In 2021, our subscription to JapanKnowledge now includes the Dai Kanwa Jiten (Great Chinese-Japanese Character Dictionary), sometimes known as Morohashi. "Celebrated as the 'great treasure trove of kanji culture,' the Dai Kanwa Jiten is a Chinese-Japanese character dictionary containing 50,000 kanji entries and 530,000 compounds, having scoured the existing literature and dictionaries, both ancient and modern."
With the "JapanKnowledge edition, not only can kanji characters be searched by direct input, but also by radical, stroke count, or reading, and even with just a part of the character, if you do not know the reading or radical."
Dai Kanwa Jiten USER GUIDE
Kokka Taikan USER GUIDE
BobCat and WorldCat - Search them using Kanji/漢字! If you don't find what you need, search with romanization. BobCat and WorldCat use the Library of Congress romanization system for Japanese, which is based on the principles of the modified Hepburn system (for example, 新聞 is romanized as shinbun not shimbun).
Planning to study in Japan?
For more information about Japanese libraries and resources, see this guide: NCC's Online Guide to Research Access to Japanese Collections and Resources (2016 edition). (North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources)
Search Webcat Plus (NACSIS Webcat) to see holdings of libraries in Japan.
Studying Japan: Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods
by Nora Kottmann editor.; Cornelia Reiher 1978- editor.
The library has both print and online editions. Check out Chapter 9 for useful recommendations on Libraries and Library research!
Residing in Japan? You can use this NDL service, Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals on May 19, 2022,
For subject guides to research about Japan, try NCC's Subject Guide Portal.
Looking for Japanese guides to resources? Try the National Diet Library of Japan guides - Risāchi nabi リサーチ・ナビ
Want more information about using the National Diet Library of Japan? check here
Citing Japanese Language Sources?
Japan News Digital Archive
The Japan News provides access to the English-language daily from the publisher The Yomiuri Shimbun. Hosted on the Global Press Archive platform, this newspaper archive includes over 27,251 issues covering the period of 1955-present.
(Vendor-provided temporary expanded access to support the current remote learning scenario, access through October, 2020)
The Maruzen eBook Library Extended Trial during the pandemic ended May, 2020
Titles that are already purchased will continue to be accessible with limited concurrent access and printing/downloading functions will be available. For those eBooks we do not currently own, purchase suggestions can be made to the EA Studies Librarian for consideration.
WARP - Web Archiving Project by the National Diet Library of Japan
Monthly archiving of websites related to COVID-19.
The Japan Times Archive - online
The Japan Times Archives includes the English language newspaper published in Japan, The Japan Times. Published between 1897 and 2020. "This expanded product line allows users to search and view all the valuable resources the Japan Times has been delivering to the world, including thousands of detailed articles about Japan and East Asia, since its inception." It also includes advertisements.
Foreign Office Files for Japan, 1919-1952
Published in three parts, this collection makes available extensive coverage of British Foreign Office files dealing with Japan between 1919 and 1952.
- Japanese Imperialism and the War in the Pacific, 1931-1945
- Occupation of Japan, 1946-1952
- Japan and Great Power Status, 1919-1930
Japan Chronicle Online
English language weekly newspaper published in Japan (1900–1940), This collection includes the Kobe Weekly Chronicle (1900-1901) the predecessor of the Japan Chronicle Weekly.
World News Reels Online - Film Reels - Nippon News film footage (1940-1944) and much more
Includes wartime film reels with Japanese audio and English subtitles
New Regional Section of Yomiuri Shinbun available now at NYU through Yomidasu Rekishikan (ヨミダス歴史館) database.
The Regional Sections (Showa Era) feature allows searching of stories that appeared in various regional editions of the newspaper in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba.
For a more complete list of Japanese E-Resources, click here.
English language newspapers:
The Japan Times Archives includes the English language newspaper, The Japan Times, which was published in Japan between 1897 and 2014. "This expanded product line allows users to search and view all the valuable resources the Japan Times has been delivering to the world, including thousands of detailed articles about Japan and East Asia, since its inception." It also includes advertisements.
