About Yosha Bunko and affiliated websites

First posted 1995
Last updated 29 March 2017


Yosha Bunko

The following 5 domains are associated with Yosha Bunko aka William Wetherall.

William Wetherall @ www.wetherall.org
Yosha Bunko @ www.yoshabunko.com
News Nishikie @ www.nishikie.com
The Steamy East @ www.steamyeast.com
Konketsuji @ www.konketsuji.com

Yosha Bunko is the name of my personal library, which beats in the breast of the Yosha Bunko, News Nishikie, Steamy East, Konketsuji, and Wetherall websites. "Yōsha" (羊舎) is a Sino-Japanese representation of "Wetherall" meaning a sheep stall or shed.

The original name of Yosha Bunko (羊舎文庫 Yōsha Bunko) was Yosha Research (羊舎研究所 Yōsha Kenkyūjo). This remained the name of the general website after adding the Steamy East and News Nishikie sites. Some aerial photographs (satellite images) of my neighborhood on the Japanese version of Google Maps show my home as 羊舎研究所, reflecting older signage on my mailbox. Since 2015, my mailbox has shown 羊舎文庫. We'll see how long it takes the cartographers to catch up me.

Yosha Bunko's stacks fill five rooms and contain over 25,000 volumes and several times that number of articles and clippings spanning about four decades of collection. The library also has twelve tall file cabinets full of copies of journal articles and tear sheets and clippings from magazines and newspapers. Outside, in six metal sheds, are dozens of boxes of weekly and monthly Japanese magazines going back to the late 1960s.

The library is in my home, as is the study where I work on my projects. A few thousand books were tossed to the aisles between the stacks, and a few bookcases shifted, in the 11 March 2011 earthquakes which devastated the northeast coasts of Japan. The ridge tiles of the second-story roof, over my study and bedroom, were thrown as far as the snow catches and rain gutters.

Outside, with the metal sheds, is a tiny, fairly carefree wedge-shaped garden -- inhabited by a small, very carefree tanuki, who guards a scale model of Nintoku's tomb, replete with miniature haniwa. There is now also a mogura shrine which accommodates the spiritual needs of the families of moles that tunnel under neighborhood yards.

In season, a tiny strip of earth, the length of two tatami end-to-end, produces enough fairly tasty cherry tomatoes for myself, neighbors, family, friends, and the local barber, and a few mostly curled cucumbers or ears of unremarkable corn. Black berries, but not as wild and thorny and juicy and sweet as those I used to pick in California, struggle on a smaller strip of dirt in the back for the honor of topping a few servings of vanilla ice cream in a good year.

Background

I, William Wetherall, am an independent researcher and writer. To some extent I am a product of the following institutions and majors.

AA, Engineering, Sierra College, 1961
BA, Japanese Studies, University of California at Berkeley, 1969
MA, Asian Studies (Japan), University of California at Berkeley, 1973
PhD, Asian Studies (Northeast Asia), University of California at Berkeley, 1982

I say "to some extent" because over the decades since I flew their nests, my own observations and experiences have led me to doubt some of the "knowledge" and "viewpoints" my mentors imparted to me. If that is what education is for, then perhaps I can say that I have lived up to their expectations.

Publications

Writings I have had published in paper media are listed under Publications on the Wetherall site. Most of these writings, including my translations of short stories, have been republished on one or another Yosha Bunko website.

Some of my fiction and non-fiction, and a few autobiographical jottings, and a on-going and back-looking family history, are published on the Wetherall site

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Yosha Bunko

"Yosha Bunko" refers to both the Yosha Bunko (www.yoshabunko.com) website, and to the collection of websites which are affiliated with Yosha Bunko, as I call my personal library and office. All websites are linked to the other websites, and all are also accessible through a Gateway page on the root of the web space I rent on the sakura.ne.jp server that hosts their domains.

Yosha Bunko (羊舎文庫) began as Yosha Kenkyujo (羊舎研究所), the name on a "ex libris" seal I had made in 1970. The seal appears on some of the earliest volumes. I no longer use the seal, except in nostalgic moments, and to impress my granddaughter.

I constructed the website in 1995, when I first had an Internet connection that facilitated the creation of home-based websites. For several years, I posted not only my own articles, but articles by some friends, including Mark Schreiber, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, John Maher, and Tei Taikin. The website also hosted the writings of my students.

The site underwent several metamorphoses as I changed ISPs, adopted more recent html scripting features, and acquired some new interests and domains to express them. In the course of these revisions, and subsequent to my retirement as a teacher and move to my present residence, circa 2001, I dropped all contributed content.

Everything, warts and all

Yosha Bunko now includes web versions of many articles that I have had published over the years in books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. However, practically all of the most recent articles, which constitute the bulk of the content, have been published only on this site.

My thinking related to some subjects has radically changed over the decades. Earlier articles that no longer reflect my thinking are clearly marked. Others have been partly revised to reflect my current thinking. When revising articles that have been published in paper media, I have left the original phrasing readable through overstriking, in order to document my stumbling travels through the world of thought.

