This unit has been studying books that Christian missionaries wrote in Japanese from the perspectives of religion, thought, language, literature, and illustrations. In the three years of the first half of the study, the research focused particularly on “words,” revealing the influence that mission activities of and books written or brought in by foreign missionaries had on Japanese literature.

With that research as a foothold, in the second half-term the unit is planning to expand upon its examination of “illustration.” We have developed and made available a Database of Early Modern Illustrated Encyclopedias to examine how the words and images featured in books the missionaries brought in to Japan influenced early modern to early Meiji period publications. Our hope for this term is to expand the content of the database to design an influential survey/research/information collection tool for literature, art, medical science, religion, clothing, and various other fields, thereby coordinating each unit’s studies with illustrations, encyclopedias, and dictionaries and promoting the development of comprehensive bibliographical studies. 


March 2020

Research Representative: YAMADA Shoji Professor