A Smash Hit for the Local Book Trade (Atariyashita Jihon Doiya)
Painted by Jippensha Ikku 1802 (Kyōwa 2) Kaga Collection hako 58-14

A kibyōshi (illustrated storybook with a yellow cover) by Jippensha Ikku who is famous as the author of "Tōkaidōchū hizakurige", a best selling book in the Edo period. From this picture we can see how books were sold at that time.

Jihon doiya is a shop that deals in nishiki-e (colored woodblock prints) and kusa-zōshi (illustrated storybooks), which is unique to the Edo period. "Atariyashita", the title of this kibyōshi (illustrated storybook with a yellow cover) means in the language of Edo period that the books issued by the jihon doiya sold very well.
In this book, the owner of a jihon doiya Murata-ya gives some mysterious drug to a lazy writer, Jippensha Ikku. After taking the drug, the writer immediately completes his manuscript. Murata-ya engraves printing blocks, prints the manuscript and sells the book. It becomes a best-seller and Murata-ya treats Ikku with soba (buckwheat noodles), Ikku's favorite. This book shows the process of publishing – engraving, printing, folding printed papers, collating and binding – and selling in detail.