The Impact of the Digital on Japanese Studies, Redux

Panel 1 - Abstracts

Raja Adal, University of Pittsburgh

How are Digital Methods Affecting what we ask of Japanese Archives?

Archives have always shaped research approaches and research topics, but how are digital methods affecting what we ask of Japanese archives? This presentation will focus on three challenges that I have encountered in my research: 1) The ability and inability to download metadata from the National Archive of Japan, 2) the choice of the Mitsui Mi'ike Mine archive for a study of the material history of writing, and 3) attempts to apply machine learning to an archive of mostly handwritten material.

Amy Catalinac, New York University

Accessing and Organizing Time-Series Data on Japanese Municipalities

My presentation will focus on some of the challenges I experienced in collecting and organizing data for a new project on the determinants of resource allocations by the central government to Japanese municipalities, 1980-2014. My project required the procuring and merging of five data sets, pertaining to the voting behavior of municipalities in Lower House elections, annual amounts of central government subsidies and other demographic variables, codes indicating the electoral districts of the municipalities, characteristics of the candidates and parties competing in these elections, and quantitative text analysis of campaign manifestos.

Mark Ravina, Emory University

OCR: Building a Better Mousetrap

OCR is the missing link between a relative abundance of text images (NDL and Waseda, for example) and a paucity of machine readable texts. What new tools are needed and how can we adapt existing tools to bridge this gap? How can the pre-deployment development OCR tools enhance our research agendas?