Fun Link Friday: Turning Invasive Species into Sushi


A lot of factors can affect changes in our local and global environments, but one that has become a big problem with little attention paid to it is that of invasive species. Sometimes new species get introduced to non-native environments, either because of accidental transportation, climate change, or as a result of human interference (trying to get rid of one species by introducing another predator, etc.). In the aquatic world, especially, this has become a big concern. A friend recently linked a cute little video of Hiroyuki Terada, a sushi chef in Miama, Florida. Terada has taken to turning the venomous Lionfish, an invasive species to the local ecosystem that has no natural predators and damages coral reefs, into delicious sushi. You can see the step-by-step process of cutting up the fish and turning it into a beautiful plate below:

Of course, invasive species exist in numerous places around the world, and even in the US, Terada isn’t the only one trying to turn these problematic fish and shellfish into delicacies! Do you think they’re just as tasty as the more traditional fare?

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Call for Papers: Mapping Asia – Cartographic Encounters between East and West

call for papers [150-2]Leiden University Libraries and The Commission on the History of Cartography of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) kindly invites you to attend the International Symposium Mapping Asia – Cartographic Encounters between East and West on 15-16 September 2017. The central theme of the conference is the mutual influence of Western and Asian cartographic traditions. The focus will be on where Western and Asian cartographic history meet. Geographically, the topics will be limited to South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia with special attention to India, China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia.

Topics of the symposium are:

  • What defines Asia? The arbitrary borders between Europe and Asia on the map
  • Asian cartographic traditions
  • Asian toponomy and cartography
  • Cartography and intercultural contact
  • Missionary and colonial cartographies of Asia
  • Asian cartography in the collections of Leiden University Libraries
  • Philipp Franz von Siebold and the cartography of Japan
  • and all papers of merit

On the website of the Symposium Mapping Asia you will find more detailed information and the submission form for the Call for Papers. All inquiries can be directed to

The deadline for Call for Papers is 15 February 2017.

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Resource: U. Hawaiʻi / U. Ryukyus Digital Archives

For the next (and tentatively last) installment of my posts on Okinawa/Ryukyu-related resources, I would like to introduce the Ryukyu/Okinawa Special Collection Digital Archives. A joint venture between the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of the Ryukyus (琉球大学), it provides digital online access to two of the world’s greatest collections of Okinawan/Ryukyuan historical documents – the vast majority of which were not previously available online.

The entrance to the University of Hawaiʻi’s Hamilton Library. Photo by Travis Seifman.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library’s Sakamaki-Hawley Collection is generally said to be the greatest collection of Okinawa-related materials in the US.* Combining the personal collections of UH Prof. Sakamaki Shunzō (d. 1973) and British book collector Frank Hawley (d. 1961), it includes several hundred items, including copies of a great many of the most significant Edo period woodblock-printed books or manuscript volumes on Ryukyu (e.g. Ōshima hikki, Morishima Chūryō’s Ryūkyū banashi, Ogyū Sorai’s Ryūkyū heishiki, and Arai Hakuseki’s Nantōshi), and related materials, such as a copy of Hayashi Shihei’s Sangoku tsūran zusetsu, and books of the peoples of the world. Two of the highlights of the collection are a 1710 handscroll painting of a Ryukyuan embassy procession in Edo in that year (of which only five or so are known in the world), and a 1671 handscroll of a similar subject, the oldest such Ryukyuan procession handscroll known.

The University of the Ryukyus Collections, including those of Okinawan Studies giants Ifa Fuyū, Nakahara Zenchū, and Shimabukuro Genshichi, plus that of the Miyara aristocratic family, are even more extensive than that, comprising a great wealth of rare and unique documents relating both to early modern Ryukyu and modern Okinawa, including much of the original materials used or created by Ifa, Nakahara, and their contemporaries.

A page from the Chūzan seifu, from the Ifa Fuyū Collection.

The website ( is easy to navigate, in English or Japanese, and continues to be revised and improved. I do find it frustrating that one must search each collection separately (e.g. the Miyara Dunchi Collection, or the Sakamaki-Hawley Collection), rather than searching across them all, but, otherwise, it is easy enough to search for keywords within any of the collections, or to simply pull up a list of the entirety of that collection. And, I find the general graphical scheme quite clean, making it easy to see what it is you’re looking at.

