The databases accumulated as results of joint research in the center will be disclosed from the Center’s website, as necessary.
The “Collection of Kamishibai to Enhance Fighting Spirit”
Kamishibai is considered to be the basis for traditional Japanese audio-visual culture in which the audience listens to a story while looking at something. Examples include picture scrolls, nozoki karakuri (shows using a device with a lens mounted on a stand or in a box to view enlarged pictures), projected pictures, and live narration of silent films. These traditions gradually disappeared from the streets with the spread of television in households from the mid-1950s onward, but during their peak in the years before and after the Second World War, the performances were said to attract a million viewers (children) per day in Tokyo alone. However, kamishibai, a mass medium that had a high cultural value on a level with that of newspapers, radio and films, without exception played a part in war propaganda under the regulation of free speech during the Imperial Rule Assistance era when Japan rushed into the Fifteen Year War. The series of picture-story shows produced during this time were called “kokusaku kamishibai” (national policy picture-story shows), but many were burned or scattered and lost in the period between the Japanese defeat and the occupation. The “Collection of Kamishibai to Enhance Fighting Spirit” assembled by the Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials comprises 241 pieces, mainly items published between 1938 and 1941 by Nippon Kyoiku Gageki (Japan Educational Theatre) (the kamishibai publishing body of the Nippon Kyoiku Kamishibai Kyokai (Japan Educational Kamishibai Association) formed in 1938). The former owner of the collection is Tomio Sakuramoto, author of Senso to Kamishibai (Kamishibai and the War) among other works, who has consistently uncovered materials related to trends among various media and groups during wartime and the responsibility of cultural figures for the war. We plan to make images available as soon as copyrights are obtained.
“Database of Japanese Shrines Built Abroad during the Japanese Imperial Period” Revised and Augmented Version
Many Japanese shrines were built in the Asia-Pacific region before the Pacific War began. These shrines naturally stopped functioning after Japan lost the war, and are now about to disappear into history, with no explanations on the roles they played in the 70 years since they were built. The “Database of Japanese Shrines Built Abroad during the Japanese Imperial Period”, which was initially compiled during the COE Program, focuses on these former shrines and includes materials showing their transformation since the war.
The aims of Online Eco museum of Tadamicho is to integrate and transmit information related to the lives of residents such as nature, environment, society, history, culture and folklore in one area of Tadamicho.
Modern IT technology, so called "which enables the integration of Museum and Library," has the potential to significantly change current situation that is sent the various information are recorded by a variety of forms depending on the character of the information, - for example, nature and environment are on photos, history and society are on letters or books, folk and archaeology are on Museum or Archive, folk entertainment are on photos or video. It also provides a way to combine well with the material and research.
People living in the region, rather than as a mosaic of events set as the target of research has been conducted as a whole and harmonious combination of these events. The aim of this eco-museum is synthesize and transmit information thorough disassemble, reconstruct such entire harmonious life of people. We aim to achieve through this work to deepen our understanding of the local people in the region, and hope that it would raise new problems for the researcher.
The database of bibliographic information on iconographic literature was created based on the Zuzobunken Shoshijoho Mokuroku (Catalogue of Bibliographic Information on Iconographic Literature) published in March 2005. The following is an excerpt from the forward to the catalogue.
The Catalogue of Bibliographic Information on Iconographic Literature that we are publishing is not simply a catalogue of iconographic material. Much iconographic material, fine artworks in particular, is privately owned or held by art galleries or museums. In general, these works cannot be seen firsthand, let alone photographed. In most cases, we get to learn of the existence of icons and what they portray not from seeing the original picture in person but from looking at illustrations in collected works or illustrated catalogues. There is an extraordinary amount of literature in which icons created before the Second World War are reproduced or reprinted, or rerecorded and issued as modern era publications. Our knowledge of the existence, details and value of icons comes from these. However, we have no way of knowing which icons are contained in which books.
This catalogue consists of bibliographical information on iconographic materials that have been reproduced, reprinted, or rerecorded in publications mass printed in the modern era. It provides information on where iconographic materials from various Japanese eras and regions can be found in the literature and how these materials came to be rerecorded. The catalogue is believed to be the first of its kind. We began this research due to the need for basic data to compile a searchable index of pictures of daily life, and decided to publish the information gathered as a result of our work during the current and previous academic year. Of course, this work is not complete. It is not possible for a small number of people to identify in the space of one or two years all the Japanese iconographic materials that have been rerecorded, reproduced and can be seen in modern publications. This merely a small portion of the information. We plan to continue this work in parallel with compilation of the picture index and publish a second volume. We also plan to release this information as a database on the program’s website to that it can be used widely.
We hope that this catalogue will be put to use as research data in various fields. Of course, we understand that there may be various problems with the data recordings, and we welcome frank criticism. We would also be delighted to receive any additional information. We will continue to revise the data and make the catalogue more accurate.