Ninjobon (works of sentimental fiction in the Edo period) (人情本)

The ninjobon refers to a genre of gesaku literature (literary work of a playful, mocking, joking, silly or frivolous nature) written during the Edo period that mainly dealt with decadent love affairs and contemporary life of Edo (now Tokyo).

Derived from sharebon book (a pleasure quarter novelette), ninjobon books were written from the beginning of the 19th century. The typical works of ninjobon were "Shunshoku Umegoyomi" (Spring-Color Plum Calendar) and "Harutsugedori" (Bush Warbler) by Shunsui TAMENAGA. A crackdown on various forms of popular culture accompanying the Tenpo Reforms effectively silenced some writers and publishers, especially that produced koshokugabon (book of pornography), and served as an admonishment to others, such as an accusation against Sunshui TAMENAGA; as a result, ninjobon lost its vigor and creative force, and gokan (literally, bound-together volumes of illustrated books) appeared in numbers larger, to make up for that decline of ninjobon.

[Original Japanese]