井の中の蛙

1/10/2006

On-line Japanese history resources

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:02 am

While looking for a supplement to the anemic textbook offerings on Tokugawa Japan (none of the stuff is out of copyright, probably, which is why it’s not in the document set), I came across this great collection of links to history resources. (via Early Modern Resources) I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (quick document readings for world history students) but it’s a likely source for something especially visual materials.

Update (1/23/06): I didn’t think I’d find much in the David Rumsey Map collection, because it seemed to be heavily European maps, and I was right: a few interesting maps of Japan produced by Europeans, but not much compared to the wealth of material for Western historians. Then, as I was about to give up, I noticed the link to the Japan collection Yes, the UC Berkeley East Asian Library collection of historical Japanese maps (and a few other images) has been digitized and is available under Creative Commons license. There’s a lot of mid-to-late Tokugawa and Meiji era stuff, in particular: right up my alley.

Here’s a good illustration of the image quality and flexibility of the service: the very center of a 1710 map of the world:

1/7/2006

1946 Survey Question about the Character of the Japanese People

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 10:20 am

While looking for some old Gallup polls in Lexis-Nexis, I came across the following poll question from May of 1946. Some readers may find either the results or the answer options interesting:

Which of the following statements comes closest to describing how you feel, on the whole, about the people who live in Japan?

The Japanese people will always want to go to war to make themselves as powerful as possible – 35%

The Japanese people may not like war, but they have shown that they are too easily led into war by powerful leaders – 39

The Japanese people do not like war. If they could have the same chance as people in other countries, they would become good citizens of the world – 19

Don’t know – 7

ORGANIZATION CONDUCTING SURVEY: NATIONAL OPINION RESEARCH CENTER
POPULATION: National adult
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 2,589
INTERVIEW METHOD: Personal
BEGINNING DATE: May 1946
ENDING DATE: May 1946
SOURCE DOCUMENT: MINORITIES, UNITED NATIONS
DATE OF RELEASE OF SOURCE DOCUMENT: May 1946
QUESTION ID: USNORC.460241, R11B

7/16/2005

The Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace

Filed under: — tak @ 3:06 pm

Following KML’s post about the new museum on sexual slavery that is reported to open on August 1, found some links that I thought might deserve a separate post.

“The Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace,” as it was reported by Japan Times, is the translation of アクティブ・ミュージアム「女たちの戦争と平和資料館」. The site, which is only in Japanese, can be found here.

For those who are in Tokyo, a museum opening event will be held on July 31.

There is some information in English about this museum, by way of a notice on the passing of Yayori Matsui, a journalist, activist, and a key person behind the museum.

The museum site is part of Violence against Women in War – Network Japan (The Japanese page is here.)

VAWW-NET Japan is an organization dedicated to ending violence against women during war and is currently positioning the museum as a node to connect to other such centers of information and activism in other Asian countries.

Here’s another piece of news that I’m sure some readers here will already know about. In 2000 they organized the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal, known as Women’s Tribunal 2000 (in English, Japanese). But earlier this year Asahi Shinbun reported that some government officials clandestinely interfered with the tribunal and attempted to discredit VAWW-NET Japan. This report was based on a disclosure from a producer at NHK.

For more on this, see VAWW-NET Japan’s blog. This post in English (here) has a good summary of the history of this scandal.

10/17/2004

Online Glossary of Japanese Historical Terms

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 1:45 am

The presentation I attended on the Japan Memory Project which I covered in my last posting also discussed another part of their institute’s online efforts. Wakabayashi Haruko introduced us to their Online Glossary of Japanese Historical Terms which allows researches to search a database of (currently) about 21,000 pre-modern historical terms. The contents of the database itself is made up the glossary entries found in many English language (and later apparently other languages will be included) works on pre-modern Japanese history. For example, if you search for the term 天皇 the glossary will show you how seven different works, including the Cambridge History, have translated and romanized the word.

You can also enter whole passages, perhaps copied and pasted into their search box. However, their search algorithm does a poor job of separating the words as the algorithm is based on modern Japanese rather than classical. Although an audience member was hard on them for this, the truth is that such algorithms for even modern Japanese and Chinese are still full of errors. According to one Chinese language professor I heard present at a recent conference in New York, the careers of many bright programmers are dedicated to solving the difficult question of how to accurately divide words in texts without spacing.

UPDATE: The glossary seems to have moved links. The new home can be accessed via here: Access to the Japanese Historical Terms Glossary and other databases

The Japan Memory Project

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 1:30 am

Three visiting scholars (Sakakibara Sayoko, Roy Ron, and Wakabayashi Haruko) from the University of Tokyo’s Historiographical Institute gave a talk this week at Harvard about their massive Japan Memory Project. The project consists of a collection of online databases of mostly pre-modern primary sources, including the 『大日本資料』 and 『大日本故文書』as well as many other important collections of historical documents.

Many of these sources have been digitized through the project and their indexes can be searched online. Also, many of the documents, maps and other visual sources can be viewed and downloaded directly from their site, but depending on the database, may only be available to scholars visiting the institute.
(more…)

« Previous Page

Powered by WordPress