Ukiyo Zoshi (stories of the floating world) (浮世草子)

Ukiyo Zoshi is one of the major literary forms in the early Kinsei Bungaku (Japanese Edo period literature). Ukiyo-bon (Ukiyo Zoshi).

A series of works starting with "Koshoku ichidai otoko" (Life of an amorous man, published in 1682) by Saikaku IHARA are called Ukiyo Zoshi today, as works which made a clear departure from then existing Kana Zoshi (stories written in kana), which were then called "Kusa Zoshi" (illustrated story books), the distinction between "Kana Zoshi" and "Ukiyo Zoshi" was not made until later. During the Genroku era, it became popular around Osaka and many works were written on wide variety of common people's lives (Ukiyo means not only world in general but matters of love and sensuality). Books published by the Hachimonjiya (a bookstore) in Kyoto were called "Hachimonjiya-bon," and were published from the Genroku era to the Meiwa era in the mid-18th century.

The works of Saikaku, who is considered the founder, are the most famous and, excepting some works such as "Seken musuko katagi" (Characters of worldly young men), and "Seken musume yoshi" (Looks of worldly young women) by Kiseki EJIMA, there were few famous works published after that.

Major authors
Saikaku IHARA
Kiseki EJIMA
Rosui AOKI

[Original Japanese]