Council on East Asian Libraries. Committee on Japanese Materials.
Annual Meeting (2002 : Washington, D.C.). Notes

Thursday, 4 April 2002, 8:40 am-10:30 am, EST, Exhibit Hall B North #1,
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

 

0.                Introduction

 

      The 2002 annual meeting of the Council on East Asian Libraries' (CEAL) Committee on Japanese Materials (CJM) was called to order at 8:40 am at Exhibit Hall B North #1, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The participants were welcomed to the meeting; and the names of the current CJM members were reiterated.

 

1.                NDL Kansaikan and the New OPAC

 

      The first presentation was "NDL Kansaikan and the New OPAC" by Ms. Mika Shinohara of the Japan National Diet Library.  Hand-out "Services for general users of the National Diet Library in and after FY 2002" was distributed.

 

      In line with the primary missions of the Japan National Diet Library (NDL), the Kansaikan is intended to expand on the following activities:  document delivery services; library cooperation activities; development of digital library contents; Asian information services; and massive preservation.  Its history can be traced back to June 1982, when the Research Committee for the Kansai Project of NDL was set up.  It is scheduled to be open to the general public in October 2002.  Located in the Seika-Nishikizu District within the Keihanna Hills Area, it consists of a building with four stories above ground and the same under ground.  It has a capacity to hold six million volumes.

 

      The Kansaikan, together with the main library in Tokyo, forms the central library, with responsibilities for:  remote services; direct services; Asian information services; union catalogs; support of libraries for the disabled; library information science study and librarian training; and development of digital library contents.  A part of the current Tokyo Main Library holdings will be transferred to the Kansaikan.  Legally deposited publications and special materials will remain in the Tokyo Main Library.  The Kansaikan will carry reference books, bibliographies, catalogs, government publications, etc. to function as a research library.

 

      It will be open to those aged 18 years or older, Monday through Saturday, between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.   One hundred thousand volumes of reference books and 50,000 volumes of Asian materials will be on open-access shelves in the main reading room where 350 seats will be available.  Users will request retrieval of materials from the stacks with use of computer terminals.  Materials in the Tokyo Main Library will be delivered to the Kansaikan, upon request.  A user registration system and book reservation service are being introduced.

 

      Individual users at remote sites may request photoduplication service through either the Internet or regular mail.  Other libraries may take advantage of the interlibrary loan and photoduplication service through the Internet, post, facsimile, and the NDL-ILL system.

 

      Reference queries in writing will be received by the reference section in Tokyo, while those over the phone will be handled at both facilities.  For reference assistance, NDL encourages individual users to go to a nearby library first and, if necessary, send enquiries to NDL through that nearby library.

 

      The major digital contents at the NDL web site include:  full-text minutes of the Diet since the May 1947 session; rare book image database; full-text of 30,000 volumes of books published during the Meiji period (to become available in October 2002); digital exhibition; Nippon in the world; picture book as stage; catalog of Japanese and foreign books; directory of Japanese scientific periodicals; national union catalog of braille and recorded books in Japan; and union catalog of juvenile books.

 

      NDL will reorganize its web site in October 2002 for access from outside the Library.  The following NDL holdings will be searchable through the Internet:  post-1868 Japanese books; post-1986 Western book; Japanese periodicals; western periodicals; post-1948 Zassaku entries; early Japanese books (4,000 items); conference proceedings in Western languages; standards; and domestic doctoral dissertations (190,000 items).  Bibliographic records for cartographic materials, music, and sound as well as video recordings, etc. will be made available no earlier than 2003.

 

      Some 5 million entries included in Zassaku published since 1948 will be made available through the Internet.  Search keys will include:  article title; author name; journal title; publisher; publication date; volume number; call number; ISBN/ISSN; and other.  Search results will be presented in two ways:  listing display (article title, featured title, author name, journal title, volume number, publication date); and detailed display (article title, featured title, author name, journal title, volume number, publication date, pagination range, call number, publisher, ISBN/ISSN, etc.).

 

2.          Development of a Computer Database System of Japanese Paintings

 

      The second presentation was "Development of a Computer Database System of Japanese Paintings" by Mr. Hitoshi Tsuji of Harvard University.

