article language: French