Council on East Asian Libraries

Committee on Japanese Materials

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Columbus Hall KL, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

The 2005 annual session of the Council on East Asian Libraries/Committee on Japanese Materials (CJM) was held on Thursday, March 31, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., in the Columbus Hall KL at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

The session began with Ms. Kuniko Yamada McVey (Harvard University), chair of the Committee on Japanese Materials, introducing the committee members: Hitoshi Kamada (University of Arizona), Toshie Marra (University of California, Los Angeles), and Kenji Niki (University of Michigan). Keiko Higuchi (International House of Japan) was absent from this annual session. Alban M. Kojima (University of Pennsylvania) arrived late.

Ms. McVey then announced the names of Japanese librarians who were newly appointed this past year, and who left their previous positions in order to assume their new professional posts. The six new appointees are:

Mari Ito Japanese Language Materials Librarian, University of Michigan
Hikaru Nakano Assistant Japanese Cataloger, University of Pittsburgh
Fabiano Takashi Rocha Japanese Cataloger, University of Toronto
Chiaki Sakai Japanese Studies Librarian, University of Iowa
Asako Shiba Japanese Catalog Librarian/Subject Librarian, Washington University, St. Louis
Asako Yoshida Reference Librarian/Bibliographer, University of Manitoba

Departing from her previous position at Washington University, Ms. Haruko Nakamura assumed the position of Librarian for the Japanese Collection at Yale University. Dr. Sachie Noguchi, the former Japanese Studies Librarian at the University of Pittsburgh, accepted the position of Japanese Studies Librarian at Columbia University.

The session consisted of four presentations: (1) The Progress Report on the Creation of Online Index to the Prange Magazine Collection; (2) The Online Access to the Japanese Historical Map Collection; (3) The “GeNii, Kick Off!”; and (4) The Future or Memory: Japanese Librarianship in the 21st century.

Dr. Taketoshi Yamamoto (Professor, Waseda University, Tokyo ) and Dr. Reiko Tsuchiya (Professor, Osaka City University , Osaka ) were present at this year’s CEAL/CJM session representing The Institute of 20th Century Media—The Committee for the Preservation of Magazines Published during the Occupation. First Professor Yamamoto provided an overview of the Prange Collection and the current project, and then Professor Tsuchiya gave a progress report on the production of a digital index to the Prange Magazine Collection. The following summary combines both Professor Yamamoto’s and Professor Tsuchiya’s presentations.

Composed of a wide range of genres—newspapers, periodicals, books, pamphlets, photographs, posters, maps, and archival materials—the contents of The Prange Collection originally belonged to the Civil Censorship Detachment (a unit within the GHQ that operated from 1945 to 1949). The Civil Censorship Detachment functioned to control all Japanese publications by reviewing them, searching for violations of the Press Code set forth by the GHQ, and taking censorship action when deemed necessary. The core feature of this censorship action, when it happened, was to alter texts using four related strategies: by adding and/or deleting textual elements; by suppressing materials in question; by delaying publication of materials; or by disapproving of submitted materials. When the GHQ revoked this censorship and disestablished the Civil Censorship Detachment, Professor Prange, then the Director of Historical Staff for the GHQ, assembled these publications amassed by the Civil Censorship Detachment as he recognized their historical importance. Professor Prange transported these valuable documents to the University of Maryland (the University officially received these materials in 1950).

While the total number of titles held in the Prange Collection lists 113,576, the magazine collection comprises 13,800 titles—which constitutes approximately 12 percent of the entire collection. Since 2000, this magazine collection, as Professor Yamamoto stated, has been the primary focus of The Committee for the Preservation of the Prange Collection. In 2000, under the directorship of Professor Taketoshi Yamamoto, and based on the funding provided by The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Committee undertook a project to create a CD-ROM database in order to index the widest possible variety of informational attributes that The Prange Magazine Collection contained. Some of the indexical metadata deployed in this database include: magazine cover, indexical content, publisher, publication place and dates, author name, main title and subtitles of magazines, genre types, reference numbers, and censorship action data. By the end of Fiscal Year 2004, in this database, the Committee had compiled 10,846 magazine titles and 2,022,476 articles. This Magazine Collection covers a wide range of academic subjects: politics, economics, sociology, education, history, philosophy, religion, art, language, literature, and so forth. Additionally, this database offers a user-friendly keyword search method. It is interesting to note that this digitization project has uncovered new facts that are laiden with highly significant contributions to today’s Japanological research trajectories. For example, one fact makes clear that famous authors of the post-war Japan wrote for non-mainstream journals—Ibuse Masuji, Tsuboi Sakae, Hayashi Fumiko, Mushakoji Sameatsu, for example. Most of their contributions to non-mainstream journals are excluded from the officially “complete” collections. It is believed that this fact will most likely to lead today’s researchers of Japanese Literature to discovery of unique information about how writers of the Post-War Japan period perceived this particular historical period and how their perceptions affected their literary activities.

