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Abstract

The act of rendering the handwritten in print participates in a long tradition of appreciation of calligraphy in East Asia. This essay considers the question of why manuscript remained the mode for representing writing well after the development of print culture in early modern Japan, forcing us to reexamine our expectations of what the term “manuscript” means: must a work be “written by hand” to be a manuscript, for instance? We argue that the use of print technology as a means to capture and disseminate the calligraphic expands the scope of current notions of what a manuscript is and challenges the model of separation between “manuscript” and “print.”

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