Network Studies 2016-2017

Contact Person: Bettina Gramlich-Oka (*4065;

Other members:
Faculty members: Mathew Thompson, Christian Hess, David Slater, David Wank.
Further members of this research group include scholars from Tōkyō and vicinity, such as Linda Grove, Thomas Harper, Kate Nakai, Gaye Rowley, and Fumiko Umezawa. Also many post-docs, PhD students from the Tokyo area, and visiting scholars foreign universities join on a regular basis.

Goal and Purpose:
The ICC unit, which was initiated in 2010 (please see Network studies HP), analyzes cross-cultural networks. As a start-up project we discuss the available theories, methods, and models for our network analysis. This knowledge serves as our foundation for our first focus, on the Edo period in Japan, an understudied era in regards to network analysis. The project “Intellectual Networks in Early Modern Japan and Beyond” focuses on various groups with an integrative analysis of a wide variety of writings. The conclusions will enhance our understanding of both the political realm, which informed policies ordered by the shogunate and the domains of the regional rulers (daimyo), and the practical realm of how these networks operated. The results will emphasize the traffic of ideas and endeavors among people from various backgrounds and stations in life beyond narrow geographic borders.

Activities in Past and Future:
In 2016–2017 the research unit has been and is active in various forms: (Please refer to our HP, see link above, for details)
1. The unit meets monthly as a reading group, in which primary sources are read.
2. Editorial meetings for the edited volume on Women and Networks in Nineteenth Century Japan are held periodically throughout 2016–2017.
3. With the help of research assistants the prosopographical database is continuously fed. The database will grow further; at this point over 2,400 persons, 5,000 meetings and 2,000 correspondences are stored.
4. The database undergoes constant improvement including the visualization with the help of programmers.
5. Moving towards to making the database the Japan Biographical Database with open access.

Presentations of the Project in Past and Future: The project was and will be represented in 2016–2017 at the following venues:
1. Plan to have a Symposium at Sophia University in the fall 2017 Digital Humanities and Databases (collaborators from the US and Europe will participate)
2. Unit leader will participate at Workshop on Digital Humanities and Japanese Studies at University of Chicago, 11-12 November 2016.
3. Meeting by unit leader with Mark Ravina, Emory University (Digital Humanities Project), November 2016.
4. Meeting by unit leader with Prof. Peter Bol, Harvard University (China Biographical Database), September 2016.
5. Unit leader will present the research unit at Japanese Association for Digital Humanities Conference 2016, at Tokyo University, 14 September 2016.
6. Member participation at Digital Research in East Asian Studies: Corpora, Methods, and Challenges, Leiden University, the Netherlands, 10-12 July 2016.
7. Introduction of the database by unit leader at the International symposium: Towards a Digital Eurasia: Databases and Computational Methods for the History of Asia and the Middle East, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, 8 June 2016.
8. Discussion of the database by unit leader at Japanologie, Freie Universität Berlin, 27 May 2016.
9. Discussion of the database by unit leader at Japanologie, Universität Frankfurt, 28 May 2016.
10. Invited lecture by unit leader and discussion of the database at Japanologie, Freie Universität Berlin, 26 May 2016.
11. Invited lecture by unit leader and discussion of the database at Japanologie, Universität Heidelberg, 23 May 2016.
12. Invited lecture by unit leader and discussion of the database AT Université Paris Diderot (Paris, France, 19 May 2016).
13. Meeting by unit leader with Prof. Michael Fuller, UC Irvine (China Biographical Database) in Jerusalem (May 2016)
14. Publication by the unit leader came out since April 2016: 「「道を知る」こと ― 学問の転換期と頼春水」 小室正紀(編)『幕藩制転換期の経済思想』 慶應義塾大学出版会, pp. 1–29, April 2016.
15. The publication of an edited volume generated from the two International Symposia is in planning. The completed manuscript will be sent to Michigan University Press in early 2017. Tentative title: Bettina Gramlich-Oka, Miyazawa Fumiko, Sugano Noriko, Anne Walthall (eds.). Women and Networks in Nineteenth Century Japan, Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press.
16. Forthcoming publication which is related and partially subsidized by the unit: BGO. “Disaster Descriptions and Social Events: Kanagaki Robun (1829–94) and his Reports of the 1850s.” Sainan: Discourses of Disaster in Japan and New Zealand. Susan Bouterey, University of Canterbury, and Lawrence E. Marceau (eds.), University of Auckland.

Forthcoming publication with support by ICC:
BGO. “Knowing the [Confucian] Way” and the Political Sphere.” In Religion, Culture and the Public Sphere in China and Japan (Religion and Society in Asia Pacific), ed. Albert Welter, Jeffrey Newmark. Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming (Dec. 2016.)

Plans and goals:

1. the research unit leader again became part of a JSPS Research Grant: 基盤研究C: 懐徳堂をめぐる学術交流の思想史的研究 (2016–2019) as a participant (分担者). The available funds are used for the programmer, extra help in feeding the database and purchase of materials.
2. Current discussion with European universities to apply in 2017 for a European Research Council funded project.
3. Current discussion to switch servers: using the University of Vienna server for hosting our database, which is currently renting space from a commercial server company
4. Current discussions with Japan-based digital humanities projects to collaborate
5. Current discussions with US-based digital database projects to collaborate

Publication Plans and External Funding

1. Publications
As shown in 15. above, the edited volume which is the result of two symposia funded by the ICC project is planned to be out during the academic year of 2017. Translation fees for six articles from Japanese into English has been provided from outside funding. The abovementioned 16. and 17. are other articles that are supported by ICC and will be in print soon.

External Funding
As shown in Plans and Goals 1., external funding has been secured for the next three years which will assist with feeding the database, and for some payments to the programmer. Together with the ICC fund, the current status of the database can be upheld. However, since the database is supposed to become open access with continuous expansion and modification as the Japan Biographical Database, the digital project itself will never be a terminated project and needs further financial support. For this reason, we have the plan to apply for European Research Council funding, where the initial five year grant will allow PhD students and Post-docs to be hired at several European universities, as the springboard to become a university funded continuous project, in which digital humanities and Japanese studies come together.