Meiji Taish
o Showa zenki zasshi kiji sakuin shūsei \Q&A


By Steve Wills

 

1.  What is the sakuin shūsei?

The sakuin shūsei is a massive collection of periodical guides reprinted by the publishing company Kōseisha and organized into separate editions by category and subcategory. The 70-volume social sciences (shakai kagaku) edition comprises 186 different periodical guides, and the 50-volume humanities ( jinbun kagaku) edition features 120 different guides. There are several more editions included in the series (specialized catalogues of material relating to hygiene, urban problems, working women, child labor, womenfs magazines during the American occupation, and science/industry), but these are not part of the Starr collection. In addition to the collections of periodical guides, each edition has its own supplementary multi-volume author index (searchable by character) and a collection of all the tables of contents (sōmokuji) for the guides included in the sakuin shūsei. Finally, the Kōseisha website provides both an online version of the author index with a simple search engine for looking up authors and a digital version of the sōmokuji (no search engine, however).

 

2.  What years does this collection cover?

As the title implies, the sakuin shūsei contains listings for periodicals from 1867 up to approximately 1949 (some guides continue until the early 1960s). While some categories, such as law and Japanese history, include information for every year during this period, users should be aware that other categories (theater/performing arts, for example) are only covered for a few years. The best way to confirm that the category you are interested in is covered by this collection is to consult the chronological charts provided at the beginning of the supplementary list of tables of contents. For conveniencefs sake, the chronological information can also be found below, translated into English.

 

3.  How is the sakuin shūsei organized?

The social sciences edition is divided into the following categories: General Social Sciences, Modern Asia/South Seas, Politics, Law, Economics/Commercial Science, Society/Urban Problems, and Agriculture/Forestry. The humanities edition is broken down as follows: General Humanities, Thought/Philosophy, Japanese History, East Asian History, Geography, Education, Customs/Ethnography, Architecture, Film/Performing Arts, Japanese Literature, British/American Studies, Western History, Buddhist Studies, and Western Literature/Linguistics.

 

4.  How much information is contained within the sakuin shūsei?

According to the Kōseisha website, the social sciences edition contains references to approximately 650,000 articles written by approximately 650,000 different authors. The humanities edition has approximately 350,000 listings for 350,000 authors. While there is no reason to question the figures for the number of articles, it seems highly unlikely that the figure for the number of authors could be correct, as this figure would only allow for inclusion of one article by a given author. A quick search will demonstrate that multiple articles are often listed for individual authors, which is what one would hope for after all.

 

5.  What kind of periodical guides are included in this compendium?

The guides that Kōseisha has reprinted were published periodically themselves. Some were very general catalogues of articles that appeared in other periodicals of the time, while some only feature articles belonging to a specific category or a particular collection of materials (as in the Takarazuka guide for theater). There are some guides that were only published for a few years, while some were published regularly throughout the nearly hundred-year period covered by the sakuin shūsei. While the majority of articles listed are in Japanese, citations for articles in English, French, and German are not uncommon. Generally, these guides were broken down into subcategories which are given in the supplemental volume of tables of contents. What makes these periodical guides so useful is that they provide author names, titles of articles and the journal they appeared in, month and date of publication, and sometimes page numbers as well.

 

6.  What good is the sakuin shūsei?

Generally speaking, the sakuin shūsei is the best resource currently available for pre-1948 academic journals, specialized magazines, or any other form of periodical literature that falls outside the purview of popular culture. While the Nichigai zasshi kiji sakuin (now available through the National Diet Library as well) has been indexed in a variety of ways that greatly facilitate research in postwar periodicals, it doesnft have any information prior to 1948. According to the Kōseisha database, the sakuin shūsei was created in order to fill this huge gap in the zasshi kiji sakuin. The Oya Sōichi bunko catalogue does feature a great deal of prewar periodical literature, but it concentrates on popular magazines, excluding many academic and specialized journals contained in the Kōseisha collection.

 

7.  Why doesnft anyone ever seem to use the sakuin shūsei?

Perhaps due to the fact that this is a work in progress, the sakuin shūsei has only been indexed in the most rudimentary way. The print version of the author index and the online author search engine allow for productive results when one happens to know the name of the author one is looking for.  At this point in time, however, there are no indices that allow for subject, title, or keyword searching. Until this collection has been further indexed (assuming that it will be), the broad categorical divisions mentioned above and the sōmokuji available in print and online will remain the only means of conducting subject searches. Needless to say, this is an extremely time-consuming and frustrating way to search for periodicals.

 

8.  How can I use the sakuin shūsei without giving myself a migraine?

·                     First, consult the chronological chart to make sure that the years you are interested in are covered in the collection. This will help you to avoid spending hours searching for information that doesnft exist.

