Update (posted September 1, 2020): Following the trial period described in this blog, OSU Libraries made the decision to permanently adopt the Maruzen eBook Library (MeL) platform, which can be accessed now at: https://library.ohio-state.edu/record=e1002576~S7. Continue reading for details on how to use this helpful new e-resource!
In an effort to increase the list of e-resources for research and teaching in Japanese Studies, we have set up an Extended Trial Reading Agreement for the Maruzen eBook Library (MeL), which will last until the end of May. During this trial period, OSU users will be able to access over 56,000 Japanese ebook titles.
Also during this trial period, unlimited concurrent user access is possible, but printing and downloading are not. If you have specific printing and downloading needs – or any questions whatsoever about Japanese language e-resources – please contact me, Ann Marie Davis, the Japanese Studies Librarian at OSU, at email@example.com.
To get started using this online platform, click the link in the OSU catalog here:
For tips on how to search for books in MeL and use the various platform functions, please refer to the Maruzen eBook Library cheatsheet.
If you see something you’d like to consider purchasing, please feel free to e-mail me. If you need MeL materials for your teaching or research projects, you can also fill out this form for eBook purchases, which goes straight to our OSU Library acquisitions office:
Following the Meiji Restoration (1868) and the new policies of modernization (kindaika) and Westernization (seiyōka), Japan began to import much more than material goods from the Western imperial powers. New concepts and ideologies soon made their way across the Pacific and freely entered the once “closed country.” Riding this wave were Christian values and models of Western feminism, which in part were proselytized by the American teacher and temperance crusader Mary Greenleaf Clement Leavitt (1830-1912).
Title: “Inshu no Nariyuki.” Meiji Woodblock Print Leaves, Illustrated by Sasaki Toyoju.
Collection number SPEC.RARE.MMS.0127.
Counterclockwise: Angled view of the six prints, detail of a jovial tavern scene, drunken disorderly conduct from the main character confronting a Native American man, drunken disheveled main character robbing a man by the roadside
Inspired by Christian sermons about the destructive nature of alcohol, Leavitt helped found the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in New York and Ohio in 1873. Soon thereafter, her global crusade led her as far as Japan and other countries including New Zealand, Burma, India, and Turkey, where female allies launched new chapters of the World WCTU. Tired of the ill effects of alcohol on their domestic lives, women worldwide were drawn to the message of temperance and created an unprecedented transnational movement “for God, home and country.”
Japanese Studies invites you to learn about the mythology and artistic culture of Meiji Japan (1868-1912) through the newly acquired Kyōsai Hyakki Gadan (暁斎百鬼画談), a color woodblock print by eccentric painter and manga forerunner, Kawanabe Kyōsai (河鍋 暁斎, 1831-1889). The long, accordion book (orihon) depicts a parade of all manner of weird and wicked yōkai (妖怪), spirits and demons from Japanese mythology. This particular scene is evocative of the hyakki yagyō (百鬼夜行) idiom, a historic theme in Japanese visual representation wherein a procession of legendary creatures sets foot upon the communities of mortal men and women.
For more information about this new acquisition, please check out the full article on our Manga Blog at OSU Libraries, available here: https://library.osu.edu/site/manga/2019/10/02/night-parade-of-one-hundred-demons-kyosais-hyakki-gadan-now-at-osu-libraries/
An example of a colorful three-panel woodblock print of Japanese spirits and demons from the book Yōkai: Strange Beasts & Weird Spectres — 100 Japanese Triptychs (pages 56-57)
In Japanese folklore, yōkai (妖怪) refers to legendary ghosts, monsters, and spirits. Rooted in Japanese animism, ancient Japanese religion, and the providence of nature, these mythical creatures are attributed with strange behaviors to explain the otherwise mysterious phenomena encountered in ancient life. Shedding light on the meaning of this word, the two kanji for yōkai, mean “attractive, bewitching” (妖) and “mystery, wonder” (怪) respectively. Because of their connection to human nature, yōkai were often depicted as strange embodiments of ordinary individuals or creatures — some resembling humans, for example, with altered features such as a long neck or three eyes. Others looked like strange animals, plants, insects, or household goods.
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
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.
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).
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.
Japanese Studies at OSU Libraries is delighted to announce that The Japan Times Digital Archive is now available at The Ohio State University. It is an extraordinary archive of Japan’s oldest English language newspaper and only independent English-language newspaper in existence today. The digital archive allows you to search the full text of all issues of The Japan Times published since its inauguration in March 1897 (Meiji 30) until 2014.
“The Japan Times Archives” search interface
Yurii Kyogoku was a Serials Cataloger at OSU Libraries until her retirement in 1982. Born on April 13, 1916 near Hiroshima, Japan, Yurii came with her family to the United States in 1919 and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley.
When she retired and moved to Virginia, Yurii donated 523 volumes of Japanese books to the Ohio State University Libraries. Most of them were acquired by her father in California during the 20s and 30s, providing a rare glimpse into Japanese-American history. Continue reading