Toward this end, I have also posted many manuscripts of school reports I saw fit to save. I have no idea what became of the reports I wrote for high school and my first years of college in the late 1950s and early 1960s. However, I kept all the reports I wrote during my undergraduate studies in the late 1960s, and the graduate papers I wrote in the early 1970s.

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News Nishikie

The News Nishikie (www.nishikie.com) site was launched on 21 July 2004. Its English name is a translation of ニュース錦絵 (nyuusu nishikie), an expression I coined in Japanese to bridge two schools of thought in Japan about such prints, and to side more with one school than the other.

The older 新聞錦絵 (shinbun nishikie) or "news nishikie" school treats the prints as "nishikie based on news", while the more recent and fashionable 錦絵新聞 (nishikie shinbun) or "nishikie news" school contends that they were "news conveyed by nishikie". The former stresses the qualities of "nishikie" as woodblock picture commodities, while the latter emphasizes the characteristics of "news" as fresh and timely information.

While not denying that some such prints did convey news in lieu of newspapers, most were based on reports that originally appeared in papers, printed well after their newspaper sources, and marketed like other nishikie. In others words, they were sold like souvenir prints, books, and other such printed matter, and reprinted as long as there was demand.

My interest and collection began from a print that Mark Schreiber introduced to me through a dealer he knew and from whom he himself had bought some prints. A couple of months before I launched the News Nishikie site, Mark had published an article about such prints. He later contributed a few articles and reviews to the website, and some paragraphs to a coauthored article.

The site is dedicated to all the sources of information introduced in the Bibliography and Web Sources, especially the collections of Kanbara Jinzō (1884-1954) and Nishigaki Buichi (1901-1967), the collection and studies of Ono Hideo (1885-1977), and more recently the studies of Kinoshita Naoyuki, Takahashi Katsuhiko, Tsuchiya Reiko, and Yoshimi Shun'ya. While pioneering much of the current research on what I have named "news nishikie", I stand on the shoulders of such giants.

Images

The vast majority of the images on this site are scans I have made myself of prints in my own collection. However, because arguments about news nishikie can only be advanced through visual evidence, I have have taken liberties with images from Kanbara Bunko, Nishigaki Bunko, the Ono Collection, the Bunsei Shoin CD-ROM compiled by Tsuchiya Reiko, and a number of other sources.

All images obtained from other sources have been acknowledge as such. Most have been used without express permission because I regard the nishikie works themselves to be in the public domain. It the same spirit, I offer all images of copies in my own collection, as shown on this site, to the world at large.

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The Steamy East

The Steamy East (www.steamyeast.com) site as launced in 2000. The name was taken from a series of articles written in the late 1980s by Mark Schreiber, who contributed some reviews of related fiction to the site.

What you see is what you get

Mark and I have collected, between us, over 5,000 novels written in English, either set somewhere in greater Asia or involving something putatively "Asian" elsewhere on earth or beyond. Our personal tastes in such fiction, and our views of its meaning in the social history of literature, are different. And our tastes and views have changed over the years and continue to shift.

Do not, therefore, expect to find on this website the sort of consistency that is likely to be seen a monograph written and edited by a single mind in a single state of delusion. The states of confusion on this site are rivaled only by the dimensions of the Steamy East universe itself -- vast, warped, full of black holes -- and otherwise the sort of space no manner of matrix math magic could map into the flat, uniform world one will often encounter in writing that dwells on faulting Steamy East fiction for its tendency to portray Asia and Asians as strange, exotic, mysterious, inscrutable, sexist, cruel, or not quite human, if not mystical, otherworldly, superhuman.

From a certain critical point of view, much of what we are calling Steamy East fiction is inevitably stereotypical if not also highly and hideously discriminatory. However, ignorance and prejudice are facts of life. Even the worst Steamy East stories need to be understood, and appreciated, for what they were meant to be when written, rather than be merely despised or dismissed through ideological eyes that are apt to be, in their own ways, as biased and misinformed as were those of some of the authors they disparage as dead white neo-colonialist male chauvinist pigs, or whatever.

If ignorance and prejudice do not warrant tolerance, neither do they deserve intolerance. Yet intolerance is the growing response to literature, past and present, that some people find offensive. The fashionable solution is to ban, deface, censor, and otherwise figuratively burn any books that do not suit ones religious or philosophical taste. This is a particularly worrisome trend in the United States. The land of the free and home of the brave is becoming a country of censors, who now get jobs in publishing companies, libraries, and even universities.

The situation is not much brighter in Japan, where the contributors have lived most of their lives. Both know, as writers, how complex and fragile the truth can be in a publishing world that is vulnerable to fashions of correctness and sensitivity -- resulting in editorial standards that put economic and political bottom-lines before discomforting or inconvenient facts.

