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Information Literary Resources: Finding Books and Articles

Finding Books and Articles

Kristina Troost, PhD
Course: Research Methods in Japanese Studies, 2005 Spring,
Duke University


Japanese Studies databases

Links to bibliographic databases for Japanese materials.

  • NDL's Zasshi kiji sakuin (part of NDL's opac), MagazinePlus and Web Oya are periodical databases.
  • NDL's OPAC, Bookplus, Webcat Plus and Book Contents provide information about books and serials. Bookplus, Webcat Plus and Book Contents provide information about the contents of books (tables of contents). Webcat Plus provides information on Japanese library holdings.
  • Worldcat and RLG Union catalog provide information on materials (books, journals, microfilm, manuscripts, films) held in libraries in the United States and elsewhere.
  • Web Who provides information on people, including what they wrote and what has been written about them.
  • Ajia rekishi shiryo senta (JACAR) and the Kindai digital library are full-text databases with pre-WWII/Meiji era materials.

Print Bibliographies and Book Catalogs

  1. An Introductory Bibliography for Japanese Studies. Tokyo: The Japan Foundation, 1974-.
    An English language, evaluative and selective bibliography of Japanese scholarship which is written by experts in the field. Part I covers the humanities and Part II the social sciences. While it comes out slowly and is not cumulative, it is an excellent place to begin.
  2. Book page. Hon no nenkan. 本の年鑑。 Library has 1988 to the present. Latest in EA reference. An annotated list of books published in the previous year. Classified, with author, title and subject indexes and a list of publishers.

Kokusho kihon database

Includes both Kokusho sōmokuroku and Kotenseki sōgō mokuroku from the Kokubungaku Shiryōkan (National Institute of Japanese Literature) under Denshi Toshokan. You need to register it before you use it. The Kokusho sōmokuroku is a union list of books authored by Japanese, published before 1867 and collected in 500 libraries. Includes 1.7 million titles. The books are arranged in gojuon order by title, and the last volume has an author index. The Kotenseki sōgō mokuroku succeeds the Kokusho sōmokuroku and includes 10,000 additional works. Includes notation about format: hand-copied (写), printed book (活), mimeographed material and facsimile (復), variant edition (異本).

General Encyclopedias

  1. Buritanika kokusai dai hyakka jiten = Britannica international encyclopaedia 29v.
    ブリタニカ国際大百科事典 Tokyo : Tibiesu Buritanika, 1988.
  2. Sekai daihyakka jiten. 世界大百科事典 26v. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1988 The most up-to-date Japanese encyclopedia. The articles are signed but do not have bibliographies. 90,000 entries are arranged in gojuon order, but many entries require use of the index. There are good indexes, including one for foreign names and terms. There are cross-references to 400,000 items. Particularly useful for its comparisons of Japanese and world phenomena. Does not seem to provide biographical entries for living people, though they may be mentioned under other topics.
  3. Koji ruien. 古事類苑  51v. Jingū Shichō. Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1967-72. Last of the traditional Chinese-style encyclopedias. Collection of primary source materials selected from books published before 1868. Intended to preserve traditional Japanese culture, covers all phases of life in premodern Japan. Classified by subject into thirty sections.


Information on word division and romanization: There are two primary systems used for romanizing Japanese: Hepburn and Kunrei. Japanese-English Kenkyusha dictionaries have a table which details the differences.
Wikipedia article on romaji

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