The Japanese Text Initiative (JTI) intends to put online on the Web texts of classical
Japanese literature in Japanese characters. Our primary audience is English-speaking
scholars and students. Where possible, the Japanese texts will be accompanied by English
translations. All JTI texts will be tagged in
Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), according to Text Encoding Initiative
(TEI) standards, and converted to HTML or XML for display on the Web. An important purpose is to make
JTI texts in both Japanese and English searchable, both individually and as a group.
Generally, the electronic texts at the E-Text Center site are not intended to be substitutes
for authoritative printed editions. We do not put on the Web copyrighted texts, unless we
have permission from the copyright holders. With some exceptions, the texts of current scholarly
editions of literature in English, French, German, Japanese, and other languages are not freely available
for sites such as ours. As a result, we use texts without copyright constraints, such as editions for which
copyright has expired. These e-texts are therefore useful as supplements to current scholarly editions.
What the e-texts add to those editions is the capability of rapid searching for words and characters,
which would take considerably longer in printed texts.
In a few cases e-texts have been newly edited for this Web site, and so can be considered authoritative
texts. Examples can be found in the British Poetry
category at the E-Text Center, as well as our own edition of Kokinshu.
In the short term, we hope to put online most or all of the Twenty Classical Works
in J. Thomas Rimer's A Reader's Guide to Japanese Literature, revised edition (New York: Kodansha, 1999). A
longer-range goal is to add a wide range of pre-twentieth-century works. We also hope to add twentieth-century literature that does not have copyright restrictions.
Advisors for the Japanese Text Initiative are Professors J. Thomas Rimer and Mae J. Smethurst of the University of
Pittsburgh and Professor Lewis Cook of Queens College of the City University of New York.
We are designating Christine Ruotolo Technical Director Emerita of the JTI in thanks for her fruitful years of service for the JTI.
We are actively soliciting participation in the Initiative by scholars of Japanese literature who can
contribute Japanese texts or English translations. A knowledge of SGML or HTML is not required; staff assigned
to the Initiative can do tagging of texts. If you are interested, please contact the Japanese Text Initiative at the
University of Virginia.