Although diplomatic relations between Japan and Ukraine are not 30 years yet, the history of the Japanese literature translations into Ukrainian goes back more than a century. First Ukrainian translations of Japanese poetry and fairy-tales, published in literary or artistic journals, were done from intermediary languages, primary English, German and French. Direct translations from Japanese and Esperanto appeared in the Soviet Union period, and this circumstance greatly influenced the subject matter of the translated texts: it was exceptionally Japanese proletarian writers’ novels and short stories. In the early 1930s, almost all orientalists, including few specialists on Japan, were repressed and perished in camps. Until the 1960s, there were no Japanese studies in the Soviet Ukrainian Republic. The ideological situation has improved in the 1970s, and translations have changed significantly in its quantity and quality. The latter resulted as well in a shift from proletarian writers to the pre-modern and modern classical authors. The new epoch of literary translations has started at the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century when Japanese studies’ departments were founded in the majority of big universities and research institutes of the country.
The National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics is developing and publishing the "Corpus of Historical Japanese" as basic data for the study of Japanese language history in the digital age. The corpus is updated two times a year, and the latest edition published in March 2019 newly released the corpus of Hachidaishu (eight imperially commissioned anthologies of waka poetry). In this corpus, there are links to the images of the "Shōho hanpon nijuichidaishu" by the National Institute of Japanese Literature and the text of the 'Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei', and users can refer to the original images and annotations.
In the humanities, the tendency for research resources to be digitized and to be easily shared across borders has become increasingly strong, and while slowing, it’s same in Japanese studies. While research resources in paper have been stored on the bookshelf and shared with its loan system, digital research resources have been leveraged wider through more efficient systems in various layers. For example, as IIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) has already adopted not only by the National Diet Library, the National Institute for Japanese Literature, and so on but also by various world cultural institutions like Gallica, we can utilize digitized Japanese resources preserved in the world via the integrated method. As for the text data, TEI (Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines), which has been incubated in the Western humanities, can be adopted for Japanese texts recently by the growing Japanese environment for the TEI.
The NIJL-NW Project at the National Institute of Japanese Literature (NIJL) launched the "Database of Pre-modern Japanese Works" in 2017. In cooperation with various domestic and overseas universities and specialized institutions, this database publishes images of pre-modern Japanese works widely.
In this presentation, we will introduce the latest progress in the database, with special attention to our recent collaboration with other institutions and newly-joined collections to our database.
In addition, we will introduce some two from our databases, "Inventory of Early Japanese Books" and "Bibliographic and Image Database of Japanese Modern Times": Both are from the results of the investigating and bibliographic collecting mission called “Research and Collection” that we have been working on since our establishment.
Since 1992, the Multi-Volume Sets Project (MVSP) managed by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) has awarded more than 300 grants that funded the acquisition of over 47,000 items. With the funding from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission discontinued in 2018, MVSP has been finally terminated. In March 2019 NCC has introduced an overview of a new grant program under development entitled "Comprehensive Digitization and Discoverability Grants Program" to replace MVSP, and, prior to that, funded four projects involving digitization as pilot cases. As one of these pilots, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library has digitized its holding of Kadenshū consisting of 146 volumes of manuscript originally from the Mitsui Collection, produced in the 19th century. The material contains genealogies and biographical information for 3,160 individuals from some 140 aristocratic families up to the 19th century. In this paper, I will discuss several problems I encountered in the process of digitization and making this resource available to the world, the strategies I took to make this resource more usable, and possibility of further future development.
This presentation integrates reflections on a workshop held at Heidelberg University in June 2019 which the author co-organized. The workshop assessed recent directions in the study of the visual production of urban centres in early modern Japan. More specifically, there is an increased awareness and investigation of artistic production across a broad spectrum of materialities, genres, and social networks. This renders possible reconsiderations of the meanings of the very categories of manuscript and print that have defined discussion on this topic.
In December 2018 Leiden University was able to acquire a small wooden box of archival material found in a storage house in Saga, formerly belonging to the Hideshima, a family of translators to the Dutch serving under the daimyō of Nabeshima. Drawn and written in a time where Nabeshima Naomasa executed his vision for a strong coastal defense of Nagasaki amidst escalating international tensions and unequal treaties, these materials offer a glimpse onto the drawing board of the artisans, gunners and translators charged with carrying out the monumental task of building a dyke and installing cannons on several islands in front of the coast of Nagasaki.
Saito Gesshin’s manuscript of the Zoho ukiyoe ruiko is very important for studies of ukiyoe artists, particularly those of the mysterious Sharaku. Ukiyoe ruiko itself was a complicated manuscript (or rather, a group of manuscripts). There are several versions of Ukiyoe ruiko and they had been used in manuscript form until 1889, when the first modern typed version was published. Of the manuscript forms, Saito Gesshin’s Zoho ukiyoe ruiko was the most comprehensive.
Zoho ukiyoe ruiko had been kept as a personal copy at his home, when Saito Gesshin (1804-1878, a prominent compiler and scholar) died in 1878. In Japan, Ernest Satow (1943-1929) acquired it shortly after Gesshin’s death. Satow was then earnestly collecting a lot of Japanese books, including art materials from the late 1870s to the middle of 1880s, and was particularly active in these efforts in the early 1880s. Satow had a plan to publish a book of Japanese art with William Anderson (1842-1900, a collector and scholar of Japanese art) and he was helping Anderson to collect art works and books at this time.
Yale University Library acquired two Japanese books in 1868 and hitherto these have been regarded as the first Japanese books to reach the United States. In fact, however, the famous Perry Expedition was also a shopping trip and the participants brought back a considerable quantity of porcelain, lacquerware and books. It is now possible to identify some of these books, which were mostly bought in Shimoda or Hakodate in 1853 and 1854. One of the books brought back, Ehon ōshukubai, was reprinted in Philadelphia in 1855 using a new technology, and this was equipped with notes and an explanation of Japanese writing. This was the first Japanese book printed outside Japan, apart from Japanese kanbun writings printed in China or Korea. Why was it printed, given that there was at the time nobody in America who could read it? Who was responsible for the notes and explanations? What impact did it have? In this paper I shall provide the answers to these questions and reveal the forgotten wellsprings of American academic interest in Japan.
An encyclopedia for urban dwellers "Tokai setsuyo hyakkatsu" created by neoconfucian scholars Matsuni Dojin (1753-1822), Takayasu Rooku (1772-1801) and illustrated by Niwa Tokei (1760-1822) was published in Osaka in 1801. "Tokai setsuyo hyakkatsu" is an example of popular encyclopedias of the time of setsuyoshu genre. This kind of encyclopedias usually contents various information on geographical topics as texts, images or maps. In "Tokai setsuyo hyakkatsu" there are maps of Japan, world, Fuji, three great towns (Osaka, Edo, Kyoto), images of Chinese and Japanese famous sceneries, some notes for piligrims, historical notes on Japanese shrines and temples. The clue goal of the genre was to support and reinforce the stability of the existing social order based of neoconfucian world view.