In January of 2017 I came back from a trip to Matsuyama, Japan with a suitcase full of more than three decades’ worth of back issues of the journal of the Matsuyama Shiki Society, donated by the Society to Boston University. The journal is a treasure trove of research on Shiki and his circle and an extraordinary example of the vibrant tradition of local scholarship in Japan. But not even the National Diet Library in Tokyo has more than a few issues on its shelves. So with the kind permission of the Society, my student Rebekah Machemer and I digitized 146 issues and uploaded them to our digital archive at Boston University, where they are now accessible, and full-text searchable here.
Thanks to Hoyt Long for recommending a good Japanese OCR program, to Dawn Lawson for writing the catalog entry, Eleni Castro of the BU Library for getting them online, and especially to Nanae Tamura of the Shiki Society (pictured above) for her help throughout the process, including loaning me the suitcase to bring the journals back to Boston.
The newspaper in Matsuyama covered the ceremony at which the Society officially donated the back numbers to our library. It was held at the Shiki Memorial Museum in Matsuyama. The man in the photo below to my right is Imamura Takeshi, then vice-president of the Shiki society, who has written many fantastic articles in the journal, and the man on my left is Ide Yasuo, then President of the Society, and the great-grandson of the poet Ide Masao, who taught Shiki tanka in the summer of 1885. It was a delight and an honor to meet them.