Past Exhibitions

Japan's Historical Documents
July 21, 2016 - September 11, 2016

Analyzing handwritten historical documents, diaries, and records is one of the essential ways in which historians gain insights into the lives of our historical predecessors. Most of the documents on view here are written in archaic language using cursive script, making them difficult to decipher even for native Japanese readers. Even if you cannot read the words, perhaps you can discern differences in the kinds of paper, the sizes of script, and the tones of ink used different types of manuscripts over time. And as you enjoy the visual attributes of these works, keep in mind that you are looking at some of the most important primary source materials for our historical understanding of the early Japanese.

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