Click on any of the titles, and it should bring up a “glass window” interface, where you can move through the pages of that volume, using either the arrow keys provided, or a listing of thumbnails of all the pages, on the left. The digitized images are quite large and high quality, and this interface also allows for considerable zooming, allowing you to get a good look at fine details of the illustrations, or at difficult-to-read characters. Two tabs above the “glass window” provide (in most cases, I think) English (英文) and Japanese-language descriptions or summaries (解説) about the object; other tabs should, in future, provide transcriptions of the text (翻刻), and translations into modern Japanese (現代訳) and English. I believe this feature is already available for some texts – perhaps even with a fancy interface allowing you to see transcriptions or translations line by line – but for the majority of the texts, I gather the staff is still working on creating those translations & transcriptions. Still, the project is progressing, and the site overall already looks quite different than it did a few months ago. Check back every now and then, and I imagine you will continue to see expansion of these features.

One feature I am sad to see not included is any obvious or easy way to quickly download the images (even in some medium-quality/size version) for an entire volume. Even simply right-clicking on the images in the “glass window” brings up only an Adobe Flash menu, and not any “Save Image As…” option. There is, fortunately, a work-around: if you click on “Honkoku” (翻刻, “transcription”) or “Translation” (現代訳), it will bring up a more straight-forward version of the image, that does allow you to right-click and save. However, I would not be surprised if this disappears in later upgrades to the website. Hopefully, new upgrades will also bring a more direct, above-board, way to download the images, preferably in batches.

*Incidentally, George Washington University has recently established its own Okinawa Collection, with considerable support from the Okinawan prefectural government, with the aim of growing the collection to become the greatest center for such materials on the US mainland.

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Workshop: Berkeley Buddhist Studies Workshop

call for papers [150-2]The Centers for Japanese Studies and Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, together with Ōtani University and Ryūkoku University in Kyoto announce a workshop under the supervision of Mark Blum that will focus on critically examining premodern and modern hermeneutics of the Tannishō, a core text of the Shin sect of Buddhism, and arguably the most well-read religious text in postwar Japan. Beginning in 2017, the workshop will continue for five years, meeting twice a year for 3 to 4 days each time, in late March in Berkeley and early August in Kyoto, where it will be hosted alternately by Ōtani and Ryūkoku universities. Organized around close readings of the most influential materials produced in early modern, modern, and postmodern Japan, the workshop aims at producing a critical, annotated translation detailing the salient ways in which this text has been both inspirational and controversial, as well as a series of essays analyzing a wide spectrum of voices in Japanese scholarship and preaching that have spoken on this work. For the early modern or Edo period, the commentaries by Enchi (1662), Jinrei (1801-1808), and Ryōshō (1841) will be examined. For the modern period, works by Andō Shūichi (1909), Chikazumi Jōkan (1930), and Soga Ryōjin (1947) will be the major concern. And for the postwar/postmodern period, due to the sheer volume of publications (over 300 titles), reading choices will be selected at a later date in consultation with participants.

Format: The language of instruction will be primarily English with only minimal Japanese spoken as needed, and while the texts will be in primarily in Classical Japanese and Modern Japanese, with some outside materials in kanbun and English. Participants will be expected to prepare the assigned readings, and on occasion make relevant presentations in English about content.

Dates: Exact dates will vary from year to year based on academic calendars, but for 2017 the meeting hosted by U.C. Berkeley will take place from the 25th to the 27th of March at the Jōdo Shinshū Center in Berkeley, and in Kyoto the seminar will be hosted by Ōtani University from the 4th to the 7th of August.

Cost: There is no participation fee, but in recognition of the distance some will have to travel to attend, a limited number of travel fellowships will be provided to qualified graduate students, based on preparedness, need, and commitment to the project. Participation Requirements: Although any qualified applicant will be welcome to register, graduate students will be particularly welcome and the only recipients of financial assistance in the form of travel fellowships. Affiliation with one of the three hosting universities is not required. We welcome the participation of graduate students outside of Japan with some reading ability in Modern and Classical Japanese and familiarity with Buddhist thought and culture as well as native-speaking Japanese graduate students with a scholarly interest in Buddhism. Although we welcome students attending both meetings each year, participation in only one is acceptable.

