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The Japanese Collections at the Library of Congress
Past, Present, and Future

Display Announcement


[Collection of Precious Playful Tanka Poems]
[Collection of Precious Playful Tanka Poems]
Creator unknown, ca. 1781–1789
Manuscript book, Japanese-style binding
Courtesy of Japanese Collection, Asian Division, Library of Congress

September 20–October 16, 2010

Asian Division Reading Room (LJ-150)
Thomas Jefferson Building
Library of Congress
10 First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20540

The display presents a selection from the Japanese Collections which contain more than 1.17 million items.  It marks the eightieth anniversary of the Library’s systematic approach to building the premier research and scholarly resource about Japan in the United States.  The display consists of fourteen items which illustrate the challenges the Library has met in the past and its commitment to the present as it forges a path to the exciting future ahead.

Highlights include Hyakumantō Darani (AD 770), considered to be the oldest traceable publication in the world and also one of the earliest acquisitions in the Japanese Collection; Hōkashū (ca. 1781–1789), a book of humorous Tanka poems with beautiful illustrations gifted to the Library in 1905 by Crosby Stuart Noyes, the editor of the Washington Evening Star and avid collector of Japanese materials; and Tetsuwan Atomu (Mighty Atom), Osamu Tezuka’s most famous manga (comic book), known in America as Astro Boy.

Related Events:

Symposium, “The Japanese Collections at the Library of Congress: Past, Present, and Future.”
Speakers and panelists: Dr. Kakugyo Chiku, Ms. Ellen Hammond, Mr. Eiichi Ito, Dr. Deanna Marcum, Dr. Manabu Yokoyama, and Mr. Peter Young.

Tuesday, September 21, 1:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress,
10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.

A free public symposium in conjunction with the display.  Joining Associate Librarian for Library Services Deanna Marcum and Asian Division Chief Peter Young are four speakers who will discuss the past, present, and future of the Library’s Japanese Collection. They include Manabu Yokoyama, professor at Notre Dame Seishin University in Japan; Ellen Hammond, curator of the East Asia Library at Yale University; Kakugyo Chiku, professor at Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Japan; and Eiichi Ito, Japanese reference librarian of the Asian Division. 

Seating is limited; reservations are required by close of business on Monday, September 13.  Contact Mari Nakahara, (202) 707-2990, [email protected].

Display walkthrough with curators
Saturday, October 2 and October 16, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.,
Asian Division Reading Room (LJ-150), Thomas Jefferson Building,
Library of Congress, 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.

A free public display walkthrough with curators.  Curators will talk about the Japanese Collections and additional information on the displays.  No reservations are required. 

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  • Announcing the Japanese Collections Display at the Library of Congress
  • Hyakumanto Darani [The one million pagodas and Dharani prayers]
  • Hokashu [Collection of Precious Amusing Tanka Poems]
  • Heike Shosetsu (a.k.a Heike Mabushi, Heike
                        Shobushi) [Authentic Melody of Heike 
  • Miyako Rinsen Meishō Zue [Pictorial Guide to Gardens in Kyoto]
  • Shigure
  • Ezoshi [Yezo Journal]
  • Hiroshige Gajō [Hiroshige Sketchbook]
  • Genji Monogatari (a.k.a. Eiri Genji Monogatari) [Illustrated Tale of Genji]
  • Beikoku Gikai Toshokan Sakanishi Shiryō [Library of Congress Sakanishi Manuscripts]
  • Kafu Kaigi Hōkoku [Official Reports from Washington Conference]
  • Kanikōsen [The Crab Factory Ship]
  • Fujin Gahō [Graphic Magazine for Women]
  • Tetsuwan Atomu [Mighty Atom]
  • Kokusai Kenchiku Jiron / Kokusai Kenchiku [International Architecture]
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  March 7, 2011
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