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Challenges of the digital era: critical editions of Japanese early-modern texts in the digital format

Challenges of the digital era: critical editions of Japanese early-modern texts in the digital format

Principal investigator: Dr Laura Moretti

Principal co-investogator: Mr Alessandro Bianchi

Co-investigators: members of the UK early-modern Japanese texts reading group

 

Re-discover Japanese early-modern literature through the digital medium (Laura Moretti)

This project which aims at the creation of critical editions of Japanese early-modern books in the digital format. It is thought as part of the project of Digital Humanities in CRASSH and is done in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge). The text chosen to conduct a first pilot experiment is the erotic book entitled Sumagoto inaka Genji (early19th century), recently acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum and known as one of the two existing copies in the world. The aim of the project is to produce the full transcription of the text, the full English translation of the text and a study of the intertextual mechanisms applied in the textual and visual erotic rewriting of Nise murasaki inaka Genji. These results will be published as a digital publication on the webpage of the Fitzwilliam Museum (see the example of the Utamaro book).

This is an international and interdisciplinary project led by myself with Mr Craig Hartley (Fitzwilliam Museum). The other participants in the project are: Prof Linda Chance (The University of Pennsylvania), Prof Franck Chance (The University of Pennsylvania), Prof Julie Davis (The University of Pennsylvania), Dr Ishigami Aki (Ritsumeikan University), Mr Alessandro Bianchi (PhD student – The University of Cambridge), Mr Frederick Feilden (Mphil student – The University of Cambridge), Mrs Elena Follador (Keio University, Tokyo).

Monthly research meetings of three hours each are held at Emmanuel College (Cambridge). A video-conference system is put in place to hold the meetings in such a way that the participants from the United States and Japan will be able to take active part simultaneously.

Whilst the narrower aim of the project is to produce a digital critical edition of Sumagoto Genji, as described above, the broader scope entails a reflection about what the digital medium can offer in order to achieve a new kind of critical edition. At the same time it is used as an educational tool to train graduate students in getting the paleographical skills which are necessary in reading early-modern Japanese printed texts and manuscripts as well as the technique of producing diplomatic transcriptions/critical editions. 

The project is part of the project of Digital Humanities in CRASSH.

 

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