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Tatar Printing in Tokyo: الاتقان في ترجمة القران



[Al-Itkan fi tarjimati al-Qur’an / Proficiency in Translating the Quran]


Large 4°, 460 pp. in photographic printing, original boards with lettering, later cloth spine (minor age-toning and foxing, but overall in a good condition).


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An important commentary on translating the Quran in Tatar language was originally published in Kazan in 1907 and copied in a photographic technique by the Tatar Community in Tokyo in 1950. The last pages, which are as well multiplied in the same technique, include a facsimile of a hand written text with the introduction to the Tefsir and the story about multiplying it for a Muslim Community in Tokyo.

A long list names the people, who participated the money for the photo-reproduction of this book.

The Tatar minority in Tokyo has been employing the photographic reproduction, at the time exceedingly expensive technique, since the 1930s. It was especially used for the copying the texts, originally issued in Kazan, including the Quran, issued in Tokyo in 1934.

This is an important document from 1950, when Japan was rebuilding after WWII. Many Tatars moved to Turkey after 1945. It is also possibly one of the last documents of the printing with the photographic technique by the Tokyo Tatars. We could not find any other publications, issued so late.

Tatar Community in Tokyo

The Tatar community in Japan was founded after the Russian Revolution by the immigrants, fleeing the Bolsheviks through Siberia and Vladivostok, under the leadership of imam MuhammedGabdulkhay Kurbangaliev (1889-1972). In 1936, they founded the first school in Kobe, which was followed by a school in Tokyo two years later. In the same year, n 1938, the Tatars founded the first mosque in Tokyo. The Tokyo Mohammedan Press was founded in 1929. It was publishing books and a journal in Tatar language.

Japanese welcomed Tatars in their country, especially on the eve and during the war, when the Tatars sided with the Axis Powers in hope to defeat the Bolsheviks and return to their homeland.

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