Takusari Koki is noted for his groundbreaking invention of a Japanese shorthand system (sokki) in 1884. Sokki allowed political debates and oral stories, such as the ghost tales of San’yutei Encho, to be quickly transcribed from the stage and published in newspapers or as serialized books, making them more widely available. Takusari was born in Iwate Prefecture, attended Tokyo University, and, while staying with an acquaintance at a gold mine in Akita Prefecture, met a foreign mining engineer who used shorthand. Takusari asked about the curious-looking marks and over time came up with a similar system for Japanese, which he began teaching to others after founding Japan’s first stenographic school in Tokyo.
   See also GENBUN ITCHI.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

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  • SAN’YUTEI ENCHO — (1839–1900)    San’yutei Encho, born Izubuchi Jirokichi to Tokugawa period storyteller Tachibanaya Entaro (?– 1872), was a renowned professional storyteller. Encho (as he is usually called) excelled as a raconteur, mastering all the genres of… …   Japanese literature and theater

  • SHORTHAND (SOKKI) —    Although various stenographic systems for transcribing written speech had been developed in Japan, an effective version of shorthand that could be used to record in real time was not invented until the 1880s. Takusari Koki saw shorthand used… …   Japanese literature and theater

  • GENBUN ITCHI —    Written Japanese, fundamentally standardized by the eighth century, had undergone sporadic and incremental change prior to the Meiji period, evolving into a collection of documentary, epistolary, and narrative styles that were firmly bound in… …   Japanese literature and theater

  • KODAN —    Kodan is a style of traditional oral storytelling dating from the 17th century. Similar to the style of storytelling performed by biwa (lute) players in feudal Japan, this form of drama involves a solitary performer, called a kodanshi, who… …   Japanese literature and theater

  • YOSE —    The yose (storytelling theaters) of Japan originated during the Tokugawa period as small roadside shacks wherein itinerant professional storytellers would tell their tales to passersby for a small fee. By the Meiji period, they had become… …   Japanese literature and theater

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