JapanKnowledge is an extensive database, mostly in Japanese, with information about Japanese language, culture, history, and more. It Includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, ebooks, news articles, and multimedia.
Note: Please be sure to log out by clicking logout button when finished to end session.
The NCC is collaborating with institutions and scholars to release a monthly series on our blog entitled Japanese Studies Spotlight. These features showcase exciting online collections available to researchers and students in Japanese Studies, introducing the archive or project, describing their contents, and demonstrating how they can be usefully engaged in research or in the classroom.
The purpose of this website is to help scholars and librarians identify notable Japanese Studies collections in North American libraries and cultural institutions. It also serves as a pilot project toward building a comprehensive database that charts all print and digital materials, including unprocessed or partially processed collections, held at North American research organizations.
A Companion to World Literature by Ken Seigneurie (Editor-In-Chief)A Companion to World Literature is a far-reaching and sustained study of key authors, texts, and topics from around the world and throughout history. Six comprehensive volumes present essays from over 300 prominent international scholars focusing on many aspects of this vast and burgeoning field of literature, from its ancient origins to the most modern narratives.
Publication Date: 2020
Longing and Other Stories by Jun'ichirō. Tanizaki; Anthony Chambers (Translator); Paul McCarthy (Translator)Jun'ichirō Tanizaki is one of the most eminent Japanese writers of the twentieth century, renowned for his investigations of family dynamics, eroticism, and cultural identity. Most acclaimed for his postwar novels such as The Makioka Sisters and The Key, Tanizaki made his literary debut in 1910. This book presents three powerful stories of family life from the first decade of Tanizaki's career that foreshadow the themes the great writer would go on to explore. "Longing" recounts the fantastic journey of a precocious young boy through an eerie nighttime landscape. Replete with striking natural images and uncanny human encounters, it ends with a striking revelation. "Sorrows of a Heretic" follows a university student and aspiring novelist who lives in degrading poverty in a Tokyo tenement. Ambitious and tormented, the young man rebels against his family against a backdrop of sickness and death. "The Story of an Unhappy Mother" describes a vivacious but self-centered woman's drastic transformation after a freak accident involving her son and daughter-in-law. Written in different genres, the three stories are united by a focus on mothers and sons and a concern for Japan's traditional culture in the face of Westernization. The longtime Tanizaki translators Anthony H. Chambers and Paul McCarthy masterfully bring these important works to an Anglophone audience.
Publication Date: 2022
Minor Transpacific: Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions by David S. RohThere is a tendency to think of Korean American literature--and Asian American literature writ large--as a field of study involving only two spaces, the United States and Korea, with the same being true in Asian studies of Korean Japanese (Zainichi) literature involving only Japan and Korea. This book posits that both fields have to account for three spaces: Korean American literature has to grapple with the legacy of Japanese imperialism in the United States, and Zainichi literature must account for American interventions in Japan. Comparing Korean American authors such as Younghill Kang, Chang-rae Lee, Ronyoung Kim, and Min Jin Lee with Zainichi authors such as Kaneshiro Kazuki, Yi Yang-ji, and Kim Masumi, Minor Transpacific uncovers their hidden dialogue and imperial concordances, revealing the trajectory and impact of both bodies of work. Minor Transpacific bridges the fields of Asian studies and Asian American studies to unveil new connections between Zainichi and Korean American literatures. Working in Japanese and English, David S. Roh builds a theoretical framework for articulating those moments of contact between minority literatures in a third national space and proposes a new way of conceptualizing Asian American literature.
Publication Date: 2021
An I-Novel by Minae Mizumura; Juliet Winters Carpenter (Translator)Minae Mizumura's An I-Novel is a semi-autobiographical work that takes place over the course of a single day in the 1980s. Minae is a Japanese expatriate graduate student who has lived in the United States for two decades but turned her back on the English language and American culture. After a phone call from her older sister reminds her that it is the twentieth anniversary of their family's arrival in New York, she spends the day reflecting in solitude and over the phone with her sister about their life in the United States, trying to break the news that she has decided to go back to Japan and become a writer in her mother tongue. Published in 1995, this formally daring novel radically broke with Japanese literary tradition. It liberally incorporated English words and phrases, and the entire text was printed horizontally, to be read from left to right, rather than vertically and from right to left. In a luminous meditation on how a person becomes a writer, Mizumura transforms the ?I-novel,? a Japanese confessional genre that toys with fictionalization. An I-Novel tells the story of two sisters while taking up urgent questions of identity, race, and language. Above all, it considers what it means to write in the era of the hegemony of English?and what it means to be a writer of Japanese in particular. Juliet Winters Carpenter masterfully renders a novel that once appeared untranslatable into English.
Publication Date: 2021
In the Shelter of the Pine: A Memoir of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu and Tokugawa Japan by G. G. Rowley (Translator)In the early eighteenth century, the noblewoman Ōgimachi Machiko composed a memoir of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, the powerful samurai for whom she had served as a concubine for twenty years. Machiko assisted Yoshiyasu in his ascent to the rank of chief adjutant to the Tokugawa shogun. She kept him in good graces with the imperial court, enabled him to study poetry with aristocratic teachers and have his compositions read by the retired emperor, and gave birth to two of his sons. Writing after Yoshiyasu's retirement, she recalled it all--from the glittering formal visits of the shogun and his entourage to the passage of the seasons as seen from her apartments in the Yanagisawa mansion. In the Shelter of the Pine is the most significant work of literature by a woman of Japan's early modern era. Featuring Machiko's keen eye for detail, strong narrative voice, and polished prose studded with allusions to Chinese and Japanese classics, this memoir sheds light on everything from the social world of the Tokugawa elite to the role of literature in women's lives. Machiko modeled her story on The Tale of Genji, illustrating how the eleventh-century classic continued to inspire its female readers and provide them with the means to make sense of their experiences. Elegant, poetic, and revealing, In the Shelter of the Pine is a vivid portrait of a distant world and a vital addition to the canon of Japanese literature available in English.
Publication Date: 2021
Disruptions of Daily Life: Japanese Literary Modernism in the World by Arthur M. MitchellDisruptions of Daily Life explores the mass media landscape of early twentieth century in order to uncover the subversive societal impact of four major Japanese authors: Tanizaki Jun'ichirō, Yokomitsu Riichi, Kawabata Yasunari, and Hirabayashi Taiko. Arthur Mitchell examines this literature against global realities through a modernist lens, studying an alternative modernism that challenges the Western European model. Through broad surveys of discussions surrounding Japanese life in the 1920s, Mitchell locates and examines flourishing divergent ideologies of the early twentieth century such as gender, ethnicity, and nationalism. He unravels how the narrative and linguistic strategies of modernist texts interrogated the innocence of this language, disrupting their hold on people's imagined relationship to daily life. These modernist works often discursively displaced the authority of their own claims by inadvertently exposing the global epistemology of East vs. West. Mitchell's reading of these formalist texts expands modernism studies into a more translational dialogue by locating subversions within the local historical culture and allowing readers to make connections to the time and place in which the texts were written. In highlighting the unbreakable link between literature and society, Disruptions of Daily Life reaffirms the value of modernist fiction and its ability to make us aware of how realities are constructed--and how those realities can be changed.