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International Project for the Translation of Nihon sankai meisan zue (1799)

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Directors : Annick Horiuchi (Paris-Diderot), Charlotte von Verschuer (EPHE)

Participants : J. Kyburz, F. Lachaud, D. Struve, A. Beerens (Leiden University), M. Winkel (Leiden University), W. Boot (Leiden University)

This printed work, a copy of which is available at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Japonaises, is composed of five main chapters devoted to a wide range of Japanese traditional arts and crafts. This book provides a wealth of information on the general economic situation and the social and domestic organization of villages in pre-modern Japan, including developments in food habits, artisanal and commercial practices. Numerous illustrations in black and white (70 in total, each covering 2 pages) vividly complement the explanations provided by the text. The book’s translation was launched in the last quarter of 2010 with the participation of Wim J. Boot (University of Leiden), invited by the CNRS for a 3-month academic visit. During this time the first chapter was translated into both French and English and an agreement for future collaboration was laid down. Translation of chapter 5 has been completed and that of chapter 2 is well underway. It would seem that we have underestimated the difficulties of the task and that the translation will take longer than initially expected as it calls for further related research and making contact with specialists in the various fields covered by the book. We hope to complete the translation by 2016. The project will be extended until 2018 with the aim of publishing an illustrated copy of the translation.