Receipt of a Digital Humanities summer stipend enabled this website to be created. Ben Johnson in particular proved helpful in getting this site operational, and helping with a myriad of issues as we devised and continued to improve this site. Also Paula Brett, Janet Temos, and Sorat Tungkasiri aided the design and creation of this site and the display of the images, Daniel Kearns filmed my explanations, and Meredith Martin generously supported this project.

The graduate students in my seminar Readings in Ancient and Medieval Japanese History carefully and skillfully combed through the text of the documents and provided meticulous and clear translations of documents that were, at times, quite complex and opaque. Kyle Bond, Claire Cooper, Megan Gilbert, Skyler Negrete, and Mai Yamaguchi transcribed, translated and annotated the documents for “Not So Secret Secrets,” “The Emperor’s Clothes,” “The Shogun’s Mother,” and “The Better Part of Valor: Documents of the Mikita” in the fall of 2014 while Gina Choi, Yongchao Cheng, Kentaro Ide, Caitlin Karyadi, Christopher Larcombe, Nathan Ledbetter and David Romney translated and transcribed the documents for “The Better Part of Valor: Documents of the Kumagai,” as well as “Sea Lords: Documents (komonjo) of the Ōuchi and Kōno” in the fall of 2016.

The Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum (Yonezawa shi Uesugi Hakubutsukan 米沢市上杉博物館) generously provided images and permissions for the four Uesugi documents. I am grateful to Abe Tetsuto (阿部哲人)for his help in securing the images, as well as Nanami Masato(七海 雅人)of the Tohokugakuin Daigaku (東北学院大学) for demonstrating how to fold these documents at the International Workshop: “New Studies for the Study of Japanese Religions.” Professor Nanami also facilitated communication with the Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum. I am also grateful to Jacqueline Stone for giving me reproductions of the Uesugi documents that were used in filming how to fold these records.

Tanaka Junichirō (田中 淳一郎)of the Kyōto Furitsu Yamashiro Kyōdo Shiryōkan (京都府立山城郷土資料館)proved invaluable in helping me to secure permission to reproduce the Mikita documents. I first took photos of these documents for my research in 1994, and I am glad to have this opportunity to share images of these records to a wider audience. Currently the Mikita documents are located in the Sakai City Museum (Sakai-shi hakubutsukan 堺市博物館), and inquiries should be directed to Mr. Yanai (矢内) or Shibutani (渋谷).

The Awazu monjo, also known as the Heishi monjo, are the possession of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Haruko Nakamura generously provided the images used at this site, and I am grateful to her and Dani Botsman for their invaluable aid. I first encountered the Awazu documents and read them with Ebara Masaharu (榎原雅治) in October 2012. I consulted his transcriptions and am grateful to him, and to Kondō Shigekazu (近藤成一) as well.

The Kumagai (熊谷) family generously permitted me to reproduce on this webpage photographs that I took of their documents in 1995.  I also want to thank Wada Shusaku (和田秀作) of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Archives, who helped me to contact the Kumagai and explain this project to them.

I am most indebted to Royall Tyler, who provided invaluable suggestions and advice in translating the fiendishly difficult letter written by Uesugi Kiyoko.

I am also most grateful to Princeton’s Japanese Librarian, Setsuko Noguchi, who was instrumental in allowing Princeton to acquire the Ōuchi Yoshioki and Kōno documents.

Ebara Masaharu (榎原雅治) helped me greatly in securing the copies and documents for the section “From Documents to History.” Likewise, Ōno Hiroshi (大野浩 ) of the Shimane Prefectural Library  and Professor Yoshikawa Shinji (吉川真司) of Kyoto University helped me to secure copies of the Nakajima house documents that were used to explain the history of this source.

These documents are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any form. Any errors are my full responsibility. I beg the indulgence of readers of this site. Please contact me ( if you encounter any issues that merit correction.