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A collection of diaries, journals and letters of Western visitors and residents in Japan. The collection includes accounts of daily life in Japan, material about missionary activities, and the writings of diplomats and long-term residents of Japan discussing the impact of Westerners on Japanese society, as well as the history of the foreign communities in Japan.
Online guide available through http://www.ampltd.co.uk/digital_guides/japan_through_western_eyes_part_1/Contents.aspx
David Peck Todd, astronomer and college professor, travelled to Japan in 1887 and 1896 to photograph solar eclipses. Papers of his wife, Mabel Loomis Todd, who lectured and wrote popular articles on Japan, are also included.
Beinecke Rare books and Archive Library Chirimen-bon is a book made of chirimen paper (crepe paper), usually illustrated by colored woodblock prints. Produced from the Meiji to early Showa periods as souvenirs for foreigners visiting Japan, chirimen books were usually picture books of Japanese folk stories like “Momotaro”, “Hanasaka jiji” and “Kachi-kachi yama” translated into Western languages such as English, German and French. Keyword search "crepe paper" and "hasegawa".
Manuscripts and Archives Collection (MS 496E) “Travels to Japan on expeditions (1887, 1896) are recorded in several folders of photographs. The people of the Ainu region of Japan are portrayed in their native costumes. The Todds were apparently the first outsiders to explore this area in 1896. Mounted photographs of the Mount Fuji terrain, the area David Peck Todd and his expedition surveyed in 1887, are also arranged here.” - From the finding aids, Manuscripts & Archive Collection.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan embarked on a course of modernization and Westernization, sending expeditions overseas and implementing thorough political, economic and social reforms at home. Large numbers of foreigners began to settle in Japan. The openness to the West and foreign travel to Japan produced a large body of western-language material, ranging from travel accounts to newspapers to diplomatic records.
To search for materials in Orbis, try a subject search using 'Japan history Meiji period.' See Reiko Yoshimura's website for more specific examples.
Many of the materials in Manuscripts and Archives and the Microform collections are catalogued on the finding aid section of those departments' websites.
This two-volume work includes translations of a variety of Japanese texts from the earliest Chinese records of Japan until the present. The two volumes are separated by the year 1600. The work is structured thematically, presenting translated excerpts of various texts with brief commentary and contextual information. Consequently this volume is useful both for primary source material, and also as a bibliographic aid to locate fuller versions of many of the works excerpted
Monumenta Nipponica, one of the oldest English-language journals of Japan studies, publishes numerous translations of a variety of historical, literary and other sources. This index lists them alphabetically by author. All issues of MN are accessible online, either through the MN website or on JStor. Hard copies are located in the SML Stacks with the most recent issues in the East Asia Library.
Created by Professors Daniel Botsman and Rustin Gates (Bradley University), this bibliography contains dozens of Western accounts of travel to Japan, beginning in the 16th century. The sources are grouped chronologically, and are linked to their respective Orbis records.
Mimicking the successful magazine "Puck" in the United States, "Tokyo Pakku" was published by Rakuten Kitazawa (1876-1955) as a magazine of cartoon caricatures for political satire and social criticism.
1870 - 1917
"A weekly review of Japanese commerce, politics, literature, and art. A fortnightly summary of intelligence from Japan, for transmission to Europe and the United States, via Suez and San Francisco." Now some of content is available through Hathi Trust Database (http://catalog.hathitrust.org/).
This collection contains dispatches, policy papers, correspondences, memoranda, and other communications between the British Foreign Office and diplomats stationed in East Asia. The database is searchable, and contains both typed and handwritten documents.
This collection contains dispatches, policy papers, correspondences, memoranda, and other communications between the British Foreign Office and diplomats stationed in East Asia. The database is searchable, and contains both typed and handwritten documents. There is much reporting on the genro-a hugely influential group of elder Japanese statesmen.
Databases and Reference Works
The Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo offers a wealth of online resources: most of their databases are in Japanese, but the On-line Glossary of Japanese Historical Terms (located under 'Tools') allows you to search for terms in English, French, German and Japanese (romaji, hiragana, and/or kanji). The database returns works (in all these languages) that contain the relevant term, and also serves as a useful tool for translation. To search using a non-Japanese term, enter the term (or terms) and click the 全文検索 button; to search using a romanized term, click the 語彙検索 button.