AAS Annual Meeting

Japan Session 365

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Session 365: Roundtable: Japanese E-books: New Research Horizons

Organizer: Keiko Yokota-Carter, University of Michigan, USA

Discussants: Haruna Hirayama, University of Tsukuba, Japan; Yoshino Arimoto, University of Tsukuba, Japan; Tomomi Mitsuishi, University of Tsukuba, Japan; Daikichi Mitake, Independent Scholar, USA; Takaaki Ohkuma, Independent Scholar, USA

This roundtable discusses new developments in electronic books from Japan. The National Diet Library has undertaken an extremely ambitious project to preserve current books in digital format and both NDL and the Library of Congress have joined the World Digital Library. Many current Japanese titles are coming out in e-book format (denshi-shoseki) delivered to your laptop, cell phone and other hand-held devices. Additionally many previously hard to find out-of-print books are appearing from the Google Books Library Project including materials from the collections of Keio University and major US academic libraries. Roundtable participants will discuss recent developments in the publication of born-digital works initially created for a Japanese popular market, a format that authors are increasingly embracing. This leads us to several questions: • How will scholarship follow this trend? • How can such digital formats best be collected by individuals and academic libraries? • How will denshi-shoseki lend themselves to future independent and collaborative research? Additionally, individual libraries and institutions hold a wealth of older and rare materials that have yet to be published in a digital format through which they can be widely distributed and used for scholarship. Important issues related to the future digitization of such works include: How to develop specification standards for digitization that are widely accepted? Should there be a clearinghouse or registry for digitized projects to avoid unnecessary duplications and omissions of key texts and images in a digitized format?