Professor Tsuchiya disclosed that the funding for this digitization project provided by The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science ended this year. Waseda University has consented to assume responsibility for the maintenance of this Senryoki Zasshi Mokuji database for Fiscal Year 2005. Furthermore, The Library of Waseda University has been considering acquiring the Fukushima Collection. The Fukushima Collection, as Professor Tsuchiya pointed out, ranks one of the highly valued collections of magazines published during the Post-War Occupation period in Japan. Importantly, The Committee plans to extract information from The Fukushima Collection and incorporate it into the Senryoki Zasshi Mokuji database. Finally, Professor Tsuchiya remarked that the Committee’s priority task now is to seek the most functional methodology to integrate the information from the Fukushima Collection into the Media Center for the study of the Occupation Period in Japan.

In 1949 The University of California at Berkeley purchased The Mitsui Library from the Mitsui family of Japan. With this purchase came nearly 2,298 maps. This Japanese Historical Map Collection is currently housed in the East Asian Library at UC Berkeley. The map collection features 697 woodblock-print maps produced during the Tokugawa Period (1600-1867), including: 252 cartographical representations of Edo, 79 of Kyoto, 40 of Osaka, and 30 of other cities, as well as Japan’s earliest world map. This collection also contains more than 750 woodblock-based cartographical representations of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and other cities produced during the pre-1890 Meiji Era. In the recent years, Mr. Hisayuki Ishimatsu selected nearly 1,000 maps from this collection and David Rumsey and The Department of Library Preservation at UC Berkeley digitized the selected maps under the directorship of Peter Zhou, with the funding and project management provided by The Cartography Associates and The East Asian Library at UC Berkeley.

Mr. Hisayuki Ishimatsu (Librarian, University of California, Berkeley), one of the key figures in the cartographical digitization project of The Japanese Historical Map Collection, introduced the digitized version of this map collection, placing particular emphases on how the digitized images can be accessed and utilized to users’ advantage. Mr. Ishimatsu began his presentation by describing the three ways to access and view the online map collection via Insight Browser, Insight Java Client, and GIS Browser. Because of its capability to deploy any type of web browsers with no need for plug-ins and downloads, the Insight Browser suits beginners quite well. The sophistication level of the Insight Java Client ranks higher than the Insight Browser in that the Insight Java Client requires downloading and offers a number of advanced functions, which makes this software suitable for researchers and specialized users. The most prominent feature that distinguishes the GIS Browser from the rest of the software programs lies in its capability to superimpose current geospatial data over historical maps. These cutting-edge software programs provide a high quality viewing technology that enables the retrieval of high resolution images.

Mr. Ishimatsu proceeded to highlight further the value of GIS Browser. In addition to the superimposition of current geospatial data over historical maps, the GIS functionality provides multiple viewing capabilities in which a number of maps can be distributed on the screen for comparative investigation. The rigorous comparison of geospatial data (such as provincial boundaries, roads and rivers, mountains and plains, and so on) contained in current maps versus historical maps often uncovers fascinating changes that have occurred over the years in the geographical areas in question. Through this enhanced functionality, researchers are able to interactively alter a number of maps simultaneously for geo-historical analyses. And the results of these investigations conducted through this online real-time visualization can be stored electronically for further use or for integrating into other types of GIS-based applications. Furthermore, the GIS functionality allows researchers to add their own notes to the map or to incorporate relevant documents other than maps into this digital visualization system. In order to illustrate this capability, Mr. Ishimatsu shared with the audience his own presentation material as an example.

The maps contained in this digitized Japanese Historical Map Collection primarily represent Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. These maps are essentially regional. And, as Mr. Ishimatsu pointed out, a majority of the maps offer a wide range of signs and illustrations (such as stations, inns, landmarks, and so on) signaling that these historical maps were widely used for travel, and that traveling was already a highly commercialized enterprise during the Edo and the Meiji Periods. Mr. Inshimatsu explained that each digitized cartographic image has its corresponding full-level bibliographic record, measurement and scaling, as well as enlargement/reduction capability. Following a brief demonstration of a tentatively constructed three-dimensional cartographic structure, Mr. Ishimatsu concluded his presentation by stating that one major aim of the future project is to transform every historical map contained in this collection by providing it a highly sophisticated geo-structural three-dimensionality.

