The Library has just purchased a beautiful reproduction of a late 12th-century Japanese emakimono (絵巻) – a set of 3 illustrated narrative picture scrolls called Ban Dainagon Ekotob (伴大納言絵詞 The Tale of Great Minister Ban). The full-colour painting depicts the events of the Ōtemmon Conspiracy, an event of Japan’s early Heian period. The painting, attributed to Tokiwa Mitsunaga, is over 20 m (66 ft) long and about 31.5 cm (12.4 in) tall. The original art work is considered to be Kokuhō (國寶, or a Japanese national treasure) among six such rare and invaluable picture scrolls. Information about their replica can be found here.
The reproduction was published by Chikuma shobo (筑摩書房) in 1971-1974 in a limited edition of 1000 copies. Our Library copy has the set number ’84’. The 3 hand-scrolls are placed individually in 3 wooden cases, each accompanied with a booklet. The set has been catalogued for the Centre for Research Collections. See the bibliographic record in DiscoverEd here.
The material has been purchased in response to needs for a Japanese Studies course called “Supernatural Japan: doing Japanology through Yokai”. As the course takes a ‘learning by doing’ approach, allowing students to experience Yokai in art, literature to discover the historical and cultural value of Yokai in Japanese society, this set of 3 hand-scrolls will give a rare opportunity of authentic reading experience for students of Japanese Studies or anyone interested in Japanese art, history and culture.
The National Diet Library, Japan, launched an English-language newsfeed on Twitter with the account name NDLJP_en. Watch the newsfeed for the latest information in English on collections and events at the NDL on https://twitter.com/NDLJP_en.
NIAS Press (NIAS = Nordic Institute of Asian Studies) has set up a very interesting web site, as an experiment with new publishing ideas, which my library colleague at NIAS Ms Inga-Lill Blomkvisk has shared with us. The website is called End of Empire and is designed as a newspaper and contains news from Asia from the 100 days following Hiroshima 70 years ago, updated daily with that day’s news. NIAS Press is collaborating with nearly a hundred international scholars to produce the website which will eventually result in a printed book. The website is freely available and contains interesting documents, analyses and photos.
Visit www.endofempire.asia and read more.
Following a trial of Japan Times Archives 1897-2013 last May, we have now subsbscribed to this resource, together with full access to the current issues of Japan Times Online.
Japan Times Archives 1897-2013
Founded in 1897, The Japan Times is the oldest English-language newspaper in Japan. It has been published to promote mutual understandings between Japan and other countries. This newspaper Includes unique articles which cannot be read in Japanese-language newspapers. The Japan Times Archives provides full-text access to issues from March 1897 to December 2013, and the Japan times Online includes articles from 1999 to present. Both resources are full text searchable.