U-PARL has published its 2022 leaflet

Leaflet 2022 (PDF)


U-PARL has published its 2022 leaflet.

The background of the leaflet uses images from the Asian Research Library Digital Collections of the University of Tokyo. U-PARL’s Project Research Fellow Michiko NAKAO and Project Specialist Yuto NAKAI will provide explanations for these materials.


Commentary on the “Ŏnhaebon 諺解本 언해본

Statue of King Sejong the Great at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul (photo by the author). 

In Japan, Hangul is now seen everywhere. The Hangul writing system was promulgated in 1446 under the name Hunmin chŏngŭm / 訓民正音/ 훈민정음 by King Sejong, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty. Hunmin chŏngŭm was created as an alphabet that could be used by the people. The name “Hangul” was not used until the beginning of the 20th century.

Before the creation of Hangul, the Korean people had only Chinese characters as a means of expressing their language, and even when writing their native language, they used phonetic loanwords in Chinese characters. The formation of Hunmin chŏngŭm was also written first in Chinese characters. Later, Hunmin chŏngŭm Ŏnhaebon / 訓民正音 諺解本 /훈민정음 언해본 was compiled and written in Hangul. The term “Ŏnhae / 諺解 / 언해”, literary meaning local speech, refers to an explanation of a classical Chinese text in the vernacular Korean script.

Japanese scholar Shimpei OGURA (1882-1944), who studied the Korean language at Gyeongseong Imperial University and Tokyo Imperial University, wrote: “In Korea, there are commentaries with a special style, such as Nonŏ Ŏnhae 論語諺解 논어 언해 (Vernacular Exegesis of the Analects) and Pak T’ongsa Ŏnhae 朴通事諺解 (Vernacular Exegesis by Interpreter Pak), etc., which are called Ŏnhae / 諺解 or 諺釈 (humble interpretation). These are mainly interpretations of the meanings of Chinese texts in the Korean language.

Panels of the exhibition The Story of King Sejong located in the basement of Gwanghwamun Square (letters in red are no longer used) (photo by the author) 

Originally, the word “Ŏn 諺” was a term used to belittle one’s own country compared to Chinese civilization. For example, the Hangul is called Ŏnhae 諺解 (humble interpretation), the Korean language is called 諺語 or 国諺 (humble language), and the phonetic transcriptions in the Hangul are called 諺吐 (humble transcription).

There are many examples of the use of Hangul to explain words and phrases in Japanese, Manchu, and Mongolian dictionaries and textbooks, but these are never called Ŏnhae. In other words, the term Ŏnhae is used only for the Chinese language. This is evidence of how much the Koreans worship Chinese civilization.”

It was not until the 16th century that the term “Ŏnhae” came to be used as part of the title of a book, and at the end of the 16th century, the Proofreading Office (校正庁 Kyojŏng-ch’ŏng) was established by order of King Sŏn-jo, the 14th King of the Joseon Dynasty, to proofread the classical books and other documents. This agency began to publish books on the analysis of proverbs in Confucian scriptures, such as the Sohak Ŏnhae 小学諺解 and the Nonŏ Ŏnhae 論語諺解.

The cover of the 2022 U-PARL leaflet is based on the design of Nonŏ Ŏnhae in the possession of the University of Tokyo General Library. Nonŏ Ŏnhae was published privately in 1810 or 1870 and bears the seal “全州 河慶龍蔵板 Chŏnju Ha Kyŏng-nyong jangp’an” as the place of publication. U-PARL digitized all four volumes of Nonŏ Ŏnhae in 2018, and all images are now available in the Asian Research Library Digital Collections of University of Tokyo.

Nonŏ Ŏnhae 論語諺解 in the collection of the University of Tokyo General Library

Nonŏ Ŏnhae 論語諺解 in the collection of the University of Tokyo General Library

Michiko NAKAO, U-PARL 



Hyeonju Ahn, A Study on Printed Books of Unhaebon “The Sayings of Confucius (論語)” in Chosun Dynasty, Journal of the Institute of Bibliography, no. 26, 2003
安賢珠「조선시대에 간행된 諺解本《論語》 板本 관한 考察」『書誌學硏究』26、2003年



Commentary on the Manchu version of Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu  八旗満洲氏族通譜

Contents of the first volume of the Manchu version of Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu 八旗満洲氏族通譜

Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu 八旗満洲氏族通譜, jakūn gūsai manjusai mukūn hala be uheri ejehe bithe in Manchu, is a genealogical document compiled by imperial order of the emperor of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century, and the cover of this leaflet features the Manchu version of this document.

The Qing dynasty, daicing gurun 大清国, was founded by the Manju people who lived in the forested areas of Manchuria, present-day northeastern China, and the Russian coastal region, in the 17th century. Although the Manju people settled in houses and made farming their main occupation, their society and culture had more in common with those of nomadic groups in Central    Eurasia such as the Mongols rather than those of China. They were skilled at horseback archery, had characteristic hairstyles called bianfa 辮髪, and spoke Manchu, a Tungusic language. “Manju” is an autonym for their nation or group, and “Manchu” 満洲 is its phonetic transcription in Chinese characters.

While Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI 豊臣秀吉 and Ieyasu TOKUGAWA 徳川家康 were establishing their governments in Japan, a hero called Nurhaci appeared in Manju society and conquered various clans and groups, which had been divided with their own territories, and established a nation called Manju gurun, which became the foundation of the Qing dynasty. At that time, the Manchu script was created based on the Mongolian script by order of Nurhaci to smoothly run the nation by administrative documents. Manchu script was written vertically and read from left to right. A Manchu letter represents a vowel or consonant, and each letter changes its form at the beginning, middle, and end of the word. Manchu script is an alphabet derived from the Aramaic and Sogdian scripts.

The ruins of Nurhaci’s residence in the early Manju gurun
(photo by the author)

Nurhaci divided the Manju people who had submitted to his nation into eight gūsa 旗 groups (or army corps) and ruled them. This was called jakūn gūsa 八旗 and those who were incorporated into each gūsa were called Qiren 旗人. The Qing dynasty conquered China, Mongolia, and Central Asia with the military force of jakūn gūsa and became a great empire that exerted its influence over the eastern part of Eurasia. Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu is a document that categorizes Qiren of Manju who belonged to jakūn gūsa from the foundation of the nation in the 17th century to the beginning of the 18th century by clan and lineage, and comprehensively lists their origins, genealogies, and government posts. In the parts used on the cover of the leaflet, the names of the clans and people, their achievements, affiliations to gūsa groups, and names of government posts are described. This document was compiled by Hongzhou 弘昼, the fifth son of the Yongzheng emperor 雍正帝, and others under the order of the Yongzheng emperor and completed at the end of the ninth year of Qianglong 乾隆 (1745). In the present study of the Qing dynasty, this is an essential document for searching persons, restoring genealogy, and elucidating the system of jakūn gūsa.

Manchu version of
Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu vol. 40

There are two versions of Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu, one is in Manchu and the other in Chinese, and the facsimile edition of the Chinese version has already been published in China. On the other hand, the facsimile edition of the Manchu version has not yet been published, and the institutions holding it are limited, so it has been extremely difficult for the general public to access this document. In this situation, U-PARL noticed that the Manchu version of Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu (32 volumes, 81 books in total) is kept in the University of Tokyo library system, and published the image data of the entire volume in 2018.

The publication of the Manchu version of Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu by U-PARL became a big topic among researchers specializing in Manju and the Qing dynasty. It is used in the cover design of the leaflet as a representative example of U-PARL’s contribution to Asian studies.


*The original of the Manchu version of Baqi manzhou shizu tongpu is not yet registered with the OPAC (as of 2022 May).

July 21, 2022


“New and Rare Words” Collected by Helen M. Johnson from Hemacandra’s Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra by Assistant Professor Yutaka Kawasaki et al. published

In Feb. 2022, “New and Rare Words” Collected by Helen M. Johnson from Hemacandra’s Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra was published. This publication presents part of the research results within the framework of the 2-year (April 2020 – March 2022) project “A Pilot Study for the Creation of a Jaina Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary” (Principal Investigator: Yutaka Kawasaki) under the “Cooperative Research in Asian Studies” program of U-PARL.

The Sanskrit language used by Jains often deviates from the normative grammar and commonly employs peculiar vocabulary that is not encountered in other written sources and phrases that can be found only in Indian lexica. While a few eminent scholars have continued collecting Sanskrit vocabulary peculiar to Jaina sources and reporting on grammatical phenomena deviating from the normative grammar, as compared to the ample research results on the so-called Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit which also deviates from the normative Sanskrit, research on the Sanskrit language used by Jains — Jaina Sanskrit or Jaina Hybrid Sanskrit — still remains underdeveloped even today. Particularly, the absence of grammar books and dictionaries of Jaina Sanskrit presents a great obstacle to reading and comprehending Jaina sources written in Sanskrit.

This publication presents the first step toward overcoming such situation by aiming to compile a dictionary of Jaina Sanskrit . In this monography, they have implemented the following: they consolidate and rearrange in Sanskrit alphabetic order “New and Rare Words” collected in appendices to each volume of the English translation by Dr. Helen M. Johnson (1889-1967) of Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra by Hemacandra. In addition, they tacitly correct apparent typographical errors supposedly made by Johnson herself and added various notes. As an appendix, the monograph includes the chart of verses in the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra corresponding to verses in Hemacandra’s Yogaśāstra and his auto-commentary.

This publication will also be available as a PDF file.

March 9, 2022


“New and Rare Words” Collected by Helen M. Johnson from Hemacandra’s Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra

Yutaka Kawasaki
Yumi Fujimoto
Shin Fujinaga
Kazuyoshi Hotta



U-PARL provides “Zhonghua jingdian guji ku 中華經典古籍庫” 8th Stage

wU-PARL provides “Zhonghua jingdian guji ku 中華經典古籍庫” (Database of Chinese Classics) 8th Stage※. UTokyo members (faculty members, students, etc.) can also use this database from an outside network. For the access method, please refer here. 

