A Digital Exhibition: Tale of Lady Karaito

Tale of Lady Karaito is a story from the Muromachi Era (1336-1573). In early 18th Centure, it was collected in Otogi Zoshi, widely read thereafter. Starting with an attractive episode of an assination of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the Lord of Kamakura, this story tells Lady Karaito's sufferer, her young daughter Manju's desparated efforts, and finally a miraculous happy ending to praise the virtue of filial piety.

The source book in an exhibition here is in the possession of National Institute of Japanese Literature. This title contents two volumes in a totale of 35 quires, or approximately 12000 characters in about 600 lines of text, plus 12 illustrations. In Nov. 2016 this title was included in Dataset of Pre-Modern Japanese Text and became open to the public through internet (CC BY-SA 4.0).

This exhibition divideds into 12 sections based on the illustrations. In each section, besides the original text and illustration, various information, including an introduction to the story, comments on the illustration, additional notes, paintings and prints on the same story scene from other two different text (Karaito Soshi owned by Waseda University Library, Karaito Soshi by National Diet Library) are presented. Further more, each section comes with a video clip with an narration of the entire writing, while a moving red line on the original text to indicate the medieval writing in hentai-gana.

The text of Tale of Lady Karaito is in medieval Japanese, which is quite different from the language today. However, listen to the narration, a reader should be able to understand it to a good degree. Meanwhile, the entire text has been translated into English by Lora Gale Slobodian, the translation is available online (click this link).

The make of this exhibition, from the planning, cllecting and writing, to the producing of the video clips, is entirely conducted by the author. Here the author would like to express his cinsere appreciation to Libraries & Cultural Resources, University of Calgary for providing the Omeka system and to install IIIF Tookit to meet the demind from this project, especially to Ms. Christie Hurrell for her always accurate and swift advice and support. 



ここに取り上げているのは、国文学研究資料館所蔵の「からいと」である。この底本は上下二冊に分かれ、あわせて三十五帖、約六百行一万二千文字、十二枚の挿絵を含む。二〇一五年十一月「日本古典籍データセット」の一篇として公開され、デジタル利用(CC BY-SA 4.0)に提供されている。


「からいと」の原文は、いうまでもなく中世の日本語である。だが、朗読にじっくり耳を傾ければ、文章表現の内容はかなりな理解できるはずである。一方では、この作品はLora Gale Slobodian氏によって全文英訳され、オンラインで利用できる(英訳のリンク)。

「デジタル展示・からいと」の企画、解説の作成、朗読動画の制作などは、すべて著者一人の作業によるものである。Omekaシステムの利用やこのプロジェクトの要望に答えてのIIIF Toolkitの導入など、カルガリー大学デジタル図書館が用意してくれた環境、とりわけいつも的確迅速にサポートしてくれたChristie Hurrell氏に感謝したい。


X. Jie Yang 楊暁捷