Resource: Grassroots Operations of the Japanese Empire Translated Primary Sources for Teaching Purposes

Today’s resource post is Grassroots Operations of the Japanese Empire: Translated Primary Sources for Teaching Purposes. Begun in 2021 by Sayaka Chatani, Assistant Professor of History at the National University of Singapore, the website provides a wide variety of primary sources related to the Japanese empire.

In order to facilitate use in high school and college classrooms, each source has been translated into English and is presented with a brief introduction to its context written by a historian. Citations are also given for the original source, making it easy to refer to for further investigation.

The translation section allows one to either select key words that will pull up relevant documents or to browse by geographic location. There is also a separate “Other Useful Sources” section that refers to many other sites and archives with relevant research materials, making this a great place for educators teaching on modern East Asia to look for further classroom materials (or send students hunting for other sources).

Given the difficulty of and time investment in publishing large translated sourcebooks for teaching, Grassroots Operations of the Japanese Empire: is an excellent means to leverage collaborative scholarship and expertise for open-access resources. There is information provided on how scholars can contribute their own translations or class assignments and Chatani welcomes students to share any sources of their own and potentially take part in the writing process, modeling forward-thinking and inclusive pedagogical methods for integrating students into our scholarship. I hope to see this site continue to grow and transform in the years to come!

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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