About This Digital Archive

The Center for Northeast Asian Studies established the Digital Archive of Northeast Asian Studies (DANA) in 2021. It contains digital content related to Northeast Asia, including manuscripts, documents, photographs, video, datasets, and much more. Academia traditionally emphasizes the publication of research results in journals or books as being key for knowledge exchange. A minority of researchers have devoted their energies into making independent databases available to the general public. Their initiatives benefit from the proliferation of digital technologies that allows for an increase in the exchange, forms, and provision of information over the past decade. Eclectic research materials and related information, some of which were previously unpublished due to technical reasons, have become relatively easier to share among various stakeholders. New media also create opportunities to widen area studies by offering new ways of attracting and integrating researchers from different backgrounds. To this effect, DANA has been conceived to provide, salvage, preserve, access, and reuse any kind of material and information that may contribute to Northeast Asian Studies. It will potentially link to other related digital achieves and heritages within and outside Tohoku University. We believe that DANA will become a collaborative space/tool for citizens, researchers, students, and policymakers interested in Northeast Asia. (March 31, 2021)


The Center for Northeast Asian Studies (CNEAS) is the largest university-based research institute in its field in Japan. Based at Tohoku University, Japan’s third oldest imperial university, CNEAS was founded in 1996 as an independent institution devoted to the area study of Northeast Asia which includes China, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia, as well as Siberia and the Far East of Russia. The aim of CNEAS is to take the initiative in international, cross-cutting area studies and produce unique research methodologies. Faculty specializing in the humanities, social sciences, natural science and engineering work together to form joint, collaborative research projects.


An Islamic Sacred Site and Epitaphs in the Southern Urals

This image database offers pictures of headstones and epitaphs in the “Ak-zirat” cemetery, containing the mausoleum of Huseyn-Bek, and located in the raion of Chishmy, which lies about 55 km west of the city of Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia. It contains pictures taken during a preliminary research visit on September 7, 2019 as well as pictures of the epitaphs photographed on the following day, September 8. Participants in the exploration on September 7-8, 2019 were IMAMATSU Yasushi, ISOGAI Masumi, Marsil N. FARKHSHATOV, Ramil M. BULGAKOV, and Evgenii V. RUSLANOV. Tatʹiana K. SURINA, a scientific photographer, photographed the epitaphs.

Tohoku University Department of Archaeology Digital Archive

This digital archive is developed to extend the accessibility to archaeological remains collected by the Tohoku University Archaeology Laboratory, as well as records obtained mainly during excavations.

Kitake Monjo

Since 2020, the Uehiro Research Division of Historical Materials Study of the Center for Northeast Asian Studies at Tohoku University has been investigating 482 historical documents belonging to the Kita family, a feudal retainer of the Sendai Domain during the Edo period. The project was conducted with the approval of Miyagi Prefecture’s Kami Town Board of Education, which possesses the documents.

Tundra Nenets in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District: Their Lifestyle and Subsistence Activity

This collection is the image materials of the traditional culture of Nenets, an indigenous people for the exhibition which was held in 2020 by the invitation of the administration of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug of the Russian Federation. The photos were taken as part of a cultural anthropology survey conducted by Professor Atsushi Yoshida of Chiba University from 1995 to 2016.

Archive on the 2012 Photo Exhibition of Siberian Ethnography in Siberia

Social anthropologist Hiroki Takakura organized the photo exhibition in Sakkyryr village, Eveno-Bytantaiskii Ulus, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation during March 22-24, 2012. The photographs were taken by him conducting anthropological fieldwork at the Verkhoyansky region in Siberia during 1994-1996. This archive shows various aspects of the traditional livelihood of the indigenous Eveny people with the beautiful landscape of Verkhoyansky regions. There are two values in this archive: the first is on the historic-ethnographical record of the culture of Eveny people after the dissolution of socialist regime; and the second is on the material suggesting a way of collaboration between scientists and the targeted people for the research.

Image Database of Texts and Pictures on East Asian Publication Culture

The publication culture such as classic books and literature is one of the important keys for approaching East Asian cultural history and the historiography.This database selects the most rare materials from various sources such as classic books published during the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties picture, materials drawn during the Ming and Qing dynasties, Qing dynasty court drama literature, Qing dynasty oral literature collection, and the related European early modern documents to provide the original images through the website. The purpose is to strengthen the foundation of the studies for East Asian publication culture. The organizer is Akira Isobe, philologist (Chinese literature), professor emeritus.