My present research traces individual and regional socioeconomic networks among metal casters, courtiers, and warriors based on the production and dissemination of documentary forgeries in the sixteenth century (Japan’s late medieval period). I examine how the production of falsified imperial documents and histories pertaining to metal caster organizations exploited historicity to establish mutually beneficial and mutually negotiated relationships that transcended geographic, social, and temporal boundaries.
I have also been exploring digital methods of analyzing and representing data from my research. Below, you will find explanations of and reflections on this process using various digital tools. Many scholars in recent years have questioned how humanists can engage the digital in their work as well as whether or not the digital should play a significant role in the humanities discipline. For those in non-Western fields, further issues arise, since many digital interfaces are not designed to accommodate non-Western languages. Researchers must then contend with not only the idiosyncrasies of the tools, but also that of their source material and the particularities of its languages.
Applications and Explorations of Digital Humanities
Initiatives that combine Asian Studies with digital methods are beginning to find their footing. In each section below, I examine the application of digital methods to premodern Japanese research (and historical research at large). The methodological process of transforming humanistic data into digital formats or using digital tools to dissect large bodies of historical materials reveals fresh angles from which to view familiar works and suggests previously unseen possibilities for interpreting historical sources. Here I discuss reconciling the historical with the digital for premodern Japan.