28 hand scrolls
Ink on paper
Heian period/11th century
Tokyo National Museum
Ceremonies of the Engi Era (J. Engishiki), in fifty scrolls, was originally compiled from 907 to 915 during the mid-Heian period (794-1185) to codify detailed rules for court ceremonies and protocol. All but one scroll in this present set of twenty-seven handscrolls were transcribed in the late Heian period; constituting the oldest and most complete copy of Engishiki extant. This set is called the Kujô Family Version because it was handed down within the Kujô family, one of the five houses of the aristocratic Fujiwara clan.
Although the calligraphy indicates that more than one person copied the text, the scrolls are thought to have been transcribed at approximately the same time by people associated with the five houses of the Fujiwara. To facilitate reading of the main text, phonetic syllabary (J. kana) and grammatical marks (J. okototen) were added in red ink. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven scrolls were written on the back of paper previously used for about 190 other documents, including parts of the draft of an official proclamation by the Council of State, family registers of Sanuki Province, fragments of the Ceremonies of the Kōnin Era (J. Kōninshiki), which preceded Engishiki, and numerous letters. As a result, this Kujō Family Version is also an extremely valuable source of historical materials.