Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online. “One of the most important items in the British Library’s Japanese collections is a small, rather ordinary-looking, leather-bound volume, generally known as Feiqe monogatari (BL shelfmark Or.59.aa.1). Despite its appearance, it is, in fact, a remarkable work in a number of ways. Firstly, it was one of the earliest books printed in Japan using movable type rather than the traditional woodblocks, secondly, it is the first non-religious text printed in colloquial Japanese transcribed into the Roman alphabet, offering valuable insights into the phonology of the Japanese language in the 16th century, and thirdly, it is the world’s only extant copy.”
Ubergizmo: Google Lens Picks Up Support For Japanese. “Google Lens was introduced back in 2017. It can simply be described as a real-life reverse image search where users rely on their handset’s camera to identify objects in real life. Lens enables them to learn more about the things around them. It’s particularly useful for translating languages you don’t know and if like me you can’t read Japanese, you’re going to like the fact that Google Lens now has support for Japanese.”
Libraries and Archives Canada: How archives can protect human rights. “When asked to name one of Canada’s fundamental democratic institutions, how many people would immediately say ‘Library and Archives Canada’? Yet, a nation’s archives preserves in perpetuity the evidence of how we are governed. From the story of Japanese Canadian Redress, we can learn how records held by Library and Archives Canada (LAC)—combined with crucial citizen activism making use of these records—have contributed to holding the federal government accountable for now universally condemned actions.”
Google Blog: Google Fonts launches Japanese support. “The Google Fonts catalog now includes Japanese web fonts. Since shipping Korean in February, we have been working to optimize the font slicing system and extend it to support Japanese. The optimization efforts proved fruitful—Korean users now transfer on average over 30% fewer bytes than our previous best solution. “
Libraries and Archives Canada: Images of Japanese-Canadians from the Second World War now on Flickr . “December 8, 1941—Canada invokes the War Measures Act and declares Japanese-Canadians and recent immigrants as enemy aliens to strip them of individual and property rights. Over 1,200 fishing boats owned by Japanese-Canadian fishermen are confiscated off the coast of British Columbia as a defensive measure against Japan’s war efforts on the Pacific Front.” Small collection. I had not realized that Canada also put its Japanese-descent citizens in internment camps.
Asahi Shimbun: Genome index could help study on rare diseases among Japanese. “Scientists have created a genome database with samples of 3,554 Japanese citizens, which identified genetic characteristics unique to Japanese. The database, one of the world’s largest, will help in studying the genetic characteristics behind rare diseases only a few in every 10,000 people develop, according to the team who announced the achievement July 18.”
The Next Web: Skype will now translate Japanese for you in real-time. “Microsoft and Skype will now help you converse in real time with Japanese speaker — even if you don’t speak Japanese yourself. Skype announced this week that it was adding Japanese to its real-time translation software, which it introduced in 2014.”