Doi Toshitsura, a daimyo of Tokugawa Japan, published his observations on snow crystals (雪華図説) in 1832. The National Diet Library in Japan has a digital version of this book:

The Harvard-Yenching Library will be closed for the holidays from tomorrow to January 1st.

We wish you a merry Christmas!


Woodblack print from Wan shou sheng dian chu ji 萬壽盛典初集 (Birthday celebrations of the Qing Imperial Household), edited by Wang Yuanqi(1642-1715). Peking: Nei fu, 1716. 40 volumes.From Harvard-Yenching Library Rare Book Collection


Dduper Kiut’kiu(The White Garuda)The White Garuda sitting atop the wish-giving-tree, from a funeral scroll of the Naxi, an ethnic minority in China.

From Naxi Manuscript Collection, Harvard-Yenching Library


A 1795 woodblock illustrating on of the dances during the celebration of Hyegyoonggung Hong Ssi’s 60th birthday, called “Ch’oyongmu.” This mask dance is based on the tale of Choyong in the Silla period.

From Korean Rare Book Collection, Harvard Yenching Library.

Digitisation of Yi archives in south dialect in Yunnan

The British Library just added a new collection, Digitisation of Yi archives in south dialect in Yunnan, to its Endangered Archives Programme.

“This project will digitise endangered archival material written in the south dialect of the indigenous Yi language in Yunnan, China. All the materials covered by this project have survived various destructions in the past century but still remain in unsatisfactory conditions. The archival materials come from several counties in south Yunnan, namely Xinping, Yuanyang, Jianshui and Mengzi. Besides these tiny private collections, the largest collection has been established by the Yunnan provincial administrative office of minority classics in Kunming. Amongst more than 4,000 surviving volumes of Yi texts, there are about 800 volumes written in the south dialect. This project will digitize the entire collection of 400 volumes in the public collection in Kunming and another 200 volumes from various public and private collections in the counties mentioned above.”

For more information, please consult the website:


Wherever You Are, Happy Mid-Autumn/Chuseok/Zhongqiu!

See how New York in 1937 looked like in the Japanese eyes.

島森進,紐育案內,紐育: 日米時論社, 1937.紐育案內&adjacent=1

朝鮮變報 (Chōsen henpō) by 渡辺文京 (Watanabe Bunkyō), published in 1882.朝鮮變報&adjacent=1

Mapping Imperial China: A Cultural Exchange
May 23 – September 30, 2013
Map Gallery Hall, Pusey Library

Conventional narratives of East-West interaction in the cartographic sphere tend to portray the cultural exchange as a lopsided, tutelary relationship in which the more “primitive” society inevitably pays fealty to more scientifically sophisticated and objective standards of mapmaking. The simplistic assumptions embedded in this model often misrepresent the dynamic negotiation that occurs in the definition of geographical space. This exhibit examines the complex web of influences and cross-influences that resulted in the frequent metamorphoses of “China” over the centuries. With a focus on the last two dynastic periods—the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912)—the maps displayed here will illustrate the genealogical associations of concepts, images, and stories that have shaped our views of one another.

For further information, contact Joseph Garver at 617-496-3670