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Historiographical Institute has cooperated with scholars from all over the world throughout its century of existence, in sharing information about sources concerning Japanese history, exchanging ideas with researchers from outside of Japan, providing foreign students and scholars opportunities to pursue their research in our institute's collections, and offering specialized training in the handling of Japanese historical materials to foreign scholars.
The Historiographical Institute also conducts studies and research on historical documents relating to Japan in foreign countries, many of which are written in foreign languages. Since 1950's the Institute has been collecting microfilms of historical documents relating to Japan in foreign countries, with the support of the Japan Academy, UNESCO and Union Academique Internationale. The collection is by far the largest in Japan, composed mostly of historical documents from the U.S. and European countries, as well as of historical documents concerning ministries of foreign affairs of various countries and the East India Company. In 1999 the Collection Project Study Meeting for Historical Documents concerning Pre-modern Japan in the East Asia, etc. (the East Asia Working Group) was established, and aggressive efforts have been made for collecting historical documents relating to Japan which exist in the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the Southeast Asian countries and for preparing catalogues of the historical documents since then.
The results of such research are reflected in the compilation of historical document collections published by the Historiographical Institute and are also released in Tokyo Daigaku Shiryo Hensan-jo Ho (Report on the Activities of the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo), published annually, and the Bulletin of the Institute. In addition, various kinds of international study meetings have been held to expand international exchange and collaborative research.
We exchanged memorandums concerning academic exchange with those two institutes, and have been conducting studies and research on historical documents of Tsarist Russia related to Japan which are owned by those institutes by, for example, starting to hold "The International Symposium for the Research on the Historical relations between Russia and Japan" in March 2003. We published "Catalogue of Historical Sources relating to Japan in the Russian National Historical Archives" jointly with the Russian National Historical Archives in FY2009, and the "Catalogue of Historical Sources relating to Japan in the Russian State Naval Archives" in FY 2010.
We exchanged a memorandum with the Oriental Research Academy of the Old Documents of Russian Academy of Sciences concerning the joint research project, and provided them with our image data of records concerning the Northern Disputes during the Bunka era in exchange for their image data of trade accounts books of the Sakhalin Ainu in the early 19th century. The Institute of Oriental Manuscripts and we have been separately continuing research on historical documents concerning the Northern Disputes.
The First Historical Archives of China hold imperial documents from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Through collaborative research with the First Historical Archives, the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo has collected digital images of over 3,000 Japan-related items, and in 2010 the "Catalogue of Historical Sources related to Japan in the First Historical Archives of China" was published. The Institute has also been conducting comparative research on the "Illustrated Scroll of Resisting Japanese Pirates" kept in the National Museum of China and the "Wako Zukan" ("Illustrated Scroll of Attacking Japanese Pirates") included in the Institute's collections. The Institute has signed a collaboration agreement with the National Museum of China, and has been undertaking joint research on these images of wako "Japanese" pirates. In FY2014, the Institute published "The Wako as Depicted in the 'Illustrated Scroll of Attacking Japanese Pirates' and the 'Illustrated Scroll of Resisting Japanese Pirates'."
The East Asian Association of Historical Materials Research and Compilation Organizations (the board members of which include the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo, the National Institute of Korean History, and the Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) was established to lay the groundwork for the formation of an amicable collaborative relationship between Japan, China and Korea that can be maintained over the long term, by promoting academic exchange in relation to the compilation of historical materials and the undertaking of historical research in these three countries. The Association held its fourth meeting in Seoul, Korea in 2014, and in 2015 a further joint agreement was signed, whereby, in principle, meetings of the Association will be held once every 2-3 years, with Japan, China and Korea hosting the meetings on a revolving basis.
Following the signing of an agreement between the National Institutes for the Humanities (acting as the coordinating organization) and the Vatican Library, a project has begun to survey, catalogue and publish a collection of more than 10,000 items of historical materials collected by Salesian missionary Father Mario Marega related to persecution of the Christian community in the Bungo region of Japan. The Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo is participating in this project in a supporting role. In 2014, the project was designated as a joint research base project for specified joint research on historical materials held overseas, and the Institute is currently undertaking a joint survey in collaboration with other domestic and overseas researchers.
Japan-related materials were researched at Yale University in the years 2010-2015 by the Institute commissioned by the National Institute for the Humanities. As a result, an exhibition was held at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale, from January to April 2015, and a related international symposium was held on March 5-6, 2015.
We made an arrangement with Centre de recherches sur les civilisations chinoise, japonaise et tibetaine du College de France concerning academic exchange in January, 2010 and have been researching and photographing the Bernard Frank collection, the Louis Kreitmann collection, and the historical materials collection of the Koshu Mitsui Family owned by the Centre.
In 2015 we concluded a memorandum to cooperate in the digitization of the "Livros das Moncoes" historical documents in the possession of the National Archives of Portugal and to engage in research cooperation aimed at collecting historical materials related to Japan and Asia, compiling catalogue information, etc.
In collaboration with the project for Union Academique Internationale conducted by the Japan Academy, that is, the project of collecting unpublished historical documents in foreign countries, we are researching and collecting historical documents relating to Japan and interacting with researchers in Russia, China and the Netherlands, Germany and several South European countries, and have been jointly hosting international study meetings on historical documents relating to relations between Japan and Russia since FY2004 as mentioned above.