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  4. Digital Archiving Project about Programs of the Kabuki-za Theater in Tokyo from its Establishment in 1889 to the Pre-war Period has been launched

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Digital Archiving Project about Programs of the Kabuki-za Theater in Tokyo from its Establishment in 1889 to the Pre-war Period has been launched
March 26, 2021(Fri)

A research project by the Shochiku Otani Library, registered with the ARC-iJAC, to digitize and publish the pre-war programs of the Kabuki-za Theatre in Tokyo held by the library has been launched at the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University. These programs are also called Ehon Yakuwari (絵本役割) and Sujigaki (筋書).

In preparation for digital photography, the bound programs are currently dismantled into single volumes by having their glue and fasteners removed. It is also a crucial part of the digitization process to examine the condition of the materials beforehand and to dismantle and repair them as necessary.

When a book is split into single volumes, it is possible to photograph the individual pages in a flat position by pressing them evenly against a glass plate from above, resulting in beautiful images with minimum distortion.

Please watch our video documenting this process on the ARC-iJAC's video platform ARCtube:

This digital archiving project is funded through a crowdfunding campaign launched by the Shochiku Otani Library in 2020.

Based on the agreement between the Shochiku Otani Library and the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, the digitized programs will be integrated into the Shochiku Otani Library's Shibai Banzuke Browsing System and made available online.

title01.jpg The cover of a dismantled Kabuki-za Sujigaki from 1941.

title02.jpg Single volumes of the dismantled Kabuki-za Sujigaki from 1941.