What one learns in a classroom and from mainstream media is a highly filtered, sanitized, romanticized, and otherwise distorted fraction of the information one needs to understand the human condition past and present. This website has no bottom-line. What you see here will be what is out there in the natural world of Steamy East fiction -- with no apologies for the blunt and tasteless titles, cover art, and stories one sometimes encounters in the literary jungle.

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William Wetherall

The Wetherall (www.wetherall.org) site was formerly Yosha Press, which started as a dream a few years before the ground for its construction was broken in January 2007 in the form of a domain called www.yoshapress.com. The blueprints called for conventionally printed and bound books, self-published in the true sense of this word, as Yosha Press imprints produced by a local printer.

The first book, a collection of short stories already written but undergoing editing, was supposed to have come out later that year. Health problems and other more urgent matters pushed Yosha Press to the bottom of my list of priorities. By 2009, however, I had concluded that the goal of sharing my stories with others would be better served by publishing them on as html or pdf files. Electronic stocks would go up. Everyone from loggers to ink makers and mailmen would have less work.

I also thought that Yosha Press would be a good place to post non-fiction writing, including autobiographical jottings, that did not quite fit on the other Yosha Bunko sites, hence the links to such materials on the entrance page.

However, I have since relinquished the www.yoshapress.com domain, and I now post everything of a more personal nature -- including my general essays, ficiton, and family history -- on the www.wetherall.org domain.

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Konketsuji

The splash page of the Konketsuji (www.konketsuji.com) site was uploaded on 23 March 2017. Content followed as each part was edited to a point where I felt I wanted to share it with the world.

The Konketsuji site originated in 2008 as the "Blending in Japan" section on the Yosha Research site as the main Yosha Bunko site was called before 2015, when acquired the yoshabunko.com domain and consolidated all my websites on the same rental server space in Japan. The tag line of the "Blending in Japan" feature was "Fruits of migration and war". The feature was prominently listed at the top of the "Race" section of Yosha Research as "100-million hybrids" subtitled "Racial blending in Japan: Fruits of migration and war". This linked to the introduction an contents page of the "Blending in Japan" feature. I left both the link and the introduction and contents page for reference purposes, adding a note at the top about the revamping of the feature as the "Konketsuji" site.

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Fair use

The images and articles on all Yosha Bunko websites straddle public and private domains. To facilitate their non-commercial use by the widest possible audience, the contents of these websites are protected under the provisions of a Creative Commons License (CCL).

See the section on Creative Commons for further information and links. See the sections on Permissions and Attributions for further qualifications regarding how CCL applies to content on Yosha Bunko websites.

In the belief that the World Wide Web is an open and public forum, some articles on Yosha Bunko websites refer to an external website through a link which has been included without the owner's explicit permission. In the same spirit, other websites are free to post links to any content on a Yosha Bunko site without my permission.

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Creative Commons

There are different kinds of Creative Commons licenses. The license under which this website is protected is called an Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) agreement. Clicking the following links will display the license agreement in either English or Japanese.

Creative Commons License Icon

Creative Commons License

English version of Creative Commons License

This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Japanese version of Creative Commons License

このウェブサイトは、クリエイティブ・コモンズ・ライセンスの下でライセンスされています。

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Permissions

All materials featured on Yosha Bunko websites are the properties of their signed contributors, or of their attributed or unattributed sources. They may be copied and used for personal but not commercial use, and for educational but not political or religious purposes.

All articles on Yosha Bunko websites, with the exception of drafts in progress, may be quoted or cited with proper attribution. Please do not quote or cite articles clearly marked as drafts in progress without permission from their authors.

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Attributions

Attributions to articles on Yosha Bunko websites may be made in any manner so long as the authorship and source of the quoted or otherwise cited article is clear. All citation styles can be adapted to website sources.

Bear in mind that the physical locations of Yosha Bunko websites changed in 2015. Until the summer of 2015, the websites resided on different J:Com servers in Japan, accessed through domains registered through Tera Byte Dot Com in Canada. Beginning 25 July 2015, I began transferring all domains, and all the websites, to a single Sakura Internet rental server in Japan. Older URLs are therefore either dead or to older archived versions.

The Yosha Bunko domain names are also stable as I own them, and they and the latest versions of the websites will be maintained by my children in the event I am no longer able to manage them. File and directory names are also generally stable but are subject to change.

Example citations

Here are two recommended citation styles, depending on whether the article was originally published on a Yosha Bunko website or elsewhere. Again, keep in mind that, when shortening citations for the sake of brevity, the site name (shown in bold) and the domain name (shown in parentheses) should be given more priority than the physical URL (shown in italics).

Articles originally published by Yosha Bunko

When citing an article that has been published only on a Yosha Bunko website, please refer to the article as you would an article in a book or journal.

William Wetherall, "Nationality after World War II: Japan's bilateral talks with ROC and ROK", Empire: The Sovereign Empire: Occupations and settlements: Postwar nationality, Yosha Bunko (www.yoshabunko.com), http://www.yoshabunko/empires/Postwar_nationality.html, 1 August 2006, updated 25 August 2015, accessed 24 January 2017.