The Japan Chronicle Online. This English language weekly newspaper published in Japan from 1900-1941 gives insight into the expatriate community in Japan.
A new platform that collects digital information related to Japanese culture published in museums and libraries from around the world. Try this site for information related to netsuke, maps, photography, paintings, architecture, tea ceremony, toys, and important books like The Tale of Genji.
Japanese Exhibition Art Catalogs
Getty Research Institute (GRI) and the Tokyo National Research for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) has resulted in the digitization of more than 900 exhibition catalogs on Japanese art, which are now freely available and downloadable on the Getty Research Portal.
Exquisite Patterns: Japanese Textile Design Books
"Showcases the British Library’s collection of kimono pattern and design books. It displays the variety and vibrancy of these works, from their origins in the mid-17th century until the early 20th century."
Glass Photographic Plates of the Murals in the Kondo Hall of Horyuji temple Digital Viewer
Horyuji Temple made available to the public the digital images of the glass photographic plates of the murals at the Golden Hall (法隆寺金堂壁画写真ガラス原版).
Kaleidoscope of Books (National Diet Library of Japan, in English)
Digital exhibitions from the NDL feature articles on a variety of topics including Japanese Architecutre, Japan in Africa, the Japanese koto, Japanese game of Go, Hot Springs, Department Stores, and more!
Kōgyo: The Art of Noh
The University of Pittsburgh Library System has digitized four sets of color woodblock prints by the artist Tsukioka Kōgyo’s (1869-1927). The online collection contains 632 digitized prints from the four sets, along with over 200 Japanese synopses of Noh plays with English summaries provided by P.G. O’Neill in his A Guide to Nō (Hinoki Shoten, 1964).
Kumaichi Hiraoka Postcard Collection (University of Hawaii at Manoa Library)
Most of the postcards were made before WWII, including scenes and sites of the Russo-Japanese War, temples, shrines, and towns in Japan.
NCC's Online Guide to Research Access for Japanese Museums, Libraries, and Archives
For those who wish to conduct research in Japanese academic research institutions (Museum Library Archives)
Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures (National Diet Library of Japan)
portrait photographs of approximately 850 statesmen, government officials, military officers, businessmen, scholars and artists
(click for Japanese)
NDL Image Bank (National Diet Library of Japan)
showcases items from the National Diet Library's substantial collection of visual materials, including ukiyo-e woodblock prints, books, magazines, and other forms of published media.
Audio Books: Listen to Japanese literary works at the Voice Library.
Sheet music in Special Collections.
Shakuhachi Music. Scores. 57 volumes.
call number: NYU Bobst Fales SpecCol (M110.S45 C55 Oversize Non-circulating)
The International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) has just made publicly available Rōkyoku (Naniwabushi) Digital Archive on June 24. Nichibunken's "approximately 10,000 standard-playing (SP) records of traditional narrative storytelling covering the period from the beginning to the middle of the twentieth century" are being digitized.
Image Use Protocol: Finding Moving images
Try the North American Coordinating Council of Japanese Library Resources (NCC) guide to moving images if you are looking for films.
Films About the Ainu (The Japan Foundation, Toronto)
A collection of films, videos, and additional resources about the Ainu people. These links are available for free.
Japan Film Resources Online (JFRO) / 「映画資料所在地情報検索システム(JFROL)」
JFRO is a film resource location information search system of multiple libraries in Japan (collections of Toei Uzumasa, Shochiku Otani, Kawakita, Matsunaga Bunko, and the Waseda Enpaku), developed by VIPO (the Visual Industry Promotion Organization). The search indicates where non-film materials such as scenarios and posters, flyers, still photos, magazines, and more, are located. For more information, check here.
Japanese Manga/漫画 at NYU Library!
Manga collection on the 10th floor of Bobst Library in the East Asian Studies Reading Room
Images of manga and book covers of Bishōjo senshi sērāmūn = Pretty Guardian Sailormoon /美少女戦士セーラームーン, by Naoko Takeuchi at NYU Library.
