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Guide to Reading Japanese Online: Home

Use Japanese language open source digital texts for teaching

Featured Program

View Ken Ito's YouTube Tutorial on Teaching Full Text Japanese Resources, which was expanded from his NCC Workshop presentation at the 2013 AAS Meetings.    Professor Ken Ito’s Webinar

E-Texts Working Group


Susanna Fessler
Professor of East Asian Studies
University at Albany


Tomoko Bialock
Japanese Studies Librarian
University of Southern California
Michael Bourdaghs
Professor of Japanese Literature
University of Chicago
Ken Ito
Professor of Japanese
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Setsuko Noguchi
Japanese Studies Librarian
Princeton University
Adam H Lisbon
Japanese Studies Librarian
University of Colorado Boulder
Molly Des Jardin, Site Coordinator
Japanese Studies Librarian
University of Pennsylvania

Using Japanese Open Source Digital Texts PREVIEW

During 2012-13 NCC began developing online instructional guides to using Japanese language open source content for teaching about Japan across the curriculum. The E-Texts Website will concentrate on open source materials freely available to all via the Internet. Initially the site will focus on using Aozora Bunko, The Japan Pen Club Digital Library and the Japanese Text Initiative to create lesson plans and course materials to best take advantage of these resources in teaching Japanese language, literature, history, and other subjects. In addition, see below for Japanese historical texts online. Individual faculty members who have used these resources in their teaching will collaborate with NCC and with members of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) in developing these resources. 


Major components of the Website will include:

  • Lesson plans, course syllabi, and other teaching materials;
  • Technology tips to ensure uniform downloading, pagination, and footnoting across platforms (laptops, readers, cell phones, etc);
  • Tips for using Ruby and other transliteration or translation platforms;
  • Links to recommended online dictionaries, relevant bibliographies, and other reference resources for course use. 

Aozora Bunko, begun in 1997, is an online collection of thousands of Japanese language works of fiction and non-fiction, including out-of-copyright books or works that the authors have made freely available. It is widely regarded as the Japanese equivalent of Project Gutenberg.

The Japan Pen Club Digital Library 
is a collection of recent publications by members of the Pen Club that have been made available by the authors or their literary heirs in a full-text digital format. 

The Japanese Text Initiative is a project of the Electronic Text Center of the University of Virginia developed in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh that provides online versions of important Japanese texts, whenever possible, linked to English translations, and other supporting materials.

The Japanese Historical Text Initiative contains searchable databases of numerous historical works, digitized Japanese texts, and some links to English translations.

NCC welcomes suggestions of other open source resources to include for the future. Please provide your suggestions!

Japanese text resources

For a long list of Japanese corpora to use in text analysis as well as some text analysis tools and software for Japanese language, see Molly's guide to Japanese text analysis at Penn's LibGuides.

Subject Guide

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