The Bungei Material Laboratory was established in 1979 as part of the project to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Jissen. The “Rules for the Bungei Material Laboratory of the Faculty of Humanities of Jissen Women’s University” came into effect on May 7 of that year.
At the time of its founding, the purpose of this laboratory was centered on the precious books in the possession of the University: to microfilm them as research materials, and to publish reports of examination and research into these materials in a bulletin. However, as time passed, the work of the laboratory expanded. The details of this are given in the Outline of Activities given below.
In October 1986, the laboratory received a subsidy from The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan.
Our laboratory carries out investigation of various collections, such as Jissen Women’s University library’s Kurokawa Collection, Yamagishi Collection, and Tokiwa Collection, and modern materials, and also carries out research on the research theme set by the laboratory for each year. The results of this examination and research are published once a year in Nenpo (our annual report); in addition, whenever necessary, we issue a special annual report, and in some cases even an extra annual report.
We have carried out microfilming centered on the precious books in the Jissen Women’s University library collection. In addition, when carrying out research, we have collected printouts and microfilms of materials from outside our University. We have also collected precious books needed for our research, particularly research on The Tale of Genji.
The laboratory holds exhibitions and lectures reflecting the results of its research in an effort to return the profit of its research to society.
Study groups and lectures are held with our researchers as the central figures, and part of these results are also published. In recent years, researchers from Japan and overseas have gathered for workshops focused on illustrated books.
In 1993, our laboratory was entrusted with various materials related to Ichiyo Higuchi by the Tanabe family with a request to carry our research on them, and in March 1997, we published “Tanabe Family Materials Related to Natsuko Ito”. Following that, these materials were donated to the Jissen Women’s University library by the Tanabe family.