The library added 236 titles of print Japanese manga (漫画) to its collection! They include shōjo manga (少女漫画) many written by the Year 24 Group (24 nengumi) group of women manga writers and artists. The manga are located by call number on the 10th floor of Bobst Library with the rest of the East Asian (CJK) collection (ranges 12 and 13). These manga circulate, but we have print only.
We also acquired 403 print issues of the serial: Garo monthly manga/月刊ガロ漫画. These are now cataloged (click here to view the catalog record), held offsite, and available for circulation. Request through Bobcat
For a brief blurb about the manga collection, see the summer 2016 edition of the library magazine, Progressions
In addition to borrowing and reading manga at NYU, at Manga Toshokan Z / 漫画図書館Z you can read out-of-print manga. New titles are added frequently, and they are working on English translations.
Interested in research on manga?
Japanese Websites for Manga: Manga library guide at the University of Kansas
This excellent library guide includes free web comics or Open Access Comics (some with limited viewing) as well as serialized web comics (includes free previews of commercial comics), E-comic stores, archives and database collections of manga, and organizations, museums, and institutes.
Kamishibai Propaganda Plays
not manga perse, but Kamishibai are worth examining. This is a digitized archive of 52 kamishibai 紙芝居 (“paper theater”) plays in UBC Open Collections, created from the personal collection of Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh, Department Head and Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Popular Culture in the Department of Asian Studies, UBC.
Manga and Anime Museum National Map: This map of Japan indicates where manga and anime museums are throughout Japan. Includes links to museum websites.
The Japan Society for Studies in Cartoons and Comics (JSSCC, Nihon manga gakkai / 日本マンガ学会) associated with the Kyoto International Manga Museum.
Prange Digital Children's Book Collection / プランゲ文庫デジタル児童書コレクション
This collection contains over 2,000 manga published between 1945-1949, and they are all digitized. Although full-text viewing is only available at the UMD campus, off-campus users can search and view bibliographic data.
Manga Blog (Ohio State University)
Various resources from one of the best manga library collections in North America.
Manga Research Guide (Ohio State University)
Includes links to Open Access manga, manga publishers, and useful manga websites
Mangapedia (online Manga encyclopedia)
Useful for searching for manga and anime by title, genre, and includes recent publication information.
Japanese Posters at the The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
This is an ongoing project from LC to digitize its Japanese posters. The collection is around 1,000 Japanese posters, of which about 600 have been cataloged.
Unpinning History--Japanese Posters in the Age of Commercialism, Imperialism, and Modernism, USC Libraries
Unique collection of Japanese posters that were produced in the 1910s and 1920s. Curated by the “Later Japanese Art” class of Spring 2020, the exhibition focuses on approximately half of the collection to illuminate themes emblematic of Japan in the tumultuous Taishō (1912-1926) and early Shōwa (1926-1989) periods. This is a resource for scholars and students of art in modern Japan and its colonies, including Korea and northeastern China, but also for those interested in the early twentieth century, visual culture and commerce, and in reprographic technology.
We subscribe to JapanKnowledge, a rich resource of Japanese reference sources. Among the many encyclopedias and dictionaries it includes is the Nihon Kokugo Daijiten. Click the Japanese "login" button to access. Access to the Kodansha Encyclopedia English-language Encyclopedia of Japan is through this interface. It also contains full text of the journal, Ekonomisuto (Weekly Economist), from 2015-present. In 2021, our subscription to JapanKnowledge now includes the Dai Kanwa Jiten (Great Chinese-Japanese Character Dictionary), sometimes known as Morohashi. "Celebrated as the 'great treasure trove of kanji culture,' the Dai Kanwa Jiten is a Chinese-Japanese character dictionary containing 50,000 kanji entries and 530,000 compounds, having scoured the existing literature and dictionaries, both ancient and modern." With the "JapanKnowledge edition, not only can kanji characters be searched by direct input, but also by radical, stroke count, or reading, and even with just a part of the character, if you do not know the reading or radical."
