Kyoto University and Princeton University have initiated a joint project in March 2020 in order to deepen the knowledge and awareness of Japanese history and culture throughout the world. The goal is to disseminate images, transcriptions, translations, and research about Japanese documents owned by the Kyoto University Museum.
The first set of documents that are translated are 53 records of the Tannowa collection. They cover the period from the early thirteenth through the early sixteenth century, and provide insight into the actions of the Tannowa, a warrior family who resided in the eponymous Tannowa estate in Izumi province. This collection is unique in that it provides, in great detail, evidence for the actions of the warriors of the central provinces near Kyoto, which rarely survive. These document reveal much about social and political conditions during the turbulent fourteenth century, when wars were fought between the Northern and Southern courts in Izumi from 1331 through 1392. The most remarkable documents in this collection include edicts from chancelleries of the noble Kujō house. In addition, a series of documents by Kusunoki Masanori, found in scroll two, are noteworthy, as are records from Ashikaga Takauji, the founder of Japan’s second warrior government. Finally, the latest documents recount the Tannowa during wars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as well.