William Wetherall, "Tonichi and Iwakura Embassy: Inaugural issue report on snowy Sierras and polygamous Salt Lake City", News Nishikie (www.newsnishikie.com), http://www.nishikie.com/wetherall/Tonichi_Iwakura_Embassy.html, 3 February 2008, updated 10 June 2008, accessed 23 December 2015.

William Wetherall, "Mr. Moto Is So Sorry: The handsome I.A. Moto in translation", The Steamy East (www.steamyeast.com), http://www.steamyeast.com/wetherall/Marquand_1938_so_sorry.html, 10 October 2006, updated 15 September 2006, accessed 21 January 2017.

William Wetherall, "Hirano Imao (1900-1986): Champion of mixedbloods, ghosts, and other paranormals", People: Mixed-blood luminaries: Blending in while standing out, Konketsuji (www.konketsuji.com), http://www.konketsuji.com/people/People_Hirano_Imao.html, 1 October 2008, updated 10 May 2017, accessed 25 November 2017.

Articles originally published elsewhere

Articles first published elsewhere, and republished by Yosha Bunko, may be cited as follows.

William Wetherall, "Rites of passage: History of funeral practices intertwined with religion", Far Eastern Economic Review, 16 March 1989, 143(11):67,70. As republished by Yosha Bunko (www.yoshabunko.com), http://www.yoshabunko.com/anthropology/Cremation.html, updated 19 January 1998, accessed 24 November 2015.

William Wetherall and Mark Schreiber, "News nishikie: An arranged marriage that didn't last", Andon, Number 80, June 2006, pages 5-24. As republished on News Nishikie (www.newsnishikie.com), http://www.newsnishikie.com/wetherall/Andon_2006_news_nishikie.html, updated 20 January 2008, accessed 28 February 2016.

Mark Schreiber, "Suez to Suzie Wong", The Steamy East (5), Mainichi Daily News, 29 September 1986, page 9. As republished on The Steamy East (www.steamyeast.com), http://www.steamyeast.com/schreiber/SE05.html, accessed 14 February 2016.

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Romanization

C, J, K, and V are used in parentheses to mark Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese (CJKV) readings of personal names, place names, and other expressions written in Chinese characters, e.g., Mutan (牡丹 J. Botan).

When the reading of a CJKV character expression is shown in more than one language, the romanization will be marked as required, e.g., Bootang (牡丹 C Mutan, J Botan).

When citing, for example, a Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese personal or place name in a Japanese source, the Japanese reading will come first. Similar, when citing a Japanese name expressed in another language, that language's rendering of the name will come first.

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Chinese

Chinese related to the People's Republic of China (PRC) is generally romanized in pinyin (PY). Chinese related to the Ch'ing (Qing) Dynasty or the Republic of China (ROC) is generally romanized in Wade-Giles (WG). Sometimes one is shown after the other in parentheses. When both are shown, Pinyin will precede Wade Giles, e.g. Shin (清 Qīng Ch'ing)

Proper nouns and other expressions usually pronounced in a local dialect will be romanized in customary spellings (Chiang K'ai-shek, Hongkong).

Tones are not always marked. In Pinyin they will usually be shown diacritically (三民主义 sānmín zhŭyì). In Wade-Giles they are usually not shown (三民主義 san-min chu-i), but at times they may be shown by numbers (三民主義 san1min2 chu3i4).

When transliterating from Japanese sources, the received or implied Sino-Japanese readings are shown first. For example, 北京 will be shown as Pekin (ペキン) unless otherwise marked Beijin (べいじん), with the understanding that terminal "-n" in Japanese is pronounced "-ng" unless otherwise constrained.

Hokkyō would be the reading of 北京 when used to mean the "northern capital" of the Northern Court in Kyoto as opposed to the "southern capital" (南京 Nankyō) of the Southern Court in Yoshino in the south of present-day Nara prefecture, in times past.

As the municipality known for having at times been the southern capital of China, 南京 will be Nanking, Nanching, or Nanjing, according to the preferences or implications of the received text. Similarly, in reference to the dynasty and its government, 清 will be Ching, Ch'ing, or Qing -- but Shin when transliterated from Japanese texts.

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Japanese

Japanese has generally been transliterated according to the New Hepburn system of romanization (shinbun) rather than the older and more popular Hepburn system (shimbun) or Kunreishiki (sinbun). However, other romanizations are shown as required.

Historical kana orthography has been romanized as received, i.e., literally. Romanizations reflecting present-day kana orthography may be shown in parentheses or brackets when necessary for clarification, e.g., iro ha nihoheto . . . wehi mo sesu (iro wa nihoeto . . . ei mo sezu).