Kokka Taikan USER GUIDE
For GIS data on Japan, consult the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. (http://globe.gsi.go.jp/)
"Created by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI), the “GSI Globe” map is based on the contour lines of the land and mountains, and patches of aerial photos are layered on the virtual diorama." (Yoshida, Susumu. Asashi shinbun, 4/4/16). Users can zoom in or out of the map and see the full Japanese archipelago. It can be rotated a full 360 degrees.
“I Just Want the Data!”: A Short Guide to GSI Japan for Non-Japanese-Speaking Users, by Matthew Hayes, Digital Orientalist. blog post 11/9/2021
The National Institute of Informatics compiles (NII) the list of commercial datasets.
Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping East Asian History is a collaborative project directed by David Ambaras (NCSU) and Kate McDonald (UCSB). It is a collection of Scalar modules and visualizations focused on spatial histories across China, Japan, and Korea. This impressive resource can be found here: https://bodiesandstructures.org/bodies-and-structures-2/index
Japanese Historical Maps Collection from the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Berkeley Library, University of California
Contains roughly 2,300 manuscript, woodblock, and copperplate maps of Japan and the world, ranging in date from the seventeenth century into the modern era. The core of the collection came from the maps and atlases originally collected by Mitsui Takakata (Sōken) 三井高堅宗堅 (1867-1945), ninth head of the Shinmachi branch of the Mitsui clan.
A portion of the maps were digitized by David Rumsey and Cartography Associates and has been available for viewing at the Japanese Historical Maps website since 2003. In addition, over 1,000 maps from the Japanese Historical Maps Collection are made available in Japanese Map Warper (you can view all those maps by searching "UCB" in Tags).
For STATISTICS on Japan, consult Japan Statistical Yearbook (Nihon tōkei nenkan/日本統計年鑑), available on the website of the Statistics Bureau, Ministry of International Affairs and Communication, Japan. The site includes back numbers from 2011 until today.
Japan Dataverse (Harvard University)
Free Data Service (National Diet Library of Japan)
The Queer Japan Web Archive is a joint initiative since February 2019 by librarians for Japanese Studies at Brown, Duke, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale Universities, with support from Professors Dr. Yoshie Yanagihara (Tokyo Denki University) and Dr. Tetsuyuki Shida (Waseda University), which aims to preserve websites created by non-profit Japanese organizations which research, advocate for, support, and provide services to LGBTQ communities. The non-profit organizations included in the Archive provide social services for LGBTQ communities throughout Japan, such as quality of life services, real estate, employment, educational assistance, helplines, workshops, mental health services, information about sexually transmitted diseases, and legal information.
Notable Japanese Collections in North America database (NEW! launched 2/2022)
A growing collection of digital materials related to Japan and located in libraries across North America.
Japan Society of Archives Institutions (Zenkoku Rekishi Shiryō Hōzon Riyō Kikan Renraku Kyōgikai)
Lists 141 institutions as members, including public archives, historical museums, libraries, university archives, and company archives.
Kamishibai Propaganda Plays
A digitized archive of 52 kamishibai 紙芝居 (“paper theater”) plays in UBC Open Collections, created from the personal collection of Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh, Department Head and Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Popular Culture in the Department of Asian Studies, UBC.
Makino Mamoru Collection on the History of East Asian Film, 1863-2015 (Columbia University, CV Starr East Asian Library)
And, for more on film, see the newly discovered letters sent to the Lumiere Brothers by Inabata Katsutaro, the man who imported the Lumiere Cinematograph to Japan. From March to October of 1897, they describe the importation of the apparatus. Inabata Co. put the letters on their home page, complete with a Japanese translation by Hori Junji. https://www.inabata.co.jp/ik/digital/
Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters (Harvard University Reischauer Institute)
The Gion Festival Digital Museum 2020: The Past, Present, and Future of the Gion Festival / 祇園祭デジタル・ミュージアム2020－祇園祭の過去・現在・未来
The Art Research Center (ARC) at Ritsumeikan University has digitized cultural resources related to the summer Gion festival, including the Funeboko and Hachiman-yama floats, as well as the Nagae Family Residence, a large-scale Kyo-machiya designated a cultural property by the city of Kyoto. This collection contains maps, audio-visual materials, photographs and images, paintings, old videos, and documents.
