News & Topics
A Message from the Director, Dr. Yuichiro IMANISHI
 The National Institute of Japanese Literature (NIJL) was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first inter-university research institute for the humanities. Initially situated in Togoshi, Shinagawa Ward (Tokyo), the institute was thereafter trans-ferred to its present location in Tachikawa City, where it is has been achieving success in a number of new and innovative projects and original systems of re-search for the past eight years. With our ongoing efforts in both the investigation and collection of relevant materials and other resources, along with numerous public exhibitions offered here which take advantage of the institutes superior facilities, we are steadily witnessing the fruits of our labor as we strive to imple-ment our major project, officially entitled the “Project to Build an International Collaborative Research Network for Pre-modern Japanese Texts”. This project is part of a larger project initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology known as the “Project for the Promotion of Large-scale Research in New Areas”.
 In this modern era, when globalization has become one of our most pressing concerns, many Japanese universities and research institutions are working towards international collaborative research in the field of Japanese literature. Despite diligent work, however, much of these efforts are currently limited to exchang-es of information with a select group of skilled foreign researchers who possess an intimacy with the Japanese language. Just as we Japanese, most of whom are not at all familiar with French, German, or Russian, have come to adore such authors as Balzac, Goethe, and Dostoyevsky, so, too, there must be many foreigners who, despite their inability to read Japanese, nevertheless admire works of Japanese literature through translations. Globalization, if it is to be considered truly global, must produce research which reaches a broader audience embracing those who have no prior knowledge of Japanese. In accordance with this vision of more far-reaching type of international collaboration, therefore, above and beyond our usual commitment to international exchange, we have welcomed into our ranks two very promising young researchers, an assistant professor from Canada and an associate professor from France. With their assistance, we intend, among other projects, to publish in two-year’s time an online journal for the promotion of international research in the related fields of Japanese literature, history, and culture.
 On another front, the National Institute of Japanese Literature has, since its first inception, managed to collect a total of more than three-hundred thousand items relating to Japanese literature, many of which are now preserved on mi-crofilm, from all corners of the country. We have furthermore established the necessary facilities with which to preserve these items for up to one or even two centuries hence. Throughout this ongoing process of investigation and collection, we have received a very positive reception from those in possession of these rare materials. Having recognize the insti-tute’s commitment to both preserving as well as effectively using these items, these individuals continue to honor us with donations of invaluable documents. Such donations include the private collections of such past distinguished scholars of Japanese linguistics and literature as Shinkichi Hashimoto (1882-1945), Sen’ichi Hisamatsu (1894-1976), Ky?z? Fukui (1867-1951), Ky?ichi Nishishita (1898-1964), Akihia Hase (1918-1985), Shigeo Got? (1921-2006), Isao K?j? (n.d.), as well as a number of larger collections such as the Denban Collection formerly in possession of the Tayasu Tokugawa family, the Sekitokud? Collection formerly in possession of the Yamaga family, and the Ukai Collection. Our institution, therefore, houses not only microfilm copies of material but also a growing number of original manuscripts. Moreover, we recently received a donation of over one-thousand items, including manuscripts, commentaries, cards, and folding screens, all which pertain to the Ise monogatari (Tales of Ise, 9th-10th century), being the largest collection of its kind in the entire world. This collection, known as the Tesshinsai Collection, was donated to us by Misako Ashizawa, head of the Tesshinsai Collection Tales of Ise Cultural Center. We have already set in motion a collaborative project to catalogue this last collection, and we will be offering a public exhibition of its contents sometime next year.
 This year marks the beginning of the third stage in the mid-term objectives and planning phase of national university corporations and inter-university research institute corporations. The National Institute of Japanese Literature, by uti-lizing what achievements we have amassed thus far, and simultaneously concentrating a great deal of its energy on our central project, namely, the Project to Build an International Collaborative Research Network for Pre-modern Japanese Texts, fully intends to fulfill its role as an inter-university research institute.
Photo cooperation: Ekutebian, Ltd.