Vowel lengthening is not always marked, especially in older articles. In more recent articles, lengthening is shown by a macron or by doubling as required (aa ii uu ū ee oo ou ō). Note that "ō" will always represent "ou" and not "oo".

A final "-e" (mine, Fuse) will not be marked with an acute accent unless received that way (miné, Fusé).

"e" and "ga"

When two or more characters are used to represent the same sounds and meanings in linguistically (phonologically and semantically) identical expressions, the graphic (scriptual, calligraphic) differences may be represented in the romanization.

A good example, which frequents the News Nishikie site, is the use of both 絵 and 画 to represent "e". Because these two graphs contrast in many otherwise identical expressions, including titles of prints, 絵 will be shown as "e" and 画 will be shown as "ga" in such expressions, with the understanding that both are read "e" and mean "picture".

nishikie (錦絵)
nishikiga (錦画)

In other words, "nishikie" and "nishikiga" are intended as graphic and not linguistic distinctions. In these cases, both 絵 and 画 are graphic synonyms of "e", and hence both 錦絵 and 錦画 would be pronounced "nishikie".

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Korean

Korean is generally romanized in McCune-Reischauer (MR). However, other romanizations are shown as received, including those based on the system introduced in 2000 by ROK's Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT). For example, where MR would have Kim Il Sŏng for 김일성 (金日成), MCT would have Gim Il Seong.

Place and personal names better known in other spellings are usually shown as such, e.g., Seoul rather than Sŏul (MR) for 서울, and Kim Il Song or Kim Il Sung for Kim Il Sŏng (MT). The breve used in MR to differentiate some vowels is sometimes omitted, especially in common words like hangul (한글 MR hangŭl, MCT hangeul).

When romanized from Japanese texts, Korean place and personal names will be shown first in Sino-Japanese, hence Keijyau (けいじゃう in older kana orthography) or Keijō (けいじょう in present kana orthography) for 京城 (경성 MR Kyŏngsŏng, MCT Gyeongseong), and Kin Nissei (金日成) or Kimu Iruson (キム・イルソン).

The personal names of Koreans in Japan, or of Japanese or others who prefer the Sino-Japanese or mixed Sino-Japanese and Japanese readings of their putatively Korean names, will be shown as such. For example, Tei Taikin (鄭大均 てい・たいきん Tei Taikin), except when Tei himself used Chung Daekyun or another spelling, and Cho Yoshinori or Yoshinori Cho (張賢徳 ちょう・よしのり Chō Yoshinori).


Vietnamese

Only a few Vietnamese expressions appear on this site. Most are personal and place names with linguistic roots in Chinese. The Chinese characters historically used to write them have at times been shown.

When transliterating from Japanese sources, the received or implied Sino-Japanese readings are shown first. For example, from 761 to 767, Abe no Nakamaro (阿倍仲麻呂 698-770), who went to China in 717 and became an official of the Tang court, was posted for six years to the city in Annam that was later called Tonkin (東京 C. Tongking, Tonking, V. Dong Kinh, Đông Kinh), and still later Hanoi (河内 C. Hanoi, V. Ha Noi, Hà Nội).

As the Annamese city was still referred to as 東京 in 1868 when Edo become Tōkyō, written with the same characters, which mean "eastern capital", some writers and publishers apparently used 東亰, a graphic variation of 東京, to differentiate Japan's new capital from Tonkin (see Tonichi mastheads: The character of calligraphy in the Articles section of News Nishikie.

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Translations

Unless otherwise indicated, all translations in an article are mine. A word, though, about the bulk of the translations.

Some of the translations on Yosha Bunko have been polished for publication in general magazines, journals, or books. Most, however, are presented as close structural translations -- as my intent is to show, in English, the construction of the original texts in terms of their wording (terminology, usage) and phrasing (grammar, syntax).

Most structural translations can easily polished by deleting the construction marks, removing the scaffolding, bridging or annotating metaphors that might not travel in English without commentary, and anglicizing some of the syntax while respecting the stylistic features of the original.


Structural fidelity

Structural fidelity is important, especially in translations of literature, but also of legal texts. Structure means story presentation -- wording and phrasing -- semantic details and their syntactic flow -- the stuff of narrative style -- the warp, woof, and texture of a story, law, or court decision.

What can be lost

What is lost when translators play loose with structure? Very simply and essentially, the quality of a narrative -- whether of a work of literature or a legal text.

In literature, narrative quality means how an author chooses to tell a story -- short dramatic sentences like a Hemingway or longer, explanatory prose like a Faulkner -- rhythm and metaphor -- voice.

In legal texts, narrative quality means how a law stipulates its provisions, or how a court decision argues the finer distinctions of laws and precedents -- using the resources of the language in which they are written.