 

      The annual growth in the number of web pages in Japan is estimated at 17 million, in reference to data provided by Allied Brains.  Data available from Shuppan nenkan, with a rough estimation of each print publication containing 250 pages, indicate that 17.5 million pages of printed materials are published each year in Japan.  In other words, the number of published pages in print format in Japan equals to the number of web pages newly created in Japan.

 

      Mr. Tsuji, with various experience in electronic databases and print materials, is a visiting scholar at Harvard University helping librarians create database systems for circulation, collection development, and the Petzold Collection.

 

      In the 1980's, computers started to process Sino-Japanese characters; and PC-based relational database systems as well as optical discs were made available.  However, due to low processing capacity, it was not possible to create a full-scale image database of Japanese paintings.  By the early 1990's, the project had created many records and moved to the UNIX platform.  The system could process large data, but the processing speed was far from satisfactory.  By 1998, the project almost completed less-than-full-level record creation for the Japanese paintings image database, with a total of approximately 200,000 records.  At that time, Mr. Tsuji was using a laptop computer, Microsoft Access, and the jpeg format standard.

 

      While text contents created in the 1980's in the electronic format is still usable today, the image contents created then in the electronic format became outmoded by now.  However, it is also known that image files occupies a notable part of the web contents.

 

      The 16-color format was popular in the 1980's.  In the early 1990's, the 256-color gif format became prevalent.  The 16,770,000-color jpeg format is now available.  Also, in the development of Japanese paintings image database, it should not be forgotten that irrefutable differences exist between the additive color scheme for paintings on paper or silk and the reduced color scheme for CRTs.

 

      It should be noted that no perfect digital image archives is possible.  The fair use principle of materials should be borne in mind.  The changes in data storage media are well-known.  These concerns are compounded by proliferation of computers as well as peripherals and reduced costs of web publishing.  This all boils down to the objectives of each web publication.

 

      One should always remember that the contents determine the appropriate information technologies to be used for each project, and not the other way around.  While we should be keeping an eye on cutting edge information technology development, it is too risky to be among the first to adopt it.  It is advisable to be on the second wave to apply the new information technology.

 

3.          Petzold Collection Digitization Project

 

      The third presentation was "Petzold Collection Digitization Project" by Ms. Kuniko Yamada McVey of Harvard University.

 

      During the library renovation of summer 1999, Harvard Yenching Library (HYL) discovered over 300 scrolls, with red Petzold seal, stored away unprocessed, except for an acquisition stamp dated 1951.

 

      Some research revealed biography of Bruno Petzold and history of his personal research library of over 10,000 volumes.  The 416 scrolls are a part of 8,600 pieces that HYL acquired from his son Arnulf and encompass painting, drawing, calligraphy, rubbing, and printing dated between the 18th century and the Taisho period emanating primarily from Japan, with some from China, Korea, and Tibet.  Prof. Rosenfield further described the collection as containing "portraits of Tendai patriarchs, calligraphy by living prelates from Enryakuji and Kan'eiji, and illustrations of such theological doctrines as six stages of reincarnation."

 

      The objectives of the multi-phase Petzold scroll collection project are:  creation of a digital finding aid: and preservation of scrolls in secure and sound environment.  Ms. McVey has been coordinating work of various specialists, such as paper/art conservators, teaching faculty members in art history/religion, a professional digital photographer, and an image database specialist.

 

      Phase 1 started in December 1999 and lasted for over a year to undertake conservation treatment, with an art conservator and two other specialists.  Protective storage containers were constructed; and each scroll received archival tissue wrappers.

 

      Phase 2 was to conduct preliminary review of those scrolls.  Several viewing sessions were held to capture digital images and to fill out a survey form that Mr. Tsuji had designed based on Harvard's Visual Information Access specifications.

 

      Phase 3, now on-going, is for creation of the image database.  Mr. Tsuji designed the database and started to enter processed data in the system.

 

      The next step will be to conduct further survey of scrolls and to secure funding.  Then, cataloging of scrolls will be finalized; and professional digital images of scrolls will be taken for standard electronic delivery through Harvard's digital image storage system.  Actual scrolls will then be shipped to Harvard Depository.  It is planned that a Petzold scrolls exhibition under curatorial direction of Prof. Robenfield will be held in fall 2003 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Yenching.

 

4.          International Conference on the Enhancement of Information Availability for Scholarly Resources in Japanese Studies: Responding to the Maturation and Globalization of Japanese Studies (2001 : Tokyo, Japan, etc.)

