1. Summary

Digital humanities is a multidisciplinary field between informatics and humanities, aiming at solving humanistic problems using informatics methods to gain new knowledge or insights, or at exploiting new fields of informatics using humanistic problems as new opportunities. In addition, Digital Archives is one important way for the publication of research outcomes of digital humanities.

We have two main projects as follows.

  1. ROIS-DS Center for Open Data in the Humanities
  2. Digital Silk Road

2. Historical Big Data

ROIS-DS Center for Open Data in the Humanities started Historical Big Data project for establishing a new framework for historical data through collaboration with a scholar who studies history in various disciplines.

  1. Historical Big Data

3. IIIF Curation Platform

ROIS-DS Center for Open Data in the Humanitie started IIIF Curation Platform project for buidling new tools and developing new methodologies for image data in humanities research, based on open specifications called IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework).

  1. IIIF Curation Platform

4. Digitally-enabled Criticism

We propose to extend the method of textual criticism to data, and develop a method for the critical usage of visual sources such as maps and photographs. Textual criticism is a well developed field, but criticism for non-textual criticism is not well studied. Digital sources and information technology will enable a new way of "reading" sources.

5. Digitization of Old Books and Advancement of Search Functionality

National Institute of Japanese Literature is working on Project to Build an International Collaborative Research Network for Pre-modern Japanese Texts, and the challenge here is how to search digitized images.

To automate the process using computer vision, we are working on character recognition (OCR) of kuzushiji. In addition, we are also developing image collation based on differential reading by matching images to emphasize difference in multiple versions of the woodblock printed books.

6. Humanities and Open Science

Digitized sources are easier to share on the web, and the advantage of openness of data is expected to be significant in terms of academic research. For example, if open data can be accessed without restrictions, researchers with geographical disadvanrage, financial limitation, or lack of human network can also work on the data on competitive equality. Moreover, the open data can invite researchers from other domains, and may lead to the larger diversity of research results. Furthermore, collaboration beyond disciplines, or even beyond academic communities will contribute to widespread usage of research results in the society, and may open up new types of relationship between citizens. One crucial point, however, is the evaluation of researchers who are involved in this type of activities, because the openness of research is not included in the traditional metric of research contribution.

This kind of open research environtment is called open science in recent years. This concept will become popular in humanities in the near future. One challenge of digital humanities is to realize more open humanities along the same line with open science.

7. Genetic Process of Literary Work Using Text Archives

We study how to markup the literary work using TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), and start the digital analysis of literary work by extracting and converting elements of markup documents.

8. References (Complete List)

  1. Mikio FUSE, Asanobu KITAMOTO, "Groundwork for a TEI-Based Digital Genetic Archive of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake", Proceedings of IPSJ SIG Computers and the Humanities Symposium 2012, pp. 143-150, 2012-11 (in Japanese) [ Abstract ] [ Paper ]
  2. Asanobu KITAMOTO, Yoko NISHIMURA, "Criticism of Maps: Methodological development for the Re-discovery of Silk Road Ruins and the Value of Sources", 58th International Conference of Eastern Studies, pp. 17, 2013-5 [ Abstract ]
  3. Asanobu KITAMOTO, Yoko NISHIMURA, "Data Criticism: a Methodology for the Quantitative Evaluation of Non-Textual Historical Sources with Case Studies on Silk Road Maps and Photographs", Third Annual Conference of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities (JADH2013), pp. 11-12, 2013-9 [ Abstract ]
  4. Asanobu KITAMOTO, "How Will Digital Technology Transform the Activity of "Reading"?", Monthly Magazine of Digital Humanities, No. 31, 2014-2 (in Japanese) [ Abstract ]
  5. Asanobu KITAMOTO, Yoko NISHIMURA, "Data Criticism: General Framework for the Quantitative Interpretation of Non-Textual Sources", Digital Humanities 2014, 2014-7 [ Abstract ]
  6. Asanobu KITAMOTO, "Toward Image Analysis of Old Books", The 1st International Conference on Pre-Modern Japanese Texts "The possibilities for Pre-Modern Japanese Texts", 2015-7 (Panel) (in Japanese) [ Abstract ]
  7. Asanobu KITAMOTO, Yoko NISHIMURA, "Digital Criticism Platform for Supporting Evidence-based Interpretation of Sources", Proceedings of IPSJ SIG Computers and the Humanities Symposium 2015, pp. 211-218, 2015-12 (in Japanese) [ Abstract ] [ Paper ]