Representation, interpretation, explanation

Structural translation aim to reflect, as closely as possible in English, the phrasing and usage of the original. Elements of the original text are first represented in what I consider to be their basic English equivalents. Original text and/or romanization may be shown in (parentheses).

national
national (国民)
national (国民 kokumin)
national (kokumin)

Contextual interpretations are shown in [brackets]. Such interpretations will be limited to precise paraphrasing within the semantic range of the basic representation. Parallel expressions cited from other English versions will be enclosed in quotes.

national [an affiliate of a nation]
nationals [some nationals as individuals]
nationals [all nationals comprising the nation, "the people"]

Explanations and comments that exceed the parameters of a precise contextual paraphrase will be appended as annotations rather than shown in-line.

Omissions

Most translations are complete. Omissions of parts that are not germane are shown with ellipses ( . . . ) or, additionally, specifically marked ( . . . omitted . . .) without further comment. Omissions due to missing or problematic (corrupted, illegible, unreadable, undecipherable) text are specifically marked as such. Where possible I have shown and discussed problematic text.

Sources

In principle, when citing a source, original titles and spellings will be respected. Translated titles will be shown in [brackets] following original titles. When an English title has been provided with a Japanese source, I will first show my translation in [square brackets] and the provided title in <angle brackets>.

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Terminology

Terminology has become a major issue for me as I revise my thinking about how best to represent Japan and its history in English, based on Japanese sources. Words and expressions I used in my student days with some frequency -- culture, the West, the Japanese, modern, citizen, minority group -- I no longer use or restrict to very specific contexts.

Many of the problems arise in the various ways key Japanese terms, for example, have been represented in English. My own approach to translating legal texts and other materials across the decades has been to tag terms with English equivalents that best match the received text, and not mix metaphors for the sake of simplifying the text in order to accommodate an imagined reader's expecations.

Examples of terminology standards

Here are some examples of problems of usage I frequently encounter in both my own writing and translation, and the standards I have adopted as partial solutions. See the Glossaries section of the Yosha Bunko site, and the Glossary part of the Almanacs section of the News Nishikie site, for more detailed discussions of all keywords

Japanese and Korean

I use words like "Japanese" and "Korean" to mean a national of Japan or of one or another Korea, or Japanese or Koreans collectively as nationals of Japan or Korea, always with reference to civil status, never putative race or ethnicity. When racializing individuals, I will always qualify their nationality with a suitable racioethnic term, such as "black Korean" or "white American" or "yellow Japanese" or whatever.

Similarly, a term like "Korean Japanese" in my usage will always refer to a Japanese national of some degree of self-styled Korean national ancestry, again regardless of race or ethnicity. In other words, ancestry through lineal descent or adoption is not to be automatically linked with either race or ethnicity.

When appearing in cited material, or when used in translations, however, such terms will acquire the nuances, often racialist, implied by their users.

Chosen and Chosenese

There are many reasons to differentiate Chosen and Chosenese from Korea and Koreans. In my usage, Chosen and Chosenese will reflect 朝鮮 (Chōsen) and 朝鮮人 (Chōsenjin) in Japanese, referring to the entity Korea became when it was annexed as as part, its territorial affiliates regardless of their race or ethnicity, who were Japanese, between 1910 and 1952.

Chosen ceased to part of "Japan" as an Occupied state on 2 September 1945, and was formally ceded away from Japan on 28 April 1952. Yet continued to be used, as in the 1965 ROK-Japan normalization treaty, and is still used in court briefs and decisions concerning legacy issues. In such references, it is important to differentiate "Chosen" from the entity of "Korea" that became Chosen, and from the entity of "Korea" that Chosen again became when "liberated" in 1945.

All Chosenese lost their Japanese nationality from 28 April 1952, but today, in Japan, there is a still a residual population of Chosenese -- persons affiliated with Chosen who have been in Japan's prefectures since the end of World War II, and their Japan-born descendants. Such people remain Chosenese because they have yet to acquire a nationality that Japan recognizes.

Kokumin, kokuseki, and kika

The term 国民 (kokumin) is always "national" (individuals) or "nation" (collectively), and 国籍 (kokuseki) is always "nationality" in my usage. Like many people, I used to confuse nationality and citizenship, mainly because I grew up in the United States, where domestic law defines US citizenship as nationality with rights of Federal suffrage, and speaks of citizens. The basic US law, though, is a law of nationality. And Japanese laws do not define, or speak of, citizens or citizenship.

Some terms are rendered according to practices in specific periods. Accordingly, 帰化 (kika) is "allegiance change" before enforcement of the Nationality Law in 1899, and "naturalization" after this law enabled aliens to petition for permission to acquire nationality.

Minzoku and jinshu

Both 民族 (minzoku) and 人種 (jinshu) are "race" when used metaphorically to refer to a population that is thought of primarily in terms of "blood" (biological, genetic) descent. However, 民族 is sometimes used to mean "nation" or "nationality" in the ethnic or racioethnic sense of these terms, while 人種 is used to refer to "race" in its narrower biological sense.

