Materials from Old Houses in Japan (2023)

Yabuta, Yutaka

With the expansion of the digital humanities, the field of Japanese Studies is progressing on a global scale. Within this environment, researchers wishing to access archival materials from abroad will first and foremost make use of digitized texts that have been transcribed and imaged, followed by historical records housed in museums, archives, and research libraries. However, transcribed texts have been edited and are therefore no longer original. In addition, museums, archives, and research libraries organize materials according to their respective cataloguing requirements. This is because public institutions receiving donations of archival materials have to make these materials available to the public. The materials are thus subjected to a ‘New (Archival) Order’. 
As a result, there is no way of knowing who originally compiled these materials and how they were handed down and held in private homes, thereby obscuring the ‘Old (Archival) Order’ and irretrievably separating it from the ‘New (Archival) Order’. 

The Memory of a Whaling Catcher Boat (2023)

Koretsune, Sakura

Whaling practices of Norway and Japan began to cross at the end of the nineteenth century when Japanese entrepreneurs visited Norway to study the cutting-edge whaling technique called the "Norwegian system whaling technique". Traditional whaling was conducted mainly by nets in Japan until then. Technologies, including the equipment, ships, and skills of gunners, were transferred from Norway to Japan in the early twentieth century, significantly contributing to the development of the modern whaling industry in Japan. Working with Norwegian whalers would influence Japanese workers and local communities, but the cultural aspects of this international collaboration are still understudied. Long-term voyages of pelagic whaling provided whalers extra time to create crafts from whale materials. Norwegian and Japanese whalers painted baleens as decorative objects, and there seem to be similarities in painting styles and motifs.
The presentation will introduce one remarkable baleen painting dedicated as ema, or votive painting, to a local Shinto shrine of Hagi, Yamaguchi, Japan.

New Digital Exhibitions at the National Diet Library (2023)

Ogawa, Naru

The NDL Image Bank is a digital exhibition of beautiful and enjoyable images from the National Diet Library's collection. In this system we can add selected images from the digitized collection of over 3 million items by specific themes. After launching the service in March 2022 with approximately 1,500 images, as of April 2023, over 7,000 images have been introduced in over 120 themes and over 40 columns.

Re-envisioning Constitutional Revision in Japan (2023)

Matsuura, Katherine

The Japan Digital Research Center of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies was established in 2017 for the purpose of developing new modes of support and collaboration amongst librarians, faculty, and students working in an increasingly digitized and networked environment. Despite its recent beginnings, the JDRC serves as home to a resource representing both the oldest and newest Japan digital project at Harvard: Constitutional Revision in Japan. It was originally launched in 2005 following the LDP’s publication of a new constitution draft and announcement that they would vigorously pursue revision. Much of the debate was taking place on the internet and there was an immediate perception of need to capture and preserve these materials for a future generation of scholars and students.

From Tokyo to Guam: the Evacuation of the Bishop of Guam (2023)

Nagase, Yumi

Through what we call "The Chronicle of Japan" written by the bishop himself during his forced stay in Japan from 1942 till 1943 under the care of the Jesuits in Tokyo on the one hand, and the Spanish diplomatic documentation (1942-1944) on the other, we trace the happenings around the evacuation of the Bishop of Guam, Miguel Angel Olano Urteaga, from his indigent state in Tokyo, caused by the unexpected deportation of him from Guam as, almost, a prisoner, to Japan. The mentioned “Chronicle” is stored in the Provincial Historical Archive of Capuchins of Pamplona (Navarra), in the Personal Funds Section, while the employed Spanish diplomatic documentation was kept, at the time of collecting, in the General Archive of the Spanish Ministry of the Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. A few articles of a Japanese newspaper also corroborate the footsteps of the bishop.

People in disaster (2023)

Noguchi, Setsuko

On September 1, 2023, an unprecedented earthquake of magnitude 7.9 known as Great Kanto Earthquake hit the Kanto region causing one of the largest damages in Japanese history. The number of killed people exceeded 105,000 including missing people. In addition, nearly 1.5 million people were left homeless. Six neighbouring prefectures were affected, and most of the Tokyo metropolitan area was destroyed by the earthquake and fire. In this presentation, I would like to introduce Princeton University’s collection of posters and notifications created immediately following the earthquake by the Japanese national and regional governments, as well as citizen groups, etc. Most of these ephemera items consist of text only in contrast to post cards and drawings that were created later. The contents are rather raw portraying the desperation and urgency of the situation.

Science of Japanese Historical Materials (2023)

Shibutani, Ayako ; Nakamura, Satoru ; Mizukami, Takane ; Hirasawa, Kanako

Since Katsumi Kuroita proposed palaeography as an adjunct to early modern Japanese history, palaeography has progressed in terms of sourcing various historical information, not limited to textual information, from historical materials. Among these developments, studies on papers used as historical materials have focused on documents from the ancient and medieval periods. Specifically, such research has identified and classified types of papers by investigating the materials and traces involved in the paper-making process and exploring the history of paper materials from manufacture to utilization. Observation methods for historical materials regarded as objects are of growing interest in the fields of natural science, paper-making science, and the restoration of cultural properties, in addition to history, and many surveys are being conducted using microscopes to observe and analyse the structure of papers used as historical materials.

Overall Trends of Digital Humanities and Digital Archives in Japan (2023)

Gotō, Makoto ; Hashimoto, Yuta ; Kawabe, Sakiko

Continuing from 2022, this report provides an update on the status of Digital Humanities (hereafter DH) and Digital Archives (hereafter DA) as of 2023. While there has been no significant shift from the major trend of transitioning from “only human readable data” to “machine-usable datasets”, and from images to text utilization, there have been some releases and modifications in digital resources. These changes will be elaborated, providing an overview of the current state of digitalization of Japanese resources in Japan