Rare Japanese scrolls now in the hands of UH’s Hamilton Library

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two rare Japanese scrolls have made its way to the University of Hawaii at Manoa Hamilton Library.

The scrolls entitled 鯨魚覧笑録 (Geigyoran shoroku), were created in 1819 and show the entire process of whale hunting during Japan’s Edo period, which is between 1600-1868.

The scrolls were hand-painted and are over 400 inches long. Scrolls with the same title, but less colorful, are housed in the Tokyo National Museum.

Courtesy of UH Manoa Hamilton Library

The items were given to the library from Deborah Rudolf, the wife of the late John Harvard Hawley.

The majority of the items are in Japanese, but there are also materials in various European languages, Chinese and Ryukyuan language (Uchināguchi). The collections are in different formats such as western binding, Japanese traditional binding books, maps, scrolls, wood-block prints and hand-written manuscripts.

“This gift greatly strengthens UH Mānoa’s Hamilton Library as a world-class source for the study of Japanese and Okinawan history and culture,” said University Librarian Clem Guthro.

These scrolls will be available by appointment to students, faculty, and researchers.

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