New Collection of over 600 Picture Postcards of the Great Kantō Earthquake (1923)

Japanese Studies at OSUL has recently acquired a vast collection of postcards showing scenes from the Great Kantō Earthquake (関東大地震 Kantō daijishin). With over 600 in the set, the photographic images on the face of the cards provide an in-depth look at the progress and ensuing destruction, including the tragic deaths of an estimated 100,000 to 140,000 people, of this historic event. The postcards are in good condition and offer a valuable window on the many sites, from  Tokyo to Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba,and other prefectures on the Kantō Plain, affected by this disaster.

Sample Postcard Showing the Earthquake’s Destruction in Isezakichō, a district of Naka Ward in Yokohama

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Exploring Shashi (社史, Company Histories)

Nissin Food Product Shashi Outer Packaging

Shashi (社史, Company Histories) are the chronological accounts of a company or corporation, usually written in the form of a book. Their contents typically include information about a specific company’s  history, including its foundation, expansion, and changes of administration corresponding to historical shifts in politics and economics. They can also reflect many other aspects of a company’s history, such as the biographies of its administrative members, interviews with workers, exhibitions of historical documents, and special topics about technological improvements.

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Introducing the newly available Manchuria Daily News Online English Database


Japanese Studies at OSU Libraries is pleased to announce that the Manchuria Daily News Database is now available to the university community through the OSU library catalog.  The newly acquired database offers full access to the complete digital text of the Manchuria Daily News newspaper, published from 1908 to 1940.  The database thus offers an English-language archives of a rare newspaper that once provided the official Japanese interpretation of its presence in China in the early twentieth century. 


Image of the Database Home Page

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Introducing The Oriental Economist Archives and Database

The Oriental Economist Digital Archives is the 6th database offered through JK Books at OSU.


Japanese Studies at OSU Libraries (OSUL) is proud to announce that The Oriental Economist Digital Archives is now open for OSU users.  It is the 6th database offered through JK Books at OSU, along with five other searchable databases. The Oriental Economist (TOE) was published by the Toyo Keizai Inc. (Toyo Keizai Shimposha:  東洋経済新報社) from 1934 to 1985. TOE was exceptional in the sense that, despite being a domestic magazine in Japan, it was written in English and intended for overseas readership.

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Japanese Culture Event at Marysville High School

On April 7th, we participated in the 4th Annual Evening of Japanese Culture at Marysville High School! The event attracted upwards of 500 visitors and was an opportunity for the local community to experience Japanese culture and learn about the high school’s vibrant Japanese language program.

Recreating the look and feel of a Japanese festival, there were well over a dozen info booths, eating and craft stands, and workshops. 

The stands featured different aspects of Japanese culture such as ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement); sadō (Japanese tea ceremony); omocha (children’s toys); Japanese food (such as mochi stuffed with red beans, bento boxes, and kushikatsu, or lightly fried foods on a stick); and even a kingyo sukui (goldfish catching) pool.  In addition to the stalls, there were live events such as exhibitions of kyūdō (Japanese archery) and taiko (Japanese drums) as well as group classes for participants in shodō (Japanese calligraphy) and taiko!

EAS at at OSUL participated in the event with our own stand (made up of two tables) dedicated entirely to Japanese manga. Visitors were encouraged to peruse pieces of OSUL’s manga collection, and library staff and students were on hand to talk about the collection and answer any questions.

One of our two tables featured distinctive and rare manga held by OSU, with an emphasis on the history and origins of manga.  Facsimiles of art by Hokusai and Kitazawa Rakuten were included in this display. Staff on hand offered background explanations and context to each piece.

Our second table focused on more contemporary manga. Reflecting the diversity of our collection, our display included every thing from manga on giant robots to high school romance, futuristic ninja, and post-apocalyptic wastelands. We were excited to see many students and other visitors have a seat at our tables to peruse the manga at their leisure.  

Spotlight Article: OSUL Collection of Tanikawa Shuntaro (谷川俊太郎)

One of the strengths of the Japanese Studies Collections at the Ohio State University Libraries is an extensive collection of  works and rare publications by world-acclaimed author TANIKAWA Shuntaro ( 谷川俊太郎). Tanikawa is Japan’s preeminent contemporary poet whose work has won over ten literary awards and can be found in Japanese textbooks across the nation. In addition to being a poet, he is also an acclaimed translator, picture book writer, and scriptwriter.

Much of Tanikawa’s work has already been translated and published in English, including his Floating the River in Melancholy, for which he won the American Book Award. His work in translating children’s literature, including Charles Shultz’s Peanuts comic strip, Mother Goose rhymes, and Swimmy by Leo Lionni,  garnered him a nomination for the Hans Christian Andersen award in 2008.  His worldwide stature and presence in literature has also made him a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Shuntarō Tanikawa, 2015 by Círculo de traductores is licensed under CC0

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What’s Cooking in the Collections

East Asian Studies at Ohio State University Libraries is happy to announce that our collection of Japanese food culture-related resources has grown with a new donation of Japanese recipe books! They cover everything from trendy new food creations to traditional home style cooking.

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Introducing the Toyo Keizai Archives (東洋経済アーカイブズ)

The suite of 5 databases offered through JKBooks at OSU appears in the left margin. The Toyo Keizai Archives is listed at the bottom.

Japanese Studies at OSU Libraries (OSUL) is delighted to announce that the Toyo Keizai Archives (東洋経済アーカイブズ) has been added to our suite of online offerings. It is an extraordinary database of one of Japan’s oldest economic magazines and one of the three leading business magazines in Japan, along with Nikkei Business (日経ビジネス) and Weekly DIAMOND (週刊ダイヤモンド). The full-text, searchable digital archives includes 120 years of publications, or 58,000 issues, from the inaugural issue of November 15th, Meiji 28 (1895) to Heisei 27 (2015).

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Commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Thompson Library: Book Display on “Global Asias”!

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, East Asian Studies at OSU Libraries recently opened a feature book display for the month of May. Focusing on the exchange of ideas, people, and culture between Asia, the Pacific Islands and broader global communities, the display’s theme “Global Asias” draws inspiration from recent scholarship on topics from across the Humanities and Social Sciences in Asian and Asian American Studies. Given the context of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, the display emphasizes Asian-American experiences in the United States. In addition, it showcases OSU’s extensive collections in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Studies while highlighting recently published books on the Asian diaspora in the Pacific Rim. With books available for immediate circulation, the display is located near the stairwell in the east atrium of Thompson Library.

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Focus on Japan in WWII: Kōa Shingun Ezu Iri (興亜進軍絵図入)

Interior of aerogram depicting Japanese battles in the Pacific

On February 14th, I wrote a blog introducing the Pearl Harbor Exhibit that was hung last winter in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor (December 7, 2016). In order to showcase the Japanese military perspective, the exhibit included a very special document, a fold-up aerogram that was made by the Japanese wartime government.  The present blog will feature that document, known as gunji yūbin (軍事郵便), or “military mail” in English.

Gunji Yūbin (軍事郵便)

Gunji yūbin was the military mail service that connected soldiers on the front lines to their families back in the metropole. It was established in 1894 (Meiji 27) during the Sino-Japanese War. Because the gunji yūbin was responsible for handling all letters going back and forth between the soldiers and their families, its extant pieces can be a treasure trove for researchers of war-time and Imperial Japan.

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