Notable collections and hidden treasures
Consisting of pamphlets, postcards and magazines from the 1910s through the present, the Takarazuka collection at the East Asia Library is a wonderfully visible introduction to this vibrant all-female theater troupe.
The Japanese Buddhist musical materials collection covers a wide swath of time, from the 1800s through the present. Printed volumes, manuscripts, CDs provide a rich resource on the history of Buddhist instrumental and ritual music in Japan.
A growing collection of woodblock prints, photo albums, how-to manuals, and fabric sample books provide a variety of primary sources on the history of silk production in Japan from the 1700s through the mid-20th century.
The East Asia Library has identified within its collection over 2000 titles published during in the 1940s and 1950s that are held by few (if any) other libraries in the world. Important primary sources for scholars of the twentieth century, the titles cover topics such as colonial territories, nuclear radiation, communism, labor, industrial mobilization, agriculture, among others. Many were considered classified at the time they were published.
A hidden jewel of the Japanese collection is the vast assortment of newspapers held at the Newark facility. Most of these titles were collected by the Hoover Institute's Tokyo office in the post-war period and many are quite rare. Perform a subject term search in SearchWorks ("Newspapers published during the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1952") to discover over 180 newspaper titles from the years 1945-1952 that cannot even be found in the Prange Collection at the University of Maryland!
The Japanese collection boasts a large collection of prints from the 17th through the mid-20th century. Reflecting the newly widespread availability of printing technology, the earliest of these prints tend to be locally-produced, rough, black-and-white images of temple-shrine complexes (pilgrimage being one of the few permissible forms for travel at the time). With time, color begins to brighten these souvenirs pictures and changes in printing technology give them more detail and precision. The later images of temples and shrines provide visual evidence of the effort to separate Shinto from Buddhism that began in the late 19th century. This collection of travel-related prints also reveals the importance of other destinations, such as hot spring resorts (onsen), as well the tenacity of this format, which is adopted by modern companies to advertise their goods.