(Japanese:“books for reading”)a subgenre of gesaku, a type of popular Japanese literature of the Tokugawa, or Edo, period (1603–1867). Yomihon were distinguished from books, enjoyed mainly for their illustrations, and were noted for their extended plots culled from Chinese and Japanese historical sources. These novels were openly moralistic romances, and their highly schematized characters often included witches, fairy princesses, and impeccably noble gentlemen. Where yomihon succeeded, as in a few works by Takizawa Bakin, they are absorbing as examples of storytelling rather than as moral lessons.
* * *