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Information Literary Resources: 19. Research Methods in Japanese (H)

Research Methods in Japanese

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



The course, Research Methods in Japanese Studies, has two primary goals: students will learn

  • about the various tools (databases, print resources, full-text resources) for doing research in Japanese and how to use them so that they can access the information they need effectively and efficiently
  • how information is formally and informally produced, organized, and disseminated in various Japan-related disciplines so that they can recognize that knowledge is organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed.

These goals are reflected in the course structure; the first half is more focused on general tools, while the second half focuses on both how knowledge is produced and how to access it, by focusing on a specific discipline each week.

Reference Sources:

A Guide to Reference Books for Japanese Studies. International House of Japan Library, 1997. Rev. Ed.
A well annotated guide to reference books in English and Japanese. Organized by subject. Japanese and English reference books indexed separately. Also includes a list CD-ROMs, Internet sites and Databases, as well as a list of Select Libraries in Japan with addresses, hours and URL's.

Japanese studies in the United States. Tokyo, Japan : Japan Foundation, 1995.
A three volume description of faculty and programs (also library collections) in Japanese studies. Useful for brief faculty biographies and for extensive descriptions of major programs.

Makino, Yasuko and Masaei Saito. A Student Guide to Japanese Sources in the Humanities. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 1994.
Structured around reference questions, it provides an introduction to many important reference works, though without much discussion of strengths and weaknesses.

Webb, Herschel. Research in Japanese Sources: A Guide. Columbia University Press, 1963.
The traditional source, it remains useful for some topics. Focuses mostly on the humanities, including history, literature and law. Particularly useful for people doing work on premodern eras with long discussions of nengo and weights and measures. The discussion of sources for modern history is dated, but the discussion of Japanese laws is good.

Monumenta Nipponica Style Sheet
Information on word division and romanization: There are two primary systems used for romanizing Japanese: Hepburn and Kunrei.
Japanese-English Kenkyūsha dictionaries have a table which details the differences.

A Guide for Researchers (Sharon Domier)
This guide details what the standard elements to include in an interlibrary loan request and explains the standard format for romanization/transliteration, including a brief guide to word division.

  1. Jan 14 Orientation
  2. Jan 18, 10:30-12:30 Room 119 or Wednesday Jan 19, 11:30-1:00
    Database searching for Japanese books and periodicals

    • Current research topics and interests.
    • Abstract of a paper currently working on.
    • Length of the paper and timeline.
    • Possible keywords for locating journal articles and books.
    • Problems faced in using databases or conducting research in general.
  3. Jan 28 Dictionaries and Encyclopedias; print sources for books and journals.
    Izumi Koide, "Different Cultures, Different Approaches to the Organization of Information: Observations from an International Crossroads," JEAL 117, February 1999, 99-10
  4. Feb 4 Geographical information - meet in 119
  5. Feb 11 How to find information on people; how to find names
  6. Feb 15 Tuesday Newspapers
  7. Feb 22 Tuesday History (Partner and Koichi Okamoto)
  8. March 4 Meet in Lilly Library Art History (Weisenfeld)
  9. March 11 Duke Press (Ken Wissoker, Editor-in-chief)
  10. March 25 Law (Katherine Topulos)
    Scott Edward Harrison, "Finding the Law in Japanese" CEAL Bulletin, 103 (1994).
  11. April 1 -- no class I am at AAS all week
  12. April 8: 3:30 pm Political Science (Margaret McKean)
  13. April 15 Popular Culture
    "The Condition of Cultural Studies in Japan," Shunya Yoshimi, Japanese Studies Vol. 18, no. 1, 1998.
  14. April 22 How to use libraries in Japan; Locating researchers
    Toshokan ni kike ! / Inoue Makoto. 図書館に訊け !/;井上真琴.
    Tōkyō:;Chikuma Shobō,2004. 東京:;筑摩書房.
    Scholarships and Grants for Study in Japan
    ReaD - Directory Database of Research and Development Activities (JST)

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