One of the noteworthy trends of the last years of the Edo period was the production of gôkan (assembled volumes), reworkings of recently published material. Focusing on the digest Inu no sôshi (Storybook of dogs, 1848–81) and its source text, the famed yomihon (reading book) Hakkenden (Chronicle of eight dogs, 1814–42), I use theories of adaptation, remediation, translation, and bibliographic transcription to consider the transition from one book form to another and what these changes reveal about contrasting visions of book culture, the image-text matrix, and written language at the dawn of the modern era. Through comparison of the signifying mechanisms and aesthetic principles materialized in these texts, I strive to complicate the conventional understanding of how the interpretative operations of seeing and reading obtained toward these two book formats.

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