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Segment of Mengqiu
Important Cultural Property
1 scroll
Ink on paper
Heian period/Chōshō 13 (1134)
Tokyo National Museum
"Mogyu" was compiled by Rikan in 746 during the Tang period, where ancient anecdotes were written in a series of four rhymed characters together with related events. It was introduced into Japan in the early Heian period and children of noble families were encouraged to memorize and recite it. It is said to have influenced "The Pillow Book" and "The Tale of Genji." Later, it spread among monks and warriors and at temple schools it was used as a text for primary education until the Meiji period. Since so many people read and recited Mogyu, it was said that even sparrows in temple gardens recited Mogyu.
Although this one lacks the first part of Mogyu, this is one of the oldest existing copies since the postscript states December 27, 1134.