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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Event Series
February 29, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on AI and Jesuit Written Artefacts

© Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

Between 1595 and 1610, the first recorded contacts between Europeans and Japanese took place. In the Jesuit Colleges in Kyushu, lectures were delivered on Aristotelian philosophy, theology, and Ptolemaic cosmology. In Germany, almost 450 years later in 2019, this tripartite work on science and religion is discovered in the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel: the first complete Japanese translation of the so-called Compendia compiled in Japan. Bridging the gap between computer science and historical linguistics, this talk will present a novel approach of understanding this written artefact by applying the possibilities artificial intelligence offers. It will address the challenges of finetuning AI-powered tools to historical Japanese, training AI models for text recognition in multiple text directions and writing systems, coding scripts tailored to historical romanization, and conducting quantitative analysis of a comparative text corpus of Jesuit codices. Details and registration here

Sophie Takahashi, Ruhr University Bochum/DIJ Tokyo