※355 titles 525 books, including: Meng Haoran shiji jiaozhu孟浩然詩集校注, Liu Yuxi quanji biannian jiaozhu劉禹錫全集編年校注, Round-trip telegraph manuscript between Ma Jianzhong and Li Hongzhang馬建忠李鴻章往來電稿, Chongding Zhongwantangshi zhuke tu重訂中晚唐詩主客圖, and Wenjing Mifu lun jiaojian文鏡秘府論校箋 , those from Zhonghua Book Company中華所局, etc.

◉About “Zhonghua jingdian guji ku 中華經典古籍庫

January 13,  2022


“The 23rd Library Fair & Forum” Poster Presentation

From November 1 – 30, 2021, “The 23rd Library Fair & Forum” organized by Committee of The Library Exhibition will be held. Please refer here for details.

URL: https://www.libraryfair.jp/poster/2021/18  (Japanese only)

November 1, 2021



Michiko Nakao receives U Chicago’s Provost’s Global Faculty Award

On July 1, Project Research Fellow Michiko Nakao and Korean Studies Librarian at the University of Chicago, Yale University, and Princeton University were awarded the Provost’s Global Faculty Award for Bibliography of East Asian Periodicals (Colonial Korea 1900-1945).

To view the project proposal, as well as other winners of the Provost’s Global Faculty Award, visit the Provost’s Global Faculty Awards website at The University of Chicago.

August 16, 2021


Two new staff members

On May 1, two new staff members joined the Uehiro Project for the Asian Research Library (U-PARL).

・Emiko SUNAGA(Project Research Fellow, Pakistan Area Studies)
・Ryoichi MIYAMOTO(Project Research Fellow, history of Central Eurasia from ancient times to the Middle Ages)

Details on their background and achievements posted on the Staff page.

May 1, 2021


The Asian Research Library has opened its doors

1. Opening of the Asian Research Library

The Asian Research Library, whose development U-PARL has been supporting from the 2014 school year, was opened on October 1, 2020. 

The Asian Research Library

The open-stack floor of the Asian Research Library is located on the fourth floor of the Main Building of the General Library, which is the central library of the University of Tokyo Hongo Campus.  

 Regarding the materials currently accessible at the fourth floor of the General Library Main Building, with some exceptions, they are available for borrowing for UTokyo members (borrowing conditions: up to 10 items for 30 days). For details on how to use the library’s services, refer to the Asian Research Library Website. 

 2. U-PARL’s support efforts toward opening of the Asian Research Library

 Up to now, U-PARL has been actively supporting development of the Asian Research Library. Below are the main activities carried out. 

 (1) Designing a Floor Plan and System 

Resources housed in the Asian Research Library are basically arranged by the geographical area they relate to. Geographical areas are broadly classified into the six major categories of “1 Asia,” “2 East Asia,” “Southeast Asia,” “4 South Asia,” “5 Central Eurasia,” and “6 West Asia,” which allows to shelve the library resources in a way systematically representing the whole compendium of knowledge throughout the Asian continent. 

Bookshelves arranged by geographical area (next to each other from “East Asia” to “West Asia”) 

When designing the floor plan and classification method, the focus was placed on such questions as how resources on Japan should be positioned within the Asian Research Library, how frameworks for each geographical area should be determined in view of recent research trends, and what the best desired floor plan and classification method to fit both staff and users’ requirements should be like. 

Low bookshelves

Bookshelves arranged by geographical area 









As for the classification method, in the course of more than two years of deliberate consultations held by the U-PARL staff and University of Tokyo Library System personnel, the Asian Research Library Classification System was compiled, and the open-stack materials in the Asian Research Library are to be shelved and arranged in accordance with this original classification system specially developed for the new library.  

 Also, as for the floor plan, such issues as the need for a space to hold seminars and various events and balance between the number of items in the open-stack area and the number of the reading seats were taken into consideration. On the open-stack materials allocation method that evolved from the discussions, refer to the Asian Research Library’s layout map. 

Reading seats 

Lecture room







Library search terminal










(2) Collection Development 

U-PARL has been developing the Asian Research Library’s collection through the three approaches of purchasing new materials, accepting donated materials, and integrating materials from the university’s other libraries and reading rooms. Among the donated materials, there exist large collections, including private collections, that bear the names of the donators or donating organizations. As of now, we have accepted the following donated large collections, which will be made available in succession, once their organization and arrangement are complete. 

Collection of Literacy Education Materials Donated by the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
The Yumio SAKURAI Collection
The Akira SUEHIRO Collection
The Motoo FURUTA Collection
The Noboru KARASHIMA Collection
The Tsuyoshi NARA Collection 

Open-stack floor 

Reading tables








We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all those who extended their support and cooperation for U-PARL’s efforts towards development of the Asian Research Library and ask for continued support for activities carried out by U-PARL and the Asian Research Library. 

(October 1, 2020)