Japanese Laws (Rob Britt, University of Washington Gallagher Law Library)
The best online guide for Japanese law related research.
For a print guide, see リーガル・リサーチ = Legal research.
いしかわまりこ. 村井のり子. 藤井康子.
Japanese Multi-Volume Titles Finding Aid Collection (hosted by the University of Washington Library)
The digitized materials in this collection are selections from the finding aids (indexes, tables of contents, etc.) for a wide range of Japanese-language multi-volume sets. The topical coverage of the sets described includes art, business and economics, history, literature, and legal proceedings from the mid-nineteenth-century to the beginning of the twenty-first century.
You can also search Japanese Union Catalogs like Webcat Plus (NACSIS Webcat), Webcat Plus Minus, CiNII books, and Japanese library catalogs like National Diet Library OPAC, Tokyo Metropolitan Library OPAC (allows you to search within contents of books), Tokyo University OPAC, National Institute of Japanese Literature OPAC, and Waseda University Library OPAC (WINE). If the item is in another North American library, you may want to request the material via Interlibrary Loan. Thanks to an arrangement by the North American Coordinating Council for Japanese Library Resources (NCC), it is also possible to obtain journal articles and books not held by a North American library from Japan. See the Global Interlibrary Loan framework site.
Some Libraries and Archives in Japan (more on the above info).
Webcat Plus: NACSIS Webcat is a database that consists of the holdings of libraries throughout Japan (similar to Worldcat). It is a great way to search for who has what in libraries in Japan. Also allows you to search bookstores.
National Diet Library of Japan (NDL), The national library of Japan. NYU is now a registered library with NDL! We can borrow books when needed. Request through ILL (up to 10 books at a time, for 1 month use on campus at the Special Collections on the 10th floor of Bobst Library). For more information on using NDL, check here.
The NDL plans to integrate two of its current web services: the National Diet Library Online Search and Request Service (NDL Online) and the NDL Search. These two will be launched as a new NDL Search web service in January 2024.
For detailed information of the renewal, please visit the following page here.
NDL has wonderful digital collections to search and read online including political history materials, Meiji Period books, Allied Occupation Period materials, Doctoral Dissertations, rare books and old materials, official gazettes, and Audiovisual materials. For Research, try Research Navi / リサーチ・ナビ at NDL.
WINE (Waseda University library catalog), main search interface for materials at Waseda (some of which are not on Worldcat).
For archival materials, try JACAR, The Japan Center for Asian Historical Records, part of the National Archives of Japan. This is a digital database that provides access to official documents of the Japanese Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Army and Navy.
Or, try a member of the Japan Society of Archives Institutions (Zenkoku Rekishi Shiryo Hozon Riyo Kikan Renraku Kyogikai).
The National Archives of Japan, "The National Archives is an organization for preserving, as historical materials, public records and archives of importance transferred from state organs, and providing them for public use, with the aim of achieving appropriate preservation and use of such public records and archives that are kept in the National Archives or state organs as historical materials." Their website includes digital collections.
Online bookstores in Japan (keep in mind you can request books for your use in the library through your librarian).
Books.or.jp This is a domestic catalog of all Japanese books in print
Amazon Japan. Not all Amazon Marketplace sellers will ship internationally.
Kosho. An online site for used bookstores. Many won't ship internationally.
Thanks to a generous gift, we have many back issues of major Japanese journals from the mid- to late 20th century. They can be searched by title in BobCat and browsed in the East Asian Collection in the 10th floor North reading room. In addition, we have ongoing subscriptions to the following print journals in Japanese. Current issues are in the Current Periodical room on the 3rd floor of Bobst; bound back issues are found in the stacks of Bobst at the call number indicated in BobCat.