Dr. Akira Miyazawa (Professor, National Institute of Informatics), Mr. Takashi Koga (Assistant Professor, National Institute of Informatics), Dr. Keita Tsuji (Assistant professor, National Institute of Informatics), and Mr. Hiroshi Ogiwara (Contents Division, National Institute of Informatics) were present at this year’s CEAL/CJM session representing the National Institute of Informatics (NII). Prof. Koga gave a presentation on the NII’s major project entitled “Global Environment for Networked Intellectual Information” (GeNii) which began in 2002. Prof. Koga’s presentation was a sequel to the presentation entitled “GeNii and New services of NII” given by Ms. Kojin of the National Institute of Informatics as part of the 2004 CEAL/CJM annual session. While Ms. Kojin had focused on Phase-1 of the GeNii project in which to develop a new service model that would integrate databases with various academic contents, Prof. Koga provided a follow-up report on how this GeNii project has progressed since 2004.

Prof. Koga began his presentation by stating the core aim of the GeNii project: to construct a one-portal database interface for a wide variety of academic informational contents. Prof. Koga then introduced a concise overview of the new service model evolved since last year. Replacing the old compartmentalized architecture with a new single-portal structure, this new service model combines databases such as Webcat (a bibliographic utility containing books and journal titles), NACSIS-IR (an information retrieval system for indexes and abstracts), and NACSIS-ELS (a bibliographic utility providing full-text academic journals published by Japanese academic societies) into one integrated retrieval system with the following four primary service modules: CiNii, Webcat Plus, KAKEN, and NII-DBR. Once the user enters a search term, this integrated system returns relevant recalls that are retrieved from each of the four service modules simultaneously; and the search results display sorted by the service module. And, from this modularized display of records, the user selects one record that is most relevant to his/her research idea.

The CiNii module integrates Japanese article databases that contain journal papers, university bulletin papers, and the Japanese Periodicals Index created by The National Diet Library of Japan. This module contains approximately 1,500 titles with 2-million articles in full text in the PDF format while providing citation links to approximately 1,200 titles with 800,000 articles. The CiNii module offers two levels of data retrieval: free search, and registered/paid search. While the free search offers open access contents (general retrieval and display of recalls), the registered/paid search provides abstracts and citation links to retrieved and displayed recalls. Additionally, academic and research institutions outside Japan may opt for site-licenses. The number of Japan-related scholars belonging to the institution constitutes the basis of the site-license charge: for example, if the number of Japan-related scholars is less than or equal to 100, then the institution pays the site-license fee 52,500-Yen. Individual users may choose to register and pay for the CiNii contents. While CiNii specializes in providing article information, the second service module, Webcat Plus, focuses on monograph and journal information. The Webcat Plus module consolidates various forms of bibliographic data, such as: bibliographic records with holdings and contents page data as well as abstracts, the union catalog of university libraries, the NDL’s JAPAN/MARC, and a wide variety of publishers’ bibliographic files. At present Webcat Plus contains 7.5-million book catalogs with 75-million holdings, 3.9-million TOC-based publishers book files, and 300,000 journal catalogs with four million holdings. Built upon the symbiosis of its keyword and associative searches, this database affords a highly dynamic search capability. The third service module, KAKEN, offers research achievements information. The KAKEN module collects a wide variety of data on research outlines and results that are conducted by subsidies of The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. Currently containing approximately 300,000 records accumulated since 1985, this database includes an array of abstracts associated with an extensive repertoire of research projects that are supported by The Grant-in-Aid Scientific Research Programs. Functioning as a large-scale academic research repository, the fourth service module, NII-DBR, offers special academic information by combining a number of databases created by Japanese academic societies and research groups. NII-DBR’s most exceptional functionality lies in that it amalgamates metadata collected from a wide variety of institutional repositories in order to utilize these metadata for interoperable purposes. In addition, this database includes relevant academic publications, technical reports, historical documents, and so on. Currently the NII-DBR service module contains approximately 1.2-million records—retrievable either collectively or individually.

Concerning the use of CiNii by academic institutions in North America, Prof. Koga made a special mention that a possible implementation of a consortial licensing framework was under consideration.

Ms. Kuniko Yamada McVey (Librarian for The Japanese Collection, Harvard Yenching Library and Chairperson of the CEAL/CJM) offered a reading of her position paper on Japanese Studies Librarianship in the 21st century. Ms. McVey structured her presentation in light of four factors critical to today’s academic informational arena: (1) scholarly communication, (2) library users, (3) library services, and (4) Japanese Studies resources.

