Skip to main content

Information Literary Resources: Geography


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


Resources for the Geography of Japan


  • Bibliographies
  • Readings for Place Names
  • Dictionaries/Gazetteers
  • Local History Dictionaries, Handbooks, and Chronologies
  • Atlases: General; Historical; Contemporary Japanese National Atlases
  • Web Links

Geography Exercises

Kristina Kade Troost, PhD Librarian for Japan and Korea
Perkins Library, Duke University
Last Update: 05/22/02

  1. Take a place in Japan which you know well or which interests you (Tokyo is so large that if you choose it, you will need to choose a section of it) and find out everything you can about it, its history before 1868, its development in the prewar era, its wartime experience, its present situation. Use:
    1. Kadokawa Nihon chimei jiten 角川日本地名辞典
      EA Ref: 915.2003 K11 1978
    2. Nihon zushi taikei. 日本図誌体系。
      EA Ref: 912.52 qN691
    3. Nihon toshi sensai chizu. 日本都市戦災地図
      EA Ref Folio: f940.5352 N691 1983
    4. Nihon bunken chizu chimei soran 1993 : kokyo kikan, chikeizu sakuin, jidosha rosen eigyo kiroteizu. 日本分県地図地名総覧1993:公共機関地系図索引、自動車路線営業キロ程図。 EA Ref: 912.52 N691 1992 -- see earlier editions as well
    5. Meiji Taisho Nihon toshi chizu shusei. 明治大正日本都市地図集成 EA Ref Folio: 912.52 M512, 1986
    6. Showa zenki Nihon toshi chizu shusei. 昭和前期日本都市地図集成 EA Ref Folio: 912.52 S559, 1986
    7. See other atlases if relevant (esp. for Tokyo)
  2. How much travel information can you find on the web for Japan?
    1. See
    2. Compare Jalan: Recreation, Travel and Sightseeing Information (in Japanese) with Travel and Sightseeing Information– and a site for foreign tourists maintained by the Japanese National Tourist Organization
    3. Look at the web site maintained by the Kokudo Chiriin Compare it to US Geological Survey Do they have different missions?
  3. How do you read the following address: 練馬区向山
    hint: try using Nihon bunken chizu chimei sōran
  4. Look through Nihon shuyo chizu shusei : Meiji kara gendai made 日本主要地図集成:明治から現代まで
    EAC: 016.91252 N691, 1995 (I will put it in EA ref temporarily).
    Consider format, use of color, the purposes of mapping. You may want to look at Isles of Gold : Antique Maps of Japan, PL: q912.52 C827 I82 1983 or "Cartography in Japan" by Unno Kazutaka, in Cartography in the Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies, The History of Cartography, vol. 2, PL: 526.09 H673, 1987
  5. Reading place names:
    1. Old place names: look at Chimei reddo deta bukku = Red Data Gazetteer of Japan. 地名レッドデータブック。 EA Ref: 915.2003 K16 C538 1994
      1. How many old readings are there for 上野
    2. Current place names: Shin Nihon chimei sakuin = New Index Gazetteer of Japan. 新日本地名索引。3v.
      EA Ref: 915.2003 K16 S556 1993 Based on current 1:25,000 maps. Includes over 1 million place names. Volume One is arranged by reading (gojuon); Volumes Two and Three are arranged by Chinese characters.
      1. How many readings can you find for 日向. What are they?
      2. How do you read 間人? 及位?

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
Copyright 2017
Contact the Webmaster