A little help with research

I need some good references (preferably with illustrations) describing the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as it was before the Second World War. The modern palace – built in the 1960s to replace the Meiji Emperor’s original residence, which was destroyed during the war – frequently appears in books and websites about Japan, but I’ve had some difficulty locating references that contain more than a passing mention of the old palace. A few isolated photographs and snippets of information are available on the Internet, but there’s not nearly enough of it to put together an accurate mental image of the pre-war imperial complex. To that end, I’m especially interested in books/articles that include ground plans and photographs.

The references don’t necessarily have to be online, or even free. Just send me the title, author, publisher and other details and I’ll see if I can order it from overseas if I can’t find it in a library here.

Leads can be submitted by e-mail or as comments in reply to this post. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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5 Responses

  1. Perhaps, you can find something on this website

    http://oldphotosjapan.com/en/

    Also check out JSTOR database

    http://www.jstor.org

    Also you can always ask your librarian to help you.

  2. @Kitsune: Thanks for the links! I’m especially grateful for the reference to “Old Photos of Japan”. It didn’t have anything on the palace itself, but those Meiji-era photographs should come in handy.

    I made good use of JSTOR back in uni, but I lost my access rights when I graduated. (T_T)

  3. Ah, too bad you don’t have access to JSTOR now 😦 May I ask, what was your major?

    I found some more links:

    I am sure you looked at it already, but I’ll mention it anyway: Wiki. Consider the links at the bottom of the wiki page to check out other related websites.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokyo

    This is a directory of photos that includes some old photos as well under History of Tokyo Imperial Palace.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Tokyo_Imperial_Palace

    A study on making the city by placing KOKYO at the center of Tokyo during Meiji era-Through the analysis of the process of converting the lands around KOKYO into the imperial estate with the imperial palace construction during Meiji era-

    http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200701/000020070106A0937197.php

  4. @Kitsune: Thanks for the links. And you’re right, I did consult Wikipedia – which pretty much consists of the entirety of the “few isolated photographs and snippets of information” I wrote about in my post. I even tried to track down the “Showa History of 100 million people Vol.13” that the uploader cited as the source of his Wikimedia Commons photos, without success. No worries, I haven’t given up on it yet!

    I took a double-major track – applied economics and, well, I think I’ll keep the other one under wraps for now. Gives too much away about what I do for a living these days, which I’ve long ago resolved never to talk about on this blog on account of my sheer frustration with it (this blog is my happy place, after all). 😉

    And in case you were wondering, this research is for a story I’m planning to write. (Not for publication, of course – just for the pure pleasure of writing.)

  5. That research is not easy, but you’ll prevail 🙂

    It seems that your current work is frustrating to you 😦 While it is not always possible, sometimes you can get another job where the atmosphere will be more pleasant. It is possible that you have a more difficult situation, and it is the entire field you are in that you are dissatisfied about. If that is the case, you might want to think about it carefully. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life in frustration, it might be not too late to switch to something you truly feel passionate about.

    Oh, I hope you’ll publish your story on your blog 🙂

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