The latest trends and future prospects of NII.
The Shibusawa Eiichi denki shiryo (Shibusawa Eiichi Biographical Materials) is a 68-volume (published 1955-1971) collection of materials from the life of Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931). Eiichi was a businessman and philanthropist, said to be the “father of the modern Japanese economy.” He was involved in roughly 500 enterprises and economic organizations as well as approximately 600 organizations for social welfare. Since its compilation, the Denki shiryo has acted as a dictionary of historical materials as well as a replacement for the primary materials that it contains.
Dr. L. Ovchinnikova has been conducting research of Japanese and Korean colonial history, particularly Japanese governance and situation in Korea. Her presentation is devoted to documents of Japanese colonial administration in Korea. Being editions for official use, these books were published in Japanese (Bungo) in Seoul by the Japanese Governor-general’s Office in the 20-s, 30-s and early 40-s. Compiled for practical purposes, these documents were used by senior Japanese colonial officials. Dr. Ovchinnikova was lucky enough to have a chance to work with these documents in a private library of a family of former Russian diplomats working at the Russian Consulate in Seoul in the late 30-s and the 40-s. Conducting research, she has analyzed important data found in these Japanese books and proved the necessity of using them as a source of scientific research of Japanese governance in Korea.
The presentation will discuss "Zoku Honchō ōjōden" ("Continuation of the biographies of Japanese reborn into the Pure Land“), composed in 1101-1111 by Ōe-no Masafusa as a sequel to “Nihon ōjō gokurakki” (“Japanese Accounts of Rebirth into the Pure Land”) by Yoshishige-no Yasutane. This text contains 42 biographies of people who were believed to attain rebirth in the Pure Land. Problems to be analysed include a view of the Pure Land practices presented in this texts; similarities and differences between "Zoku Honchō ōjōden" and "Nihon ōjō gokurakki"
The presentation introduces the history of the formation of the Japanese collection in the Russian National Library. It is represented in various departments: there are Japanese materials in Print Department, Manuscripts Department, Rare Books Department, Maps Department and even in the main book collection in Russian language. However, the most of Japanese literature hold in Japanese fund of Department of Asian and African Countries Literature and we focused on it. Briefly presenting the history of the collection and the department, research the history of the acquisition and formation of the Japanese fund.
In this study, we do a qualitative analysis of the diplomatic aspect of the missionary and pastoral activities which the Bishop of Guam, Miguel Angel Olano y Urteaga, Basque Capuchin from Navarra, Spain, developed from 1942 to 1943 in Japan. Olano was brought from Guam, his vicariate, practically as a prisoner, to Japan. At that time, period of the Second World War, Guam was an American military base taken by the Japanese troops. The source that we analyze is a Chronicle written by this Bishop Olano during his exile in Japan in the above-mentioned period.
Mizuno Tadakuni and the Letter of Willem II
The Historiographical Institute (HI) of the University of Tokyo has been collecting historical materials and creating a database of systematically organised material information and research results. It also aims to establish an infrastructure for data sharing on Japanese history to enhance the long-term preservation and utilisation of data archives. Currently, HI is also fostering information environments to promote the sharing and utilisation of humanities research data through the ‘Program for Constructing Data Infrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences’. In this study, we illustrate these approaches.
Place-names are necessary tools to specify a geographic position. As geographic information systems (GIS) have become popular in recent years, geocoding that links a place-name with its latitude and longitude is essential. In Japan, some research organizations and companies have provided geocoding services (e.g., Center for Spatial Information Science, The University of Tokyo). Overseas, GeoNames is a remarkable service that provides information about place-names around the world. However, these services provide only contemporary place-names and are not applicable to place-names in historical documents. To solve this issue, we have constructed a historical gazetteer data of Japan.
As of March 2021, 186,000 pre-modern Japanese texts, that is, 22 million images in total, have been digitized and made available online on the "Database of Pre-Modern Japanese Works" launched by the NIJL-NW project at the National Institute of Japanese Literature (NIJL). The massive release of images will likely revolutionize the way we study pre-modern Japanese texts. Will research using digital images replace research that is conducted by visiting libraries and accessing physical collections? In fact, while there is much that digital images enable us to do, there are also things that we can research only by browsing in the library.