To reserve the terms "nation" and "nationality" for their proper use as legal terms that define the populations of civil states as non-racial, not-ethnic entities, I will always qualify 民族 as "race" in the sense of "ethnorace" or "racioethnic nation", while 人種 (jinshu) will be qualified as "race" in the sense of "biorace" or "biological race". Such qualifications will be made with the understanding that, in practically all instances, "minzoku" (民族) metaphorically conflates with "jinshu" (人種) as an essentially genetic quality.

Such as surely, particularly but not exclusively in American English, "nationality" and "national origin" -- and to some extent even "culture" and "heritage" in fashionable "multiculturalist" and "multiracialist" idiom today -- are similarly imbued with nuances of racioethnic determinism, hence the continued use of terms like African, Asian, European, Japanese, French, ad infinitum as labels for putative geographical racial ancestry.

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Dates

When citing lunar calendar dates from older Japanese, Korean, and Chinese sources, I have generally shown the reign name plus year-month-day lunar calendar date first, followed by the equivalent Christian-era solar calendar date, either in-line or in (parentheses). When citing secondary sources that appear to have mixed lunar calendar months and days with Christian-era years, I will show corrections in [brackets].

On this website, all dates expressed in the form 29 March 1872, or 1872-3-29, are solar dates. All dates before Meiji 6, when expressed as reign names followed by year-month-day dates, will be lunar dates. All dates from Meiji 6 will be solar dates.

Meiji 6

The Meiji government used the lunar calendar through Meiji 5-12-2 (31 December 1872). From the following day, the government officially adopted the solar calendar. Hence Meiji 5-12-3 (lunar) became Meiji 6-1-1 (solar), or New Year's Day 1873 (solar).

When citing older materials, lunar dates will always be shown first, and their Christian-era solar calendar equivalents will be shown in parentheses. For example, the 30th day of the 5th month of the 4th year of Keiō will be shown like this.

Keiō 4-5-30 (19 July 1868)

Julian and Gregorian dates

When presenting dates from early historical sources, I have sometimes shown the Julian date in [brackets] following the Gregorian date -- mostly to facilitate checking dates obtained by using conventional conversion tables with dates obtained with on-line calendar converters.

Nihon shoki 19, Kinmei 17 Winter 10, 556-11/12
[Month 10 lunar straddles months 11 and 12 Gregorian]

Nihon kōki 24, Saga, Kōnin 6 Winter 10-15, 815-11-23 [19]
[10-15 lunar corresponds to 11-23 Gregorian and 11-19 Julian]

In the above examples, the bracketed [Julian date] would apply since the Gregorian calendar did not replace the Julian calendar until Tenshō 10-9-19, when [5 October 1582] Julian was declared to be 15 October 1582 Gregorian.

Tenshō 10-9-18, 1582-10-14 [4] (last Julian date)
Tenshō 10-9-19, 1582-10-15 [5] (first Gregorian date)

Impact of shift from lunar to solar calendars

While Meiji 6 marked the end of the lunar calendar officially, the lunar calendar continued to be used in some quarters of life and is alive and well today in some circles. Moreover, many lunar dates that marked famous historical events and popular seasonal observations before the adoption of the solar calendar survive numerically on the solar calendar, thus throwing them out of kilter with their historical contexts.

Topknots and swords

Here is an example of the effects of the calendar change from Meiji 6 on the dates of contemporary proclamations.

On 23 September 1871 (Meiji 4-8-9 lunar calendar), a Great Council of State proclamation required shizoku (legal title of members of former warrior caste) to cut the topknots (散髪 sanpatsu), which had been a trademark of their status, but permitted them to brandish their swords (脱刀 dattō) -- whereas heimin (legal title of commoners), who had begun to wear swords, were prohibited from doing so. Then on 28 March 1876 (Meiji 9-3-28 solar calendar), another Great Council of State proclamation (No. 38) forbid all wearing of swords (帯刀 taitō) -- "other than use with court dress [taireifuku] or uniforms of military personnel and police" (大禮服竝ニ軍人警察官吏等制服著用ノ外帶刀禁止).

Ako rōnin

A good example of how lunar dates were transposed (rather than converted) to solar dates is the assassination of Kira by the Ako rōnin of Chūshingura fame, and their punishment by self-execution for what was deemed to have been an illegal vendetta.

The raid (uchiri) took place on the night of the 14th and 15th of the 12th month of the 15th year of Genroku. This happens to be the night of the 30th and 31st of January 1703. However, today it is remembered as occurring on the night of the 14th and 15th of December -- never mind that some sources will say 1703, which would post-date the event by over ten months.

The attack on Kira's residence was planned for the middle of the lunar month because the moon would be full -- something which a solar date would not predict. The guard was further relaxed that night because it happened to snow. The attackers may not have planned on the snow, but they knew it would be cold. And it is far more likely to be cold enough for snow on 12-14/15 lunar than on 12-14/15 solar.