Yuichiro Imanishi
National Institute of Japanese Literature
National Institutes for the Humanities
Dec 1966 The Science Council of Japan advices the Japanese government to establish a Center for Research in Japanese Language and Literature (tentative title)
Sep 1970 The Council for Science and Technology advices the minister of education to establish the Center for Research in Japanese Literature (tentative title) as a matter of urgent concern
Apr 1971 Funding is allocated to the Ministry of Science, Education, and Culture for the purpose of investigating the maintenance cost of facilities required for the storage of Japanese literary materials
May 1972 The National Institute of Japanese Literature (official name) is established, consisting of a management division, a documents and materials division, and a research and information division
Jun 1977 Inaugural opening ceremony is held
Jul 1977 Library services commence
Apr 1979 Library services division established
Apr 1987 On-line search engine for the Index of Microfilm Materials and Pre-modern Japanese Manuscripts Stored in NIJL made available
Apr 1992 On-line search engine for the Index of Articles on Japanese Literature made available
Nov 2002 Ceremony held in commemoration of NIJL’s thirtieth anniversary
Apr 2003 The Department of Japanese Studies, School of Cultural and Social Studies is established at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies as a foundational institution for research
Apr 2004 Internal organization of NIJL is restructured in consequence of becoming a corporate member of Inter-University Research Institute Corporation, Institutes for the Humanities
Mar 2008 NIJL is moved to its current location in Midori-cho, Tachikawa City
Apr 2013 Center for Pre-modern Japanese Texts Database is established
Apr 2014 The Center for Pre-modern Japanese Texts Database is renamed the Center for Collaborative Re-search in Pre-modern Japanese Texts
Activities Overview
 The institute performs specialized research studies of Japanese literature and related materials that have been collected domestically and overseas. It also creates collections using photographs and originals, organizes and pre-serves sources and bibliographies that have been obtained, and maintains a base for the study of Japanese literature and related fields.
 It also presents these things in various ways to domestic and overseas users, and passes them along to society through means such as exhibits and lecture meetings.
Research and Collection
 In collaboration with approximately 190 researchers from universities throughout Japan, institute personnel travel to the sites of collections of Japanese literature and related original materials (such as manuscripts and published editions), and engage in research studies that center on bibliographical matters.
Based on such research studies, original materials approved for photographing are collected through full-volume pho-tography as micro negative film or digital images.
 In addition, since 2005, collaborative investigations have been performed, based on agreements entered into with oth-er universities and institutions.
Public Inspections of Documents
 Allowing perusal of documents and providing material copies of the same are services offered by the institute's library. Through the interlibrary access (mutual use) sys-tem, it is possible for users even from remote locations to utilize these and other services. Those who are not affili-ated with any university can request material copies di-rectly via mail or fax.
 In addition, collection related surveys done by telephone and reference questions submitted through writing, fax or e-mail are also accepted.
Library Guide
Library Guid
 This project, headed by NIJL, is aimed at collaborating with universities and other research institutions both inside and outside Japan in order to digitalize our institution’s collection of three-hundred items and, by incor-porating this data into our pre-existing bibliographical database, to create a comprehensive database of Japa-nese pre-modern texts. Ultimately, these digital images will serve as a platform upon which we may construct an international collaborative network. Such a network would promote research that transcends the traditional boundaries between academic disciplines and allow for interdisciplinary work limited not merely to the field of Japanese literature, but embracing all of the humanities as a whole.
By Tama Intercity Monorail:
Get off at JR Tachikawa Station, make switch to Tama Monorail Tachikawa-Kita Station,
get off at Takamatsu Station, and walk 10 minutes.
By Tachikawa bus:
From JR Tachikawa Station's north entrance, board bus at boarding area 2,
get off at "Tachikawa Gakujutsu Plaza," and walk 1 minutes.
From JR Tachikawa Station's north entrance, board bus at boarding area 1,
get off at "Tachikawa Shiyakusho," and walk 3 minutes.
From JR Tachikawa Station's north entrance, board bus at boarding area 2,
get off at "Saibansho-mae," and walk 5 minutes.
On foot:
From JR Tachikawa Station, walk about 25 minutes.
By car:
From Chuo Expressway's "Kunitachi Fuchu IC," drive about 15 minutes.
*Free parking available
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