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 Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Furman University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Iowa, City University of New York: Baruch, and Emmanuel College, just to name a few.
In these seminars, we talked about various resources that can enhance research and teaching pedgogy in the field. I'll share a few here and for those interested in NYPL's Japanese resources, see the list below:
- North American Coordinating Council of Japanese Resources: Supported by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, Japan-United States Friendship Committee, and Toshiba International Foundation, the site contains online resources, tips and other important information on Japanese studies.
- Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters: "The Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters project is an initiative of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University in collaboration with several partners. We aim to collect, preserve, and make accessible as much of the digital record of the disasters as possible, to enable scholarly research and analysis of the events and their effect. You can find tweets, photos, maps and other digital records of the events of March 2011 and their aftermath."
- MIT Visualizing Cultures: Visualizing Cultures was launched at MIT in 2002 to explore the potential of the Web for developing innovative image-driven scholarship and learning. The VC mission is to use new technology and hitherto inaccessible visual materials to reconstruct the past as people of the time visualized the world (or imagined it to be). The site contains lesson plans, visual essays and other tools to enhance the study of Asian history.
- Mainichi Photo Bank: (In Japanese) Search for photos for teaching or research purposes. It is one of Japan's largest digital archive.
- Digital Archive of the Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy: (In Japanese) Learn more about the history of Japanese foreign policy through archives, documents and photos.
- The National Diet Library's Online Gallery: From the national library of Japan: "The NDL Gallery features digital exhibitions of the NDL's unique collections with easy-to-understand explanations."
- Lantern Slides of the Nippon RikkokaiL Japanese Immigrants to America - "The main images of the lantern slides at this site are lives of those immigrants to Americas, mainly to Brazil, in late 19th and early 20th century. The University of Hawaii at Manoa Library has been given permission to share the images through the Library's Image site."
- Check out NYPL's Digital Collections for images, maps, photographs and other visuals on Japanese culture and history.
- Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japan - an NYPL exhibition in 2006-2007, this page introduces this special collection of Japanese literary tradition dating from 8th century.
- Search NYPL's online academic journals and magazines from and about Japan.
- At NYPL, we have many special and general research collections on Japanese studies and history. Depending on your interest, please start your search in our catalog and make sure you switch the location to "Stephen A. Schwarzman Building," the main research library on 42nd street and 5th avenue. (You can also run searches in English, in Japanese or in Romaji—the romanization of Japanese.)
- Research in Japanese Sources: A Guide by Herschel Webb and Marleigh Ryan: Covers historical sources, linguistics, geography, place names and other general problems concerning written sources, this beginner's guide introduces readers to the subject of Japanese bibliography.
- Interested in learning about conducting fieldwork in Japan? Doing Fieldwork in Japan is a great start for anthropological research.
- Browse the catalog for additional Japanese bibliography and source materials.