Application Procedure: Applications must be sent for each year that one wants to participate. To apply to register for either or both of the workshops for 2017, send C.V. and short letter explaining your qualifications, motivations, and objectives to Kumi Hadler at by the end of January, 2017. Applications are by email only, and application deadlines will remain as end-January in subsequent years as well. Requests for a travel fellowship money should be included in this letter with specifics of where you will be traveling from and if you plan to attend one or both meetings that year. Questions about the content of the workshop may be sent to Professor Blum at

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Funding: Princeton University Library Research Grant Program

money [150-2]Each year, the Friends of the Princeton University Library offer short-term Library Research Grants to promote scholarly use of the research collections. These Library Research Grants, which have a value of up to $4,000 plus transportation costs, are meant to help defray expenses incurred in traveling to and residing in Princeton during the tenure of the grant. The length of the grant will depend on the applicant’s research proposal, but is ordinarily up to one month. Library Research Grants awarded in this academic year are tenable from May 2017 to April 2018, and the deadline for applications is January 31, 2017.

The proposal should address specifically the relevance to the proposed research of unique resources found in the Princeton University Library collections. Applications will be considered for scholarly use of archives, manuscripts, rare books, and other rare and unique holdings of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, including Mudd Library; as well as rare books in Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, and in the East Asian Library (Gest Collection). Prospective grantees are urged to consult the Library’s home page at for detailed descriptions of the collections, especially those in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Applicants should have specific Princeton resources in mind as they prepare their proposals.  The general circulating collections and electronic resources of the Princeton University Library are not relevant for purposes of this grant program.

A committee consisting of members of the faculty, the library staff, and the Friends will award the grants on the basis of the relevance of the proposal to unique holdings of the library, the merits and significance of the project, and the applicant’s scholarly qualifications. Awards will be made in April of 2017.

Contact Info:

Friends of the Princeton University Library Research Grant Committee
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ  08544
Contact Email:


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Book Announcement: Recasting the Past: An Early Modern Tales of Ise for Children

recastingRecasting the Past: An Early Modern Tales of Ise for Children (Brill, 2016)
ISBN: 9789004337138; List price: €59 / $65

In Recasting the Past: An Early Modern Tales of Ise for Children Laura Moretti recreates in image and text the unresearched 1766 picture-book Ise fūryū: Utagaruta no hajimari (The Fashionable Ise: The Origins of Utagaruta). The introduction analyses Utagaruta through a discussion of the textual scholarship relating to chapbooks and kusazōshi. It also contextualizes this work to shed new light on the reception history of the canonical Tales of Ise and to position Utagaruta within the realm of children’s literature. This is followed by the full transcription and translation of Utagaruta, with annotations to each image. Learned and visually rich, Moretti’s study permits the reader to enjoy the inventiveness and beauty of early modern Japanese literature.

This publication targets undergraduate and graduate students as well as specialists interested in early modern Japanese literature and the reception of The Tales of Ise. The book includes an introduction that discusses topics relevant to those working in the fields of textual scholarship, book history, popular print culture and children’s literature. The reproduction of the original picture-book, together with the integral diplomatic transcription of the text, is a valuable tool in the study of Japanese early-modern palaeography.

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Call for Papers: Structure and Subordination: Law, Science, and Religion in East Asia

call for papers [150-2]April 22nd, 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania 

The Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania presents its first annual graduate student conference: Structure and Subordination: Law, Science, and Religion in East Asia. This one-day conference provides a forum for graduate students from regional institutions to examine how the legal, scientific, religious, and sociopolitical boundaries of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia) have been interrogated in the past and explore how they are being redrawn in the present.

We welcome applications from currently enrolled graduate students in all disciplines related to the study of East Asia and especially encourage those that address the following conference themes:

  • The relationship between policy, technology, and thought in East Asia
  • The mobilization of art and visual culture to challenge political authority in East Asia
  • The construction and performance of gender, race, and other group identities in East Asia
  • The influence of differing conceptions of the body in East Asia
  • The translation of texts across borders and the discovery of self in East Asia

Submission Requirements

Please submit for review an abstract of no longer than 250 words and a short biography of 100 words or less by February 1st, 2016. Application materials may be sent to:


Limited funding is available for conference participants. Please indicate your need at the time of application and include both the location from which you will be traveling and whether you require lodging.

Contact Information

Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
University of Pennsylvania
255 S. 36th Street, 847 Williams Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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