Ms. McVey began her presentation by calling attention to today’s rapidly transforming scholarly communication in the Western World. In the academic publishing industry in the United States, a number of new communication types have already been standardized, expanding the range of academic resources enormously. These communication types include: print-on-demand, e-books, the concepts of Open Access and institutional repository, and a social publishing format that comprises Wikis, Wikipedia, and Blogs, among others. Observing today’s information flow as transcending the confines of time and space, Ms. McVey suggested the necessity for Japanese Studies librarians to embrace these rapid changes and, simultaneously, participate in the advancement of resource production and delivery which would contribute to the enhancement of academic research and learning. Ms. McVey identified a new generation represented by the phrase “NetGen” as the latest emerging library user population who would soon become a main focus of library services. These NetGen users find themselves effortlessly surfing through today’s virtual resource environment. While deeming the traditionally structured guidance rendered by librarians irrelevant, these self-sufficient users turn naturally to such resources as Google and Amazon’s Search-Inside-the-Book. The new phrase “format agnostic content customer” characterizes these NetGen users’ information-seeking behavior. Instead of grieving over libraries’ qualitative information left unutilized, Ms. McVey maintained that we would need to find ways to bridge the libraries’ qualitatively structured information with NetGens’ researching styles.

Ms. McVey then provided a brief comparison between the traditional library and cyberspace: (1) while the library seeks order, the World Wide Web maintains chaos; (2) while the library holds semantically dense data organized in a highly structured system in which librarians help guide users access needed information, the web environment distributes various forms of unstructured information as search engines travel through the cyberspace in order to retrieve any information that conforms to the given search term(s); and (3) while the librarian provides guided access to resource contents through its structured system, the end user performs self-sufficient and guideless searches as s/he navigates through cyberspace.

One significant characteristic in contemporary cyberspace may be noted: today’s highly sophisticated search engines allow searchers to get a wide range of serendipitous results. Ms. McVey asserted that this type of serendipity would constitute a great asset to users because the serendipitous search could lead the users to the discovery of unexpected resources with highly original informational attributes.

After defining and explaining various library management systems currently in use (such as the library portal, the institutional repository system, DSpace, Open access, and the course management system), Ms. McVey maintained that effective development and implementation of these sophisticated resource management systems would require librarians to: (1) work collaboratively with information technologists, archivists, faculty members, university administrators, and, in some cases, with local government officials as well as community members; (2) embrace the challenge of working with people with diverse cultural backgrounds; and (3) resolve some complex issues about the effectiveness of organizational resources and its maintenance strategies as well as the definitions of roles and responsibilities required of those involved in this collaborative process.

Ms. McVey sees The Digital Document Delivery system (DDD), implemented in user-initiated ILL, to be the foremost example of today’s library services in terms of information transmission. This system allows users to initiate their ILL requests online and receive their requested materials with no intermediary agent. Currently, The University of Tokyo Library has begun deploying this system and The British Library offers its two-hour delivery service for articles utilizing the DDD system.

Ms. McVey sees The Digital Document Delivery system (DDD), implemented in user-initiated ILL, to be the foremost example of today’s library services in terms of information transmission. This system allows users to initiate their ILL requests online and receive their requested materials with no intermediary agent. Currently, The University of Tokyo Library has begun deploying this system and The British Library offers its two-hour delivery service for articles utilizing the DDD system.

A number of institutions in Japan outside the academic publishing sector continue to produce highly qualitative digital resources. For example, The National Diet Library has been the largest producer of digital academic contents in Japan, offering approximately 55,000 volumes of digitized monographs originally published during The Meiji Period. The National Institute of Informatics in Japan, too, has contributed a great deal to the enhancement of digital contents through such databases as NACSIS-Cat and NACSIS-ELS, and GeNii while building a highly effective infrastructure for the transmission of informational contents. Today a number of Japan’s research institutions (such as The Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo, The Kyoto University Library, The National Institute of Japanese Literature, and The International Research Center for Japanese Studies) provide digitized resource contents essential to the advancement of Japanese Studies.

Ms. McVey stated that, while the development of structured academic contents are evolving rapidly, today’s greatest challenge lies in the discovery of a methodology—one which can contain an enormous amount of Web-based unstructured data, so that these unstructured data will become accessible to our users as fully vetted information resources. After emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts among librarians, technologists, and university administrators to bring about new approaches toward information resource management as well as user-centered library services in the 21st century, Ms. McVey concluded her presentation by quoting Peter Drucker: “Your business is finding, defining, and transmitting information that allows others to be effective.”

The 2005 CJM annual session concluded at 10:30a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Alban M. Kojima

May 9, 2005