JACAR Newsletter

JACAR Newsletter  Number 39

December 28, 2022


JACAR Seminar (3rd) Held (Report)

The Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (hereafter JACAR) on October 7, 2022 (Friday) held its third JACAR Seminar over the internet via Zoom on the topic of “Searching for Comrades-in-Arms through JACAR: A Case Report Using War Diaries.” More than 80 people watched the seminar, mainly persons who were interested in either how to make practical use of historical public records or family history.

JACAR assistant researcher ŌKAWA Shiori began by presenting letters between wartime comrades that served as clues in the process of searching for the friend who sent to bereaved families the diaries of Japanese solider who died during World War II on Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The letters contained information about the friend that was not recorded in the diaries.



佐藤富五郎日記 戦友からの手紙

Using the name of the unit to which the comrade was attached ” 64th guard unit, Ministry of Navy”—as the keyword for her search, by comparing these materials with multiple historical public records Ms. ŌKAWA was able to infer the full names and home addresses of these individuals.


In this way, by combining a search of primary sources such as diaries and letters with an exploration of historical public records held by multiple institutions, and then combining these further with fieldwork, Ms. ŌKAWA was able to finally track down the families of the comrades-in-arms involved.

Following this case report, JACAR Advisory Committee members Dr. ASANO Toyomi and Dr. KUROSAWA Fumitaka offered their comments as the seminar’s discussants. The comments exchanged covered such topics as the situation in which the Japanese army had been placed in light of the overall military strategies pursued at the time, handing down memories of the war, and the future of historical education.

Finally, the presenter and discussants answered a diverse range of questions from the online attendees on everything from how to search military service records to the preservation of records and conducting studies related to wars.

Video of the event is being posted to JACAR’s official YouTube channel. We hope you will view it.

Video of the JACAR Seminar (JACAR YouTube channel)

URL:  https://youtu.be/sV_ebsIpTDk

The 4th JACAR Seminar is schedued to take place sometime in March 2023. We will post details about the event to the JACAR website once they have been finalized. We hope that you will be able to participate.

If you have any questions or specific requests, please feel free to send a message to our contact email address, <jacar_enquire@archives.go.jp>.



*Program for the JACAR Seminar (3rd)

Date: October 7, 2022 (Friday): 4:00 p.m to 5:30 p.m.

Presenter: ŌKAWA Shiori, Assistant Researcher, Japan Center for Asian Historical Records


ASANO Toyomi, Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University (JACAR Advisory Committee member)

KUROSAWA Fumitaka, Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University (JACAR Advisory Committee member)

Details: (1) Case report; (2) Comments by experts; (3) Q&A