In September 2015, we began digitizing the education books in the Prange Collection. We’ll share interesting educational materials with you as the scanning project progresses. A list of posts in this series can be found here.
Today we’re featuring “Omoshiroi nendai no oboekata/おもしろい年代の覺え方” [A Fun Way to Memorize the Dates of Historical Events] (Prange Call No. 438-0012). Published by Bunka Seikatsusha/文化生活社 in 1949, its author, Asaeda Hiroshi/朝枝博, aims to show his readers how to easily memorize many dates of historical events. This tiny pocket book claims to be, “The very first and only book in Japan with fun ways to memorize dates. The dates of historical events will never change, so once you memorize all of them, it will help you forever in studying history.”
Many of us are familiar with “nakuyo (794) uguisu Heiankyo” for memorizing the date of the establishment of Heiankyo or “Igo yoku (1549) tsutawaru Kirisutokyo” for the date of the first official appearance of Christianity in Japan. In this book, however, the way of remembering them is slightly different; “Nara no miyako o nakushi (794) te Heiankyo e” and “Ikoyo, Ku (1549)risutokyo o hirome ni Nihon e.” Other interesting ones are: “Iyo kuni (1492) ga mieruzo” for the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas or “Nihon hitori musaku (1639) rushii kokunai ni tojikomoru” for the Japanese isolation policy in 1639. The last page of the book is dedicated to the enactment of the new Japanese Constitution: “Nihon ga umaku ikuyona (1947) shin kenpo.”
The digital images of “Omoshiroi nendai no oboekata” are available onsite in the Prange Collection.