Sex and Migration in the Transpacific Underground (1860-1923): Japanese Primary Sources in Translation

Project TitleSex and Migration in the Transpacific Underground (1860-1923): Japanese Primary Sources in Translation
Principal InvestigatorAyaka Yoshimizu
Funding Year2022
Project SummaryThe proposed project aims to create a web-based OER that includes digitized Japanese primary sources pertaining to the transpacific sex trade and were produced between 1859 and 1912 in Japan and Canada, a study guide for students, a teaching guide for instructors, and a list of additional resources. The resource will offer students an opportunity to learn about the underrepresented history of the transpacific sex trade by reading Japanese primary sources in English translation.

The resource will be used as required readings in ASIA 254: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Japanese Literature and Film and as materials for a research assignment in ASTU 202: Canada, Japan and the Pacific and will include the following two sets of materials:

1) CC-licensed multimedia texts (digitized woodblock prints and other print publications that contain both visual images and written texts) that depict the legend of Kiyu, a sex worker from a brothel that served western clients in the port of Yokohama in the 1860s, and its surrounding contexts. The primary sources will be selected from CC-licensed materials held by the National Diet Library in Japan. The OER will include the images of the original sources and English translation of the written texts. During the funding period, I will hire a graduate student to transcribe the handwritten texts. I will then translate the text into English.

2) A newspaper series called “Makutsu Tankenki” (Exploration of Devil Caves) from Japanese language newspaper Tairiku Nippo, which includes stories of Japanese migrants involved in the sex trade in Canada at the turn of the 20th century. This is a two-part column series consisting of 72 installments published in 1908-1909 and 31 installments published in 1912. The length of the installment is approximately 500 words each. The UBC Library has a collection of Tairiku Nippo issues and has digitized them. I have already translated the series into English. During the project period, I will proof the translation and replace individual names with pseudonyms to protect the privacy of their descendants. The OER will include my translation of the entire series, selected images of the original series, and links to the original sources in the UBC Library. I am in touch with the Digital Projects Librarian to discuss the use of digital images for the OER.

During the funding period, I will develop a study guide that includes a description of the OER, historical backgrounds of the sources, learning objectives, study questions, and a list of further readings and additional resources. I will also prepare a teaching guide to help other instructors adopt the materials in their own courses. I will hire an undergraduate student to develop a UBC WordPress website to publish these materials.
Grant type OER Implementation
Funded Amount $24,424