Aims at TBIAS

At TBIAS, we attach particular importance to local source material written in regional languages, viewing these sources as mirrors reflecting society.

In order to comprehend the complexity of political, economical and social structures in Islamic areas, we will study this local source material systematically from a broad perspective.

The appropriate use of the material, understanding of its characteristics, and research of its historical context are three goals which will not be achieved without interacting in synergy with one another — based on this concept, our documentation center will create a network of research libraries, engage in the systematic acquisition of local sources in regional languages, and develop research facilities.

By supporting researchers and librarians, and in order to facilitate their cooperation, we will break fresh ground for the study of Islamic source material.


MIURA Toru      Ochanomizu University / Toyo Bunko

HORIKAWA Toru      Kyoto University of Foreign Studies / Toyo Bunko
KONDO Nobuaki      Tokyo University of Foreign Studies / Toyo Bunko
OKAWARA Tomoki      Tohoku University / Toyo Bunko
ISOGAI Ken’ichi      Otemon Gakuin University / Toyo Bunko
TAKAMATSU Yoichi      Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
AKIBA Jun       Chiba University / Toyo Bunko
WATANABE Koichi      National Institute of Japanese Literature
YANAGIYA Ayumi      Toyo Bunko
HARAYAMA Takahiro      Toyo Bunko
TOKUHARA Yasuhiro      National Institute for the Humanities / Toyo Bunko
DEGUILHEM Randi      CNRS (in France)
HANNA Nelly The American University in Cairo
KNOST Stefan      Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Research Plans

We work in tandem with the other IAS Centers to acquire source materials for research, and to facilitate their use.

It is our aim to contribute to the development of bibliographical studies and related area studies through the systemization of bibliographical information.Specifically, our activities can be outlined according to three pillars as follows:

1. The systematic collection of local source materials in regional languages, including manuscripts and historical documents

2. The development of bibliographical databases and network for librarians

To encourage the use of the Arabic alfabet bibliographical database (in coordination with the National Institute of Informatics)
To maintain and update, with the Japan Association for Middle East Studies, the existing Bibliographical Database of Middle East Studies in Japan
To create a network of librarians on Middle Eastern studies, foster librarians with expertise on the Middle East, and to build a solid basis in bibliographical studies for forthcoming research in cooperation with researchers and librarians.

3. Comparative studies by historical documents

Through the study of historical documents (especially Islamic court records), as well as comparative analyses by region,
we aim to further understanding of the society of Islamic areas. In order to grasp the extent of the sources available, the statistical analysis and comparative study of a large quantity of material will be necessary.
We will undertake this project in coordination with institutions both within Japan and abroad which are involved in bibliographical studies programs.

3.1 The comparative study of sources from Japan, China, Korea, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Joint research with the “Multilateral Comparative Study of the Historical Archives” Project (National Institute of Japanese Literature) as well as the Research Project for Ancient Central Asian Texts (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies).

3.2 The development of studies concerning sources on Islamic court and the waqf.

Research Groups

Sharia and Modernization: Research Group of the Ottoman Civil Code

The purpose of this research group’s activity is to make a full, annotated Japanese translation of the Mecelle, the first civil code in the Islamic world promulgated in the late Ottoman period.
As the first written code in the Islamic World, the Mecelle had a far reaching influence on the civil legislation of the Middle Eastern countries, like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Israel during the first half of 20th century.
We are convinced that our activity will also make a great contribution to the ultimate purpose of our TBIAS research project, i.e. studies in sharia court and waqf documents.
The “Sharia and Modernization” group consists of researchers from various academic fields, including experts of Islamic law, comparative laws and history. We are working on the basis of the Arabic version of the Mecelle, comparing it with the original text in Ottoman Turkish, the commentaries as well as English and French translations.

Research group for Ottoman historical sources

This group aims to gain a deeper understanding of historical sources of the study of the Ottoman Empire. One of its main projects is to translate “Tezakir“, a memoir written by the 19th century Ottoman historian-statesman Ahmed Cevdet Pasa, into Japanese.
The group also holds lectures and workshops inviting prominent scholars on the Ottoman history.

Contact Us

Documentation Center for Islamic Area Studies in Toyo Bunko (TBIAS)
2-28-21, Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo (postal code 113-0021) JAPAN
Tel/Fax: +81-3-3942-0235
Contact Form (Research Dept.): http://www.toyo-bunko.or.jp/research/contact_e.html

>> Access