NTU Library Publication Receives Special Award from Okinawa Times
NTU Library is home to an abundance of historical materials and rare books previously collected during the period of Taihoku Imperial University (TIU, predecessor of NTU). These include a collection of historical materials of the Ryukyu Kingdom that has become the last copies existing in the world due to the bombardment of Okinawa in World War II.
To preserve and make these materials accessible to a wider readership and scholarship, NTU Library collaborated with scholars from the University of the Ryukyus to transcribe, annotate, and translate the content of these copies into modern Japanese, compiling these precious materials into a five-volume anthology—Historical Archives of the Ryukyu Kingdom Housed at National Taiwan University Library: A Transcription, Vol. 1-5 (December 2013). In early 2020, this collaborative product received the Special Award of the 40th Okinawa Times Book Awards—the highest honor given to publications themed around Okinawa (Fig. 1).
The Okinawa Times Book Awards are mainly awarded to Okinawa-themed Japanese publications that demonstrate social, cultural, and educational value. Among all the awards given, the Book Award and the Children’s Book Award are conferred to books written by individual writers. The Special Award, however, honors publications that involve research teams and long-term editorship. Notably, this year marked the first time such award was given to a work published outside of Japan.
Praised as “the first-class historical materials for studies on the Ryukyu Kingdom,” the five-volume Historical Archives of the Ryukyu Kingdom was singled out for a special report by the Okinawa Times on February 4, 2020 (Fig. 2). This anthology consists of historical materials about China-Ryukyu relations during 1719-1866 (from the reign of Kangxi to the reign of Tongzhi in the Qing dynasty). Some of these important manuscripts housed at NTU Library include official memoranda or correspondence collections such as Kansen Nikki (冠船日記), Oyamise Nikki (親見世日記), and Ikoku Nikki (異国日記). Beginning in 2012, these manuscripts were painstakingly transcribed, annotated, and translated by scholars from the University of the Ryukyus and NTU Library, and finally published as a five-volume anthology in 2018.
The Okinawa Times awarded all the Book Awards on February 5, 2020. The Special Award was given to editors Profs. Kiko Nishzato (西里喜行), Kurayoshi Takara (高良倉吉), Kazuyuki Tomiyama (豊見山和行), and Mamoru Akamine (赤嶺守) of the University of the Ryukyus, as well as to the publisher NTU Library. Prof. Muh-Chyun Tang (唐牧群), Associate University Librarian of NTU Library attended the ceremony and received the award on behalf of the library.
- Akamine, Mamoru, “An Overall Introduction of Historical Archives of the Ryukyu Kingdom Housed at National Taiwan University Library: A Transcription, Vol. 1-5,” NTU Library Newsletter, no. 230 (June, 2019).
- Front pages of the Okinawa Times (newspaper) on January 16 and February 6, 2020.
Certificate of the Okinawa Times Book Awards – Special
Fig. 1. List of awardees announced on the front page of the Okinawa Times on January 16, 2020.
Fig. 2. Special Award recipient singled out for a special report by the Okinawa Times (page 8, February 4, 2020)
Associate University Librarian Muh-Chyun Tang receives the Special Award on behalf of NTU Library.
Group photo of all the awardees of the 40th Okinawa Times Book Awards (front page, Okinawa Times, February 6, 2020).