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Blog Posts by Subject: Asian Literature

Researching Japanese Culture and History

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a series of research workshops organized by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) held at Harvard. It was a great experience to learn about the latest digital tools, services and resources available for Japanese studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Throughout the conference, I met many East Asian Studies librarians, specialists and teaching faculty from

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Think Japan is all Manga, Sushi, and Pocky Sticks?

Harajuku? Geisha? Robots? Awesome! Japanese culture has been an obsession of mine for a while now, as well as for the teenagers at my branch, so when we recently had the opportunity to invite Lucia Brea, Fukui Friendship Ambassador, to stop by and talk to the Kingsbridge Library's Teen Advisory Group, I jumped at the opportunity. Lucia spent four years in Japan through the JET Program teaching English to students of all ages in the Fukui Prefecture, and I was able to sit down with her after her visit to ask her a few questions 

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2013: The Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, the snake is equivalent to the Taurus in Western tradition. February 10th, 2013 to January 30th, 2014 will mark the Year of the Snake.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the snake is the sixth animal and symbolizes grace and calmness — it is introspective, cunning, and modest, but also mysterious, deceptive, and possessive. Those born in 2013, 2001, 1989 

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2012: The Year of the Dragon

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. In the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is equivalent to the Aries in Western tradition.

January 23, 2012 to February 9, 2013 will mark the Year of the Dragon. According to tradition, the dragon is the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac and symbolizes loyalty — it is noble, gentle, and intelligent, but also tactless, stubborn, and dogmatic. Those born on 2012, 2000, 1988 or any 

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"Say What?" Look at What the Library Has in Your Language

In the "melting pot" of New York City, people from all over the world come to visit The New York Public Library. Luckily, New Yorkers can get information in languages from all around the world. Check out these databases, available from home.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases: 1. Go to www.nypl.org 2. Click on ‘Find Books, DVDs, & More’ 3. Click on ‘Articles and Databases’ 4. Databases are listed in alphabetical order. If you are not accessing the 

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April in the Reader's Den: The Haiku of Matsuo Bashō

The Edo period of Japan (1603 - 1868) was considered one of the most stable and peaceful eras in Japanese history. At this time Japan was a fuedalist state ruled by shoguns of the Tokugawa family, but there was simultaneously a significant flourishing of arts and culture. A revival of the principles of

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Sita Sings the Blues: A Groundbreaking Film For Teens, Adults, and Just About Everyone

I first learned about the animated film Sita Sings the Blues when it was featured in the New York International Children's Film Festival (Since I know you're wondering, I'll tell you that I got on their mailing list originally because of my deep and abiding love for the short films of Wallace and Gromit).  Anyway, since I'm a fan of animated films, especially films that I can enjoy and also recommend to my teen patrons, I 

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The Year of the Rabbit

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2011 is the year of the rabbit, a zodiac symbol that is equivalent to Pisces in the Western tradition. This year the festival begins on February 3rd and ends sometime on the 17th but the celebrations may continue beyond that date in some households.  Some people may host special dinners on the eve of February 2nd to mark a new year of happiness 

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The Eighteenth-Century Oriental Tale and Candide

Habit of a Turkish standardbearer, in 1749 (NYPL Digital Gallery)In sending Candide off to Constantinople to reunite with Cunégonde, Voltaire invokes the contemporary vogue for oriental tales, stories set in the near and far Easts as well as North Africa that first achieved popularity at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

In 1701, the French Orientalist Antoine Galland published his translation of Sinbad the Sailor, a text he had encountered during his travels in Syria. Sinbad’s favorable reception then led to the publication of a group of texts 

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