Home > Publications > NDL Newsletter > No. 200, June 2015

National Diet Library Newsletter

No. 200, June 2015

The new issue of Reference Service and Bibliography:
Catalog of Soke Monjo owned by the National Diet Library

Reader Services and Collections Department

The 76th issue of the Reference Service and Bibliography was published in March 2015. The Reference Service and Bibliography is a specialized research publication for promoting the National Diet Library (NDL) activities that provide subject information useful to librarians in providing reference services and to researchers in their academic studies.

Reference Service and Bibliography places emphasis on coordination with the Research Navi and plays an important role in the NDL's efforts to provide reference services. It carries articles on the transmission of information on various subjects, including specialized bibliographies, introduction of reference materials, bibliographic research, and reference service studies. It is intended to serve as a source of high-quality information that is useful to librarians in providing reference services and to researchers in a wide range of academic disciplines.

Reference Service and Bibliography
Founded: November 1970
Frequency of publication: Twice a year (prior to the 75th issue published in September 2011); irregularly after October 2011
[NDL call no.: Z21-291; reprinted copy (1st to 40th issue): Z21-B397]
*The PDF files of the previous issues are available from the Research Navi (in Japanese).

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Below is a description by a member of staff of the Rare Books and Old Materials Room, of the Soke Monjo (宗家文書) owned by the NDL and its newly arranged bibliography, which is the main feature of the 76th issue of the Reference Service and Bibliography.

The NDL holds 1,593 volumes1 of the Soke Monjo (Tsushima Soke Wakan kankei siryo; designated in 2007 as a national important cultural property), which are records compiled by the Soke (宗家, So clan) of the Tsushima domain (対馬, an island in modern-day Nagasaki Prefecture), who were in charge of bilateral trade and diplomatic exchange between Japan and Korea during the Edo period.

1,562 volumes2 of this collection are records of the Wakan (倭館), a Japanese settlement located in Busan, Korea. These include the Kanshu mainichi ki (館守毎日記), records of duties conducted by the kanshu (館守, the head of the Wakan), of which the contents are dated 1687–1870; Saihan kiroku (裁判記録), records of diplomatic negotiations from 1705–1871; and Bunrui kiji taiko (分類紀事大綱), in which useful information was classified and compiled chronologically by topic to provide an overview of the history of diplomatic exchange between Japan and Korea.

These materials were requisitioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which took over Japan-Korea diplomacy from the So clan in 1873. They were then transferred to the Tokyo Library (one of the predecessors of the NDL) in 1894. The other 31 volumes3 were part of a collection kept by the So clan at its Edo residence, and include records of negotiations between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the So clan, on matters such as trade with Korea and financial support from the Shogunate. These were purchased by the Imperial Library (another predecessor of the NDL) in 1912.

Although these materials were cataloged prior to WWII at the Imperial Library, their content was not clearly specified in the catalogs of that time. The only descriptions of content available were handwritten notes created by the staff of the Imperial Library, and the Kokkai toshokan shozo bunsho mokuroku Keio daigaku toshokan Soke kiroku zasshu mokuroku sho (国会図書館所蔵文書目録・慶応大学図書館宗家記録雑集目録抄, NDL call no.: GB2-G15) created in mimeograph by the Nagasaki ken shi henshu shitsu (長崎県史編集室, Compilation office of the Nagasaki prefectural history).

In recent years, the volume numbers and recorded years were added as descriptions to the NDL-OPAC, which enabled easier access. However, some problems still existed. Since the title Kanshu mainichiki is recorded in some volumes as Mainichiki (毎日記) and as Kanshu nikki (館守日記) in others, following the conventions of the time of the Imperial Library. Thus, some users were left under the mistaken impression that some volumes were missing. Moreover, some materials are so voluminous, like the Mainichiki (consisting of 490 volumes), that it was not possible to provide information in detail on each volume in the NDL-OPAC. This led to difficulties for users who were not familiar with these materials.

Mainichiki (毎日記)
[NDL call no.: WA1-6-34]
NDL holdings: 490 volumes, 24-29 cm;
* Available on the NDL Digital Collections
* Re-classified as Kanshu mainichiki together with Kanshu nikki in the newly made catalog of the Soke Monjo.
Kanshu nikki (館守日記)
[NDL call no.: WA1-6-8]
NDL holdings: 370 volumes, 23-28 cm;
* Available on the NDL Digital Collections
* Re-classified as Kanshu mainichiki together with Mainichiki in the newly made catalog of the Soke Monjo.

To solve these problems, the NDL re-classified and re-ordered its Soke Monjo collection by content and created a comprehensive catalog, thereby providing users with greater convenience without changing the original titles and call numbers. An article on this catalog, along with the catalog, appears in the 76th issue of the Reference Service and Bibliography.

The article includes an explanation by Prof. Emer. TASHIRO Kazui on the NDL's Soke Monjo collection and on each of the newly-made classifications. The classifications are as follows:

  1. Materials related to the Kanshu mainichiki (館守毎日記): records of the duties conducted by the kanshu and their indexes
  2. Materials related to the Saihan kiroku (裁判記録): records of diplomatic negotiations made by saihan (裁判, diplomat)
  3. Records of dispatched ambassadors: records of diplomatic missions sent by the So clan to Korea to attend celebrations, to offer condolences, etc.
  4. Materials related to correspondence: records of official documents sent between Japan and Korea
  5. Records of repairs to the Wakan
  6. Documents on trade: records of negotiations with the Edo Shogunate on Japan-Korea trade and financial support
  7. Bunrui kiji taiko (分類紀事大綱): materials compiled by topic and year to provide an overview of the history of the Japan-Korea diplomacy
  8. Others

We hope this issue will contribute to greater utilization of the NDL's Soke Monjo collection.

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Related articles of the NDL Newsletter:

Note:

  1. Formerly 1,529 volumes.
  2. Formerly 1,496 volumes.
  3. Formerly 33 volumes.

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