The Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies sponsors ongoing workshops to deepen research, training, and collaboration among Harvard faculty, students, scholars, and institutional partners. Workshops bring together groups on a one-time or repeating basis and have contributed to a range of outcomes – from scholarly publications to conferences, to new initiatives.


What is IIIF? Having Fun with IIIF and Japanese Images

Mirador Workshop
What is IIIF? Having Fun with IIIF and
Japanese Images

Date: October 11, 2018
Location: Harvard University

Workshop Organizer: Katherine Matsuura, Japan Digital Research Center, Harvard University

This hands-on, interactive workshop, supported by the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and led by members of DARTH and Japan Digital Research Center, introduced participants to the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) and open-source IIIF image viewer Mirador. Together these tools support and enhance scholarly research for the web, digital exhibits, as well as course teaching materials.

Participants worked with a variety of digitized images (with special attention to Japanese demons, ghouls, and ghosts) located at Harvard and partnering IIIF institutions around the world. Topics included:

  • Core concepts of IIIF and why they are important
  • Retrieving IIIF images and importing them into a Mirador viewer
  • Learning how to use IIIF for creative projects


Myth and Ritual in Ancient Japan 「古代日本の神話と儀礼」

Daijōkyū, image courtesy of Kokugakuin University Museum

Date: September 20, 2018
Location: Harvard University

Workshop Organizer: Helen Hardacre, Harvard University

This workshop brought together five scholars from Kokugakuin University for presentations and discussions regarding enthronement ritual in Japan. Documentation attesting to the performance of these ceremonies originated in the late seventh or early eighth century, supported by archaeological evidence. The ceremonies took shape through the ancient period, arriving at a stable form that endured until the end of the medieval period, when warfare and social unrest put an end to large-scale imperial ritual, including the Daijōsai, the most elaborate segment of enthronement ritual. Revived during the seventeenth century, the ceremonies were greatly changed in the Meiji period, when Chinese and Buddhist elements were eliminated in favor of a purely Shinto format.

The presentations explained the structure of enthronement ritual, also introducing influential interpretations that link these rituals to the study of myth and literature. In addition, significant works of art depicting enthronement ceremonies, held at the Museum of Shinto, were introduced and discussed.


Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 2 Author's Workshop

Date: December 7-8, 2017
Location: Harvard University

Workshop Organizer: David Howell, Harvard University

Gathering seven authors at Harvard to collaborate on a new edition of the Cambridge History of Japan, this workshop aimed to discuss chapter drafts, exchange feedback, and draw connections between chapters and the volume as a whole. In tandem with the workshop, Professor Anne Walthall gave a talk at the Japan Forum on December 8, titled Antiquity, Anachronism, and Gender: Thoughts on Spear-fighting in Mid-Nineteenth Century Japan, moderated by David Howell.