Forty-six of the rōnin executed themselves on the 4th day of the 2nd month of the 16th year of Genroku -- which corresponds to to 20 March 1703 on the solar calendar. But today they are mourned on 4 February. While the absolute seasonality of their deaths is thus entirely lost, the seasonality of their deaths relative to the end of one year and the start of the next -- irrespective of calendar -- is preserved, as people continue to remember their act half a month before the end of the year and mourn their deaths a month into the new year.

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Technical

All files on Yosha Bunko have been compiled on a text editor. I do not use an html editor or webpage builder. Though I continue to use some tags that most webpage designers have long since abandoned, the script is simple and organized and will be recognized by all browsers capable of handling legacy script.

Most large tables of statistics were first created as Excel spreadsheets then converted to html using Excel's html converter. The table components of the converted files were then cut and pasted into my own article templates and sometimes otherwise modified.

Cascading style sheets (css)

The earliest versions of the original Yosha Research webite used frames. The next designs used frames with cascading style sheets. The present design uses only flat files controlled by a single cascading style sheet. Some of the files appear to have frames, but they are really flat files made to appear like frames.

All html files on Yosha Bunko websites are controlled by a single css style sheet on the root directory of the website. An article served as an html file will properly display only it is properly associated with this style sheet.

Image files

An image related to an html file will display with the file only if it is in an "images" folder properly associated with folder containing the html file.

Pdf files

In principle I do not serve pdf or other self-contained files from Yosha Bunko websites. However, a pdf files of scans of pages from newspapers have been provided as downloaded from other, attributed sources. These files require only an Adobe Reader to view.

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Scripts and validation

All Yosha Bunko webpages have been written using UltraEdit, a plain text editor. The designs are mine. All html scripting, except that of tables created by Excel, is mine. JavaScript routines are attributed to their authors but I have modified their script.

All pages with the following icon at the bottom have been validated through W3C's Markup Validation Service for HTML 4.01 Transitional. Note, however, that Excel-generated script does not validate at this lower level.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

All pages are styled by a CSS stylesheet of my own concoction validated by W3C's CSS Validation Service at Level 3.

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Languages and coding

Most articles on Yosha Bunko websites are in English. The default script for all Yosha Bunko web files, however, is Shift JIS (Japan Industrial Standard).

Characters not included in Shift JIS -- including older Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese characters; simplified Chinese graphs, Korean hangŭl, and Vietnamese romanization; Thai and Myanmar scripts; alphabetic letters with diacritics; and various non-linguistic symbols -- are embedded in html files using the following kinds of script.

Sequences like &#name; where "name" is a group of letters representing a symbol or graph. For example, the string &#amp; generates an "ampersand" (&).

Unicode numeric character references (NCRs) like &#N; where N is a number -- written N when a decimal number but xN when a hexadecimal number. I have generally converted hexadecimal Unicode formulations like U+N to decimal. For example, since Shift JIS does not include the second-person pronoun 你, the graph U+4F60 (你) could be produced with a NCR string written &#x4F60; (hexadecimal), but I have generally used the formulation &#20320; (decimal).

If characters do not appear on your browser, go to the Encoding submenu on the View menu and look for either Japanese Auto-Select or Japanese Shift-JIS. If such options do not appear, or do not seem to work, then you may need to download and/or install appropriate multilingual add-on features.

Myanmar

The standard Japanese version of Firefox which I use includes fonts for all of the above East and Southeast Asian languages except Myanmar. For Myanmar I installed the Myanmar TrueType font set provided by Myanmar Unicode & NLP Research Center. Whereas strings of complex Thai script properly render on my browser, for some reason Myanmar graphs -- such as ေ (-e) သ (th-) ွ (-w-) း (first tone), representing "thwe" (thway) and meaning "blood" -- remain discrete.

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Browsers and monitors

The visual appearance of all Yosha Bunko webpages has been confirmed using Firefox and a wide-screen monitor. I have personally confirmed some content through Internet Explorer but not Safari.

A few files include JavaScript slide shows and other dynamic features. Since these are client-side programs, you must enable your browser to run JavaScript in order to view their effects.

All Yosha Bunko webpages are designed to stretch or shrink to fit a screen. Most tables, too, will flow, but some are fixed-width. Some older pages are best viewed on a monitor set to 800 x 600 pixels. More recent pages are best viewed at 1600 x 900.

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Disclaimers

All Yosha Bunko websites are publicly accessible sites. By entering and exploring any Yosha Bunko site, visitors understand and accept the following principles.

(1) Anyone who visits a publicly accessible website assumes all responsibility for personal intellectual and emotional consequences of viewing the content.

(2) Providing a link to an external website (a) does not certify the legality of the website in the visitor's local community, (b) does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information found on the website, and (c) does not imply endorsement or approval of the viewpoints, products, or services reflected or offered by the website.

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Contact

Critiques, corrections, suggestions and other feedback, and queries concerning any of the Yosha Bunko websites, are always welcome.

Please use the following form mail to contact Yosha Bunko.

Yosha Bunko Contact Form

Thank you for your attention.

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