A Message from the Chair


Ōishi Manabu
Society for Historical Consulting

An Invitation to the Society for Historical Consulting

The Society for Historical Consulting was founded in 2009.

What do we mean by “historical consulting”? Strictly speaking, “historical consulting” is the act of providing historical background research. Specifically, as the Kōjien dictionary explains it, “Research to establish whether the costumes and household furnishings in the form of clothes, tools, equipment, and so forth in movies, stage performances, and television programs are suited to the established historical setting.” However, in fact is demand for such historical consulting from a variety of fields. Accordingly, if we are to attempt a new definition, we get the following: “Historical consulting” involves (1) offering consulting services for the production of some historical work (including period dramas such as those on television, radio, movies, or the stage; historical fiction; comic books, animated works, games, etc.) by providing historical data (materials). This is accomplished by (2) synthesizing research findings from various forms of scholarship, including among others history generally, local history, paleography, literature, linguistics, art history, architectural history, the history of manners, life history, the history of clothing, food history, medical history, the history of play, economic history, music history, and folklore studies. Putting all this together, it is “the work of synthesizing history and other forms of scholarship to assist in the production of an historical work.”

What, then, are “historical consulting studies”? In light of our redefinition of historical consulting that it (1) contributes to the creation of historical works by synthesizing the various forms of scholarship that provide the foundation for engaging in historical background research , historical conulting studies (2) contribute as a comprehensive field to making new developments in all forms of scholarship based on existing research findings in all forms of scholarship, and (3) contribute more generally to the development of civil society through aspects (1) and (2). In short, the field of “historical consulting studies” may be definied as “a comprehensive field of study that contributes to historical works, scholarship, and civil society.”

As to the Society for Historical Consulting itself, we stipulate that our goal is to promote and develop the field of historical consulting studies, comprising a group of people who are either involved directly in scholarship that contributes to doing historical background research or have a certain interest in the field. Namely, the Society for Historical Consulting sees itself as “an organization comprising both members of the public and specialists from all fields who seek to promote and develop the field of historical consulting studies.” (Ōishi Manabu, “The Possibilities of ‘Historical Consulting Studies,” in The Society for Historical Consulting: A Beginning『時代考証学 ことはじめ』, eds. Ōishi Manabu and the Society for Historical Consulting [Tōkyōdō Shuppan, 2010])

In a world that is constantly changing , we hope to think and talk with everyone about just how we come into contact with historical works, and how such works may be created. The activities of this Society center on holding an annual Symposium on a specific topic; convening multiple Forums annually with no set topic; and publishing the results of these events. Currently, the Society has no membership system. We welcome all interested parties to our symposiums and forums, and we also hope you will read the publications that result.