·                     If you are simply interested to find out what was being written in periodicals on a certain subject during a given period of time, the chronological charts will tell you which volumes to browse through.

·                     Consult the sōmokuji to look at the list of specific periodical guides that compose the sakuin shūsei. While some of the guides are very general ( Showa 5-nen no kokushi gakkai, for example), others may be devoted to your specific area of interest (e.g. articles relating to the Manchurian railway or relations with Korea ).

·                     Overall, bear in mind that the current state of this sakuin shūsei makes it a bad first stop. If you are interested in what was being written about a subject that falls outside of the collectionfs broad categories, first consult contemporary resources to find out which writers addressed that subject at the time. For example, turning to the sakuin shūsei to find articles written about the modan bōi or the modan gāru is unlikely to produce anything but exasperation if you donft know who wrote about those figures. However, a quick scan of an article by Miriam Silverberg or Barbara Hamill Sato, for example, will provide you with a long list of writers who were active during the late Taisho and early Showa periods who addressed the subject with some regularity. You can then use the author index to look for articles by these authors.

·                     Read the introductory notes to the author index ( hanrei) in order to understand the way the index has been organized. gShakai kagakuhen 5-189,h for example, refers to page 189 in volume 5 of the social sciences edition of the collection.  

·                     Bear in mind that the indexes and the actual collection are kept in separate locations. The indexes are in the reference section, the reprinted periodical guides are kept in the 200 level of the stacks (AI19.J3 M45 1994, AI19.J3 M452 1995).

·                     If the online search engine fails to turn up any results for a given author, try using complex characters instead of the simplified characters in modern usage. While the print index for author names allows one to browse through lists of authors, the online search engine is not browsable at all, nor does it account for changes in orthography between the prewar and postwar periods. In this sense, the print index is much more user-friendly.

 

9.  What should I do when I find a reference to an article in the sakuin shūsei that looks interesting?

First, check CLIO to see if Columbia has the particular periodical youfre looking for. If that fails, use BorrowDirect to see if one of the participating libraries has it. If you still canft find it, your next best bet is either the WorldCat or the Eureka search engine, which can tell you if the periodical is available in the United States . If you canft find it in the US , you might use NACSIS Webcat to search Japanese institutions. You may have a better chance of finding obscure prewar periodicals in Japan , but it generally takes much longer for interlibrary loan materials to arrive from overseas. There is also always the chance that the library will not loan out the

periodical youfre interested in.

 

 

Chronology for the Social Sciences edition ( ŽÐ‰ï‰ÈŠw•Ò”N•\ )

General Social Sciences

( ŽÐ‰ï‰ÈŠwˆê”Ê )

1867-1894, 1911-1915, 1916-1940, 1945-1949

7 sources

Modern Asia/South Seas

( ‹ß‘ãƒAƒWƒAŠÜ“ì—m )

1912-1942, 1945-49

16 sources

Politics ( ­Ž¡ )

1867-1927

3 sources

Law ( –@—¥ )

1867-1948

13 sources

Economics/Commercial Science ( ŒoÏŠÜ¤Šw )

1867-1942, 1947-1950

19 sources

Society/Urban Problems ( ŽÐ‰ïŠÜ“sŽs–â‘è )

1867-1950

16 sources

Agriculture/Forestry ( ”_‹ÆE—Ñ‹Æ )

1867-1941

3 sources

 

<> 
 

Chronology for the Humanities edition ( l•¶‰ÈŠw•Ò”N•\ )

General Humanities ( l•¶ˆê”Ê )

1894-1899, 1908-1915, 1921-1924, 1925-1934, 1944-1962

13 sources

Thought/Philosophy ( Žv‘zE“NŠw )

1918-1947

3 sources

Japanese History ( “ú–{Žj )

1867-1943, 1945-1956

20 sources

East Asian History ( “Œ—mŽj )

1867-1959

2 sources

Geography ( ’n— )

1936-1942

1 source

Education ( ‹³ˆç )

1930-1943, 1946-1957

7 sources

Customs/Ethnography

 ( •—‘­E–¯‘­Šw )

1927-1934. 1938-1940

4 sources

Architecture ( Œš’z )

1867-1944

1 source

Film/Performing Arts ( ‰f‰æE‰‰Œ| )

1938-1944

1 source

Literature ( •¶Šw )

1867-1926, 1931-1951

26 sources

British/American Studies ( ‰pŠw )

1925-1949

1 source

Western History ( ¼—mŽj )

1867-1943

3 sources

Buddhist Studies ( •§‹³Šw )

1867-1935

1 source

Western Literature/Linguistics ( ¼—m•¶ŠwEŒêŠw )

1945-1964

2 sources