 

      The fourth presentation was a report from International Conference on the Enhancement of Information Availability for Scholarly Resources in Japanese Studies: Responding to the Maturation and Globalization of Japanese Studies held in December 2001 in Japan.  The report was presented by Mr. Rob Britt of the University of Washington.  The outline of this report was made publicly accessible at URL:  http://staff.washington.edu/rrbritt/general/pdf/CEALCJMreport0402.pdf .

 

      Organized by the Japan Foundation and International House of Japan, the Conference was held in Tokyo and Kyoto between 18 and 21 December 2001.

 

      Session 1 consisted of six presentations under the theme "Primary Materials for Academic Research: As Seen by Japan Specialists."  It was followed by Session 2, during which six other presentations were made with a topic "From the Japan Studies Librarians Perspective."  Session 3 was for questions/answers and discussion on Sessions 1 and 2.  Session 4, with six presentations, carried a theme "Providing Resources for Academic Research in Japan: Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Their Networks," followed by Session 5 for questions/answers on Session 4 and overall discussion.  The session at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies encompassed four presentations.

 

      Some recommendations were made during the Conference, including:  consolidation of information resources on materials housed in libraries, archives, museums, etc.; selection of frameworks for organization/preservation/management of information resources; establishment of access service as well as navigation function for information resources and source materials in Japan; creation/maintenance of appropriate indexes/catalogs/links for optimal information search results; minimization of institutional and technical hindrances to access to digitized materials in Japan; education as well as continuous training of information specialists; creation of a "plural-union catalog"; establishment of a "digital village," where all documents and archival materials would be readily retrieval through the Internet; and compilation of a director of Japanese libraries in Europe.

 

      Mr. Britt, through arrangements made by the Japan Foundation, also had a chance to visit the Supreme Court Library to meet their librarians.

 

      A 30-minute English-language Channel J television program summarizing the Conference is available for loan.  Conference proceedings will shortly be published.

 

5.          Japanese Rare Book Cataloging Guidelines and Bibliographic Data Romanization

 

      The fifth presentation was a report of two of the CJM activities by Ms. Toshie Marra, a CJM member, of the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

      The Subcommittee on Japanese Rare Book Cataloging Guidelines within the Committee on Japanese Materials (CJM) completed its charge.  In August 2001, the Subcommittee finalized a document entitled "Questions and Comments Related to Japanese Rare Book Cataloging Guidelines" and submitted it to the Library of Congress (LC) for reference in the course of their compilation of formal guidelines.  LC has been making a steady progress in their endeavor and hopes to release their guidelines for free of charge.

 

      Along this line, LC offered, on 1 April 2002, a Japanese rare book cataloging session in conjunction with the East Asian Art Cataloging Workshop.  Questions submitted beforehand by CEAL members through Ms. Marra to LC were answered at the session.  CJM wishes to explore a possibility of placing the informative hand-out on the web, probably at the CJM web site.

 

      LC has completed cataloging of over 2,000 early Japanese books, out of a total of approximately 4,000.  These may be retrieved through corporate heading search for "Japanese Rare Book Collection (Library of Congress)."

 

      The Subcommittee also conducted last year a survey regarding access to Japanese rare materials held in academic libraries and museums in North America.  Among the 44 responding institutions, 32 collectively reported holding of 42,000 titles of early Japanese printed books/manuscripts and 17,000 early Japanese sheet items produced prior to the introduction of machine printing in the early Meiji period.  Of these, more than 36,000 items still awaited representation by online bibliographic records.  However, the following 5 institutions responded that they had started to digitize some of their rare holdings:  the University of British Columbia; Denver Art Museum; Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University; Harvard Yenching Library; Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina; and the National Library of Medicine.

 

      As to holdings in Europe of early Japanese materials, access was recently enhanced through loading of bibliographic records for approximately 40,000 titles from Dr. Kornicki's database at Cambridge University to the National Institute of Japanese Literature (NIJL) web site under database service "Ōshū Shozai Nihon Kotenseki Sōgō Mokuroku."

