Category Archives: SOCIETY

New Resource: Digital Humanities Japan

Announcement from Paula R. Curtis via H-Japan:

The Digital Humanities Japan initiative is pleased to formally announce the launch of our website and its associated content. This includes a mailing list and a resource wiki.

Our wiki contains (among other things):

Scholars Directory – A submission form where you can list yourself a DH Japan scholar, including your current projects, skill sets, and contact information. We hope this will enhance everyone’s ability to find collaborators and find new and fascinating work in the field.

Publications – An open-access google doc where you can list your publications or the publications of others related to the intersection of DH/Japan, whether informational blog posts or peer-reviewed writing.

DH Tools – A list of Japan-specific digital tools, as well as a database of broader DH Tools, separated by category.

There is much more on the wiki, and we hope that the present resources will help facilitate more work on the intersection of Japan and Digital Studies. We encourage contributions from the community to help our resources grow. Contact information is available on the DHJ site for those with any questions.

Mission Statement (from the website): Digital Humanities Japan is an international and interdisciplinary community of scholars and professionals interested in working with digital methods, tools, and resources for Japanese Studies. As a collective, we aim to foster collaboration between those with similar interests by promoting scholarly dialogue, holding workshops to develop technical skills and project ideas, and creating a central platform for the sharing of resources related to digital methods.


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Tweet of the Week #35: Cats, Cats Everywhere

Source: Gaijin Pot
Tweet of the Week

Not a single day goes by without Japanese cat owners parading their furry companions on Twitter and, well, we love it. With more than 9,526,000 pet cats registered in 2017, it’s safe to assume that Japan is absolutely mad about cats.

Let’s take a minute to learn the etymology of the Japanese word for cat, ねこ). The old word for “neko” is “nekoma,” which combines the onomatopoeia for the sound cats make, にゃ and こま meaning “four-legged animal.”

The left radical of the kanji is easy peasy to remember. means beast and is also associated with dogs. The right part, however, requires a little bit more insight since has nothing to do with our feline friends but actually means “seedling” or “sapling.”

First, we already know that Kanji are of Chinese origin. Second, in China, cats go “miao” or “mao.” ‘s Chinese reading is みょう. So if you haven’t guessed by now, , in China, means the “beast that makes a meow sound.” Add that to your list of fun facts to break out at a party!


When you hear a noise coming from inside your walls, you’d expect it to be a rat or mouse snuggling in your insulation waiting until the cover of night to hunt for leftover cheese.

When @d_e_heffun heard something coming from behind the wall, he bravely took it upon himself to investigate and made quite a surprising discovery!




— へっふん@マチアソビ2,3日目 (@d_e_heffun) May 2, 2019




Sounds like a fake “true story,” like the ones you read on the internet but never see in real life. I can’t believe this kind of thing would appear from the walls of our house. By the way, it happened last night.

Say again?

The suffix っけ is a simple expression you should have in your Nihongo bank to help …continue reading


Anonymous on Ethical Issues/Discriminatory practices being carried out by Todai and Kyodai against MEXT scholars


What follows are more travails of foreign and exchange students (not to mention foreign academics employed under this system) who think that studying in Japan is like studying or working at universities in other developed countries. has talked about this flawed system before, as in about a decade ago, when it comes to lack of institutional support for foreign scholarships (to the point where students just give up and leave) or even having sufficient university support when being systematically rejected for an apartment for being a foreigner! Even when the GOJ signals that it wants a more “open-door policy” for more foreign students and staff, what with the Global 30 Project funding from the Ministry of Education (MEXT), the Times Higher Education reported that Japan’s “entrenched ideas hinder” that from happening. And the THE wrote that article back in 2010, meaning that nearly a decade later things still aren’t getting much better. Read on for Anonymous’s report below on the Kafkaesque ordeal he/she had just trying to transfer schools, even those anointed under MEXT’s Global 30 Project.

Forewarned is forearmed, prospective students considering Japan as a destination. Know what you’re getting into or suffer an enormous bump in the road on your way to a terminal degree in your field.

Anonymous: When I applied for an extension to transfer to the University of Kyoto, the University of Tokyo’s rival university, the University of Tokyo had full control of whether to recommend or not recommend me to MEXT. This obviously poses ethical problems, and I was pretty quick to complain to the international office. Why on earth, I asked, am I being evaluated for a scholarship selection by a university who could potentially favor its own scholarship extension applicants, and who I will not be going …continue reading