Top of page

Book/Printed Material Kōan Etiquette.

[ Volume 1 ]

More Resources

[ Volume 2 ]

About this Item


  • Kōan Etiquette.


  • Kōan reisetsu (Kōan etiquette) is a book that prescribed etiquette at the Imperial Court in Japan. It was compiled on the orders of the retired Emperor Kameyama in 1285. Also known under the titles Kōan Reihō (Kōan manners) and Kōan Seifu (Kōan rule book), it includes, for example, the etiquette for greeting someone met on the road or Rotōrei (decorum on the road) and the conventions for writing letters or Shosatsurei (letter-writing rules and etiquette). The Shosatsurei prescribes in detail the terms and format to be used in addressing someone in a letter and for concluding a letter, depending on the official rank and status of the writer and the recipient. Previously this type of etiquette was prescribed for relations between families; the Kōan Etiquette was the first book to officially prescribe etiquette according to rank. It went on to have a major influence long after its compilation. Because the document presented here is written on the back of a guchūreki calendar (an annotated calendar in which the seasons and lucky and unlucky days are written in Chinese) that was used between intercalary July 27 and December 26 of the fourth year of the Kōan period (1281), it is thought to be a copy written in the later stages of the Kamakura period, just after the establishment of Kōan etiquette. Different versions of the work have different contents and different orders in which the contents are presented. This is a particularly valuable copy of the Kōan Etiquette, as it is the oldest surviving copy that shows the content and format of the work at the time of its establishment.


  • Kameyama, Emperor of Japan, 1249-1305 Associated Name.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1285.


  • -  Japan
  • -  1285
  • -  Aristocracy (Social class)
  • -  Etiquette
  • -  Manners and customs


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 1 scroll ; 32.4 centimeters.
  • -  Reference extracted from World Digital Library: "Material Recently Designated as a National Important Cultural Property-Kōan reisetsu," National Diet Library Newsletter, number 197 (December 2014).
  • -  Original resource at: National Diet Library.
  • -  Content in Japanese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667489

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Kameyama, Emperor Of Japan, Associated Name. Kōan Etiquette. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1285] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Kameyama, E. O. J. (1285) Kōan Etiquette. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Kameyama, Emperor Of Japan, Associated Name. Kōan Etiquette. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1285] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.