 

      In Japan, the National Institute of Informatics recently released draft guidelines for cataloging of Japanese and Chinese old materials for review.  The National Diet Library plans to make available to the general public in October 2002 online bibliographic records 4,500 Japanese rare materials held by the Library.  The records for the remaining 38,000 titles at the Library will gradually be loaded in coming years.  NIJL is planning to release by summer 2002 two-year trial database "Union Catalogue of Japanese Old Books," listing approximately 180,000 titles of re-modern Japanese works, with 76,000 linked uniform title authority records as well as 20,000 linked name authority records.  This database, however, does not include holdings information, except for those held by NIJL itself.  Also, its release will mostly likely be followed by suspension of "Kokusho Kihon Dētabēsu" service.

 

      Ms. Marra compiled list of questions, for submission to LC, regarding complicated romanization situations and inconsistent romanization treatments seen in international bibliographic utilities.  The questions encompassed three categories of cases:  (1) Japanese-language titles published outside Japan; (2) Chinese-language titles published in Japan; and (3) Chinese, Japanese, and Korean-language titles published by Japanese government affiliated organizations located in China, Taiwan, and Korea before 1945.  When answers to the questions are secured from LC, Ms. Marra will share them with CEAL members.

 

6.          General Report, etc.

 

      The sixth presentation was a general report, etc. by Hideyuki Morimoto, CJM Chair, of New York University.

 

      One of the speakers at the Committee on Japanese Materials (CJM) annual session held at San Diego in 2000, Mr. Noboru Takahashi, as a follow-up to his presentation, compiled with other librarians, Japanese university's international ILL policies directory, an electronic version of which is now placed at the CJM web site ( http://home.talkcity.com/NonProfitBlvd/hideyuki_morimoto/home.htm ).

 

      Other conferences of relevance held or to be held since the last CJM annual session are:  12th Annual Conference of the European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists in Bratislava; 13th Annual Conference of the European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists in Paris ( http://akira.arts.kuleuven.ac.be/EAJRS/ ); the 2nd International Convention of Asia Scholars in Berlin ( http://www.fu-berlin.de/icas2/ ); and 87th Zenkoku Toshokan Taikai in Gifu City ( http://www.smile.pref.gifu.jp/library/taikai.htm ).

 

      Then, three sets of actual reference queries received and a solution to each were shared with the session audience, as a part of CJM's on-going efforts in providing learning opportunities to junior Japanese studies librarians new to the profession.

 

      A question was received as to the number of trade/industry/business associations (jigyōsha dantai) in Japan.  Kōsei Torihiki Iiinkai nenji hōkoku (variant title: Dokusen kinshi hakusho; LCCN sn85-21977) provided annual statistics in the appendix.

 

      Information with regard to popularity in the 1950s of song "Fujiyama Mama" was sought.  Shōwa ryūkōka sōran. Sengo hen (ISBN 4806804630; OCLC #48945973) provided lists of Japanese popular songs; however, it was arranged in chronological order, without index.  As a preparation for consulting it, search of relevant resources on the web was conducted to find Shōwa 33 [1958] associated with the song.  Entries under 1958 in the reference source were then scanned to ascertain the song listed--a clue to its popularity in the 1950s.

 

      Temporal data as to the first appearance of the heading for the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima in the Library of Congress subject headings were sought by a patron.  The subject authority record for "Hiroshima-shi (Japan) x History y Bombardment, 1945" (LCCN sh95-3738), without any d entry under field 040, carried the field 005 indication of "19950623111942.2" to signify 23 June 1995, 11:19:42.2 am.  A follow-up query was received from the same patron as to the reason for which the heading did not enter the Library of Congress subject headings until 50 years after the bombardment.  As a preamble, although irrelevant in this specific case, one of the principles of subject cataloging, "literary warrant," was explained to the library user (Lois Mai Chan, Library of Congress subject headings : principles and policies for application (Washington, D.C.:  CDS, 1990), 3.2).  Then, an instruction issued by the Library of Congress was presented to as an actual response to the follow-up question.

 

... subdivisions --History--Bombardment, [date] and --History--Siege, [date], which were free-floating under names of places, are no longer free-floating.  Headings for specific bombardments, captures, and sieges will be established as needed.

     (Cataloging service bulletin, no. 69 (summer 1995))

 

In addition, a supplementary explanation as to what "free-floating" meant was provided to the patron (SCM:SH, H 1095).

 

7.          Questions/Answers and Discussion

 

      The CJM annual session concluded with some questions and answers related to presentations at 10:25 am, EST.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Hideyuki Morimoto

28 May 2002