Japanese Studies and the Digital Humanities: Who to Follow on Twitter in 2020

As many readers will be aware Social Media provides an excellent forum for sharing research with a wider academic and public audience. Despite reported declines in membership, Twitter remains a key and active platform for academics to engage with each other, and is particularly useful for those new to the field who are seeking to discover and engage with ongoing Digital Humanities projects. As we approach the new year, I thought I’d post yet another short list with some of my personal recommendations of people to follow on Twitter for those interested in Japanese Studies and the Digital Humanities. The list is alphabetical and it is not exhaustive.

  1. Tarin Clanuwat (Research Organization of Information and Systems) who already had a very active Twitter presence was shot to fame earlier this year with the launch of KuroNet Kuzushiji Ninshiki Sābisu (KuroNetくずし字認識サービス). Followers of Clanuwat (@tkasasagi) can expect posts pertaining to Japanese literature, OCR, AI, Machine Learning, and various digital projects both related and unrelated to Japanese Studies.
  2. Paula R. Curtis (Yale University) runs a very active Twitter account (@paularcurtis) posting on topics pertaining to both the Digital Humanities and traditional historiography with a focus on pre-modern Japan. Curtis also runs What can I do with a B.A. in Japanese Studies? and the linked Twitter account (@shinpaideshou) which offers news on resources, grants and the like.
  3. Yuta Hashimoto (National Museum of Japanese History) runs an active Twitter account (@yuta1984) which may be of particular interest for those interested in OCR, AI, cursive Japanese scripts, and the Minna de Honkoku project which also has a separate Twitter account (@CloudHonkoku) managed by Hashimoto. Hashimoto is one of the developers of the Kuzushiji Gakushū Shien Apuri KuLA (くずし字学習支援アプリKuLA) explored in the Digital Orientalist’s post Apps for Learning Cursive Japanese.
  4. Simon Kaner (University of East Anglia) posts on a variety of things pertaining to Japanese studies both digital and “traditional,” as well as on the Digital Humanities more generally. Kaner’s account (@NorwichDogu) is not as active or widely followed as some of the other accounts on this list, but is a great account to follow to learn about new and exciting research projects.
  5. Kano Yasuyuki (University of Tokyo) has a fairly active Twitter account (@KanoYasuyuki) which regularly features content pertaining to manuscripts, research on historical natural disasters, OCR, and the aforementioned Minna de Honkoku project.
  6. Kiyonori Nagasaki (International Institute for Digital Humanities) posts numerous things pertaining to Japanese Studies and the Digital Humanities and is perhaps a key person to follow to receive news and information about a variety of projects. Recently tweets from the account (@knagasaki) have focused on IIIF, Open Access, Copyright, OCR, and Nagasaki’s Blog, DigitalNagasaki.
  7. Corey Noxon runs an account somewhat different in scope to the others listed here in so far as it principally focuses on prehistoric Japan and archaeology. Recently, Noxon’s account (@ArchaeoJapan) has shared material pertaining to 3D modeling and visualization. The account is not as active as some of the others in this list, but is worth following for its high-quality Tweets.
  8. Sven Osterkamp (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) runs an account (@schrift_sprache) grounded in high quality research which focuses on language, manuscripts, and digitization. Osterkamp posts detailed and often novel threads that often allow readers to locate digitized versions of manuscripts or acquire linguistic knowledge.

Whether new to Twitter or a long term user, the above Twitter users provide interesting content for people engaged in Japanese Studies and the Digital Humanities or both. I’d highly recommend checking them out to those who want to follow developments in both intertwined fields throughout 2020.

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