Session 104: ROUND TABLE: Linking Japanese Visual and Literary Arts: Medieval Texts in Computerized Environments (Sponsored by the Committee on East Asian Languages)

Organizer: Linda H. Chance, University of Pennsylvania
Chair: Karl Kahler, University of Pennsylvania
Discussants: Kazuaki Komine, Rikkyo University, Tokyo; Frederic Kotas, Cornell University; Anne Lazrove, Columbia University; Hiroshi Onishi, Kokubungaku Kenkyu Shiryokan; Makoto Yamazaki, Kokubungaku Kenkyu Shiryokan; X. Jie Yang, University of Calgary

New interdisciplinary approaches to the study of medieval Japanese culture-viewing texts as both art and literature, while also considering their historical and religious dimensions-link scholars in Japan and abroad, but a problem divides us. While Western medievalists have on-line access to text corpora and databases, Japanese medieval studies is not yet a discipline with international electronic accessibility. This roundtable brings together medievalists from various disciplines; experts from the Kokubungaku Kenkyu Shiryokan, the central repository for premodern literature in Japan; the Chair of the National Coordinating Committee on Japanese Library Resources; and a representative of the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies, which has also been at the forefront of developments, to discuss the current state and future of the field. Discussants will provide medievalists' perspectives and the latest information on: (1) new questions in medieval Japanese studies; (2) interdisciplinary methodology and collaboration; (3) hands-on archival surveys in Japan; (4) on-line conversion of texts with pictures; (5) access to bibliographic and full-text databases. The goals are to discuss priorities for redefining the field, to suggest ways in which Japanese and North American scholars can cooperate in these efforts, and to address the concrete issue of resources. The opportunity to learn what tools are available, to hear the concerns of those who deal with electronic systems, and to question the developer of an on-line delivery program for illustrated texts can be of value to scholars in all areas of Japanese studies.

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