Skip to main content

Japanese Studies: Start

This subject guide points to library's print and electronic sources for research on Japanese studies, especially in humanities and social sciences

Before You Begin Your Research

Before you begin your research, you might want to check the following points for basics:

  • JapanKnowledge: What is the general understanding of the topic of your research? JapanKnowledge provides access to basic Japanese reference sources including encyclopedias and dictionaries (e.g., 日本大百科全書, 日本国語大辞典, 國史大辭典, Encyclopedia of Japan, etc.) as well as 東洋文庫 and 新編日本古典文学全集 series.
  • Risāchi nabi リサーチ・ナビ: Are there useful research guides for specific topics or specific types of materials? The National Diet Library of Japan provides many research guides covering a wide range of subjects and special materials.
  • Kaken: What kind of research has been done on the topic of your research? Kaken is a database of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, providing the latest information of the research projects and reports in Japan. The database is provided by the National Institute of Informatics (NII) with support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
  • Whoplus: Contains biographical information of 330,000 prominent figures active in Japan and e-version of several biographical reference dictionaries covering 280,000 people, including Jinbutsu refarensu jiten 人物レファレンス事典, Umi o koeta Nihon jinmei jiten 海を越えた日本人名事典, Jiten kindai Nihon no senkusha 事典近代日本の先駆者, Tsuitō kiji sakuin 追悼記事索引1991-2005, Bijutsu sakuhin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 美術作品レファレンス事典:人物・肖像篇, Shashin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 写真レファレンス事典人物・肖像篇. Because "Who" database is charged by usage, please click the name entry or "経歴情報" link only once when needed.  
  • Nihon Jinbutsu Jōhō Sakuin Dētabēsu 日本人名情報索引データベース: An online index to monographs and journal articles that contain biographical information of Japanese people; provided by the National Diet Library. 
  • Directory of Japanese Studies in the United States and Canada: This website displays the information collected from the Survey of Japan Specialists and Japanese Studies Institutions in North America in 2011-2012 sponsored by the Japan Foundation.The survey was conducted through the University of Hawaii under the direction of Professor Patricia Steinhoff of the University of Hawaii and Professor Julian Dierkes of the University of British Columbia.
  • J-Global: Who does the research in the academia and what research resources are available in Japan on your topic? J-Global maintained by the Japan Science and Technology Agency provides information on research institutes, researchers, research projects, etc.
  • Academic Society Home Village: What academic societies exist in a specific field? The National Institute of Informatics compiles links to homepages of academic societies in Japan.
  • JapanGov: The Japanese government's official website.

Portals to Archives of Web Sites and Databases

Here is a short list of useful resources for navigating through archives of web sites and databases--often not searchable with major search engines:

Japanese Language Dictionaries

Here is a short list of basic dictionaries for Japanese language:

Japanese Historical Language Dictionaries

Here is a short list of Japanese historical dictionaries and guides to them:

Biographical Information

Here is a short list of sources for checking biographical information of Japanese persons:

  • Gō, betsumei jiten 号, 別名辞典 (日外アソシエーツ) series: Cataloged in multiple titles. Helps to identify Japanese persons from other known names such as pennames.
  • J-Global: The database maintained by the Japan Science and Technology Agency provides information on researchers affiliated to Japanese institutions.
  • JapanKnowledge: Includes basic Japanese encyclopedias and dictionaries, including Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan.
  • Jige Kaden Haga Jinmei Jiten Database 地下家伝・芳賀人名辞典データベース: Includes ''Nihon jinmei jiten'' (1914) by Haga Yaichi (1867-1917) and ''Jige kaden'' (1937-1938) by Mikami Kagefumi and Masamune Atsuo (1881-1958)
  • Jinbutsu refarensu jiten 人物レファレンス事典 (日外アソシエーツ) series: Cataloged in multiple titles; some are available via WhoPlus.
  • Jinmei yomikata jiten 人名よみかた辞典: Helps to find possible reading of Japanese personal names.
  • Kokusho jinmei jiten 国書人名辞典: Covers Japanese authors in pre-modern period.
  • Rekishi jinbutsu gazō dētabēsu 歴史人物画像データベース: Includes images of historical figures dipicted in Japanese old and rare publications.
  • Wagakusha sōran 和学者総覧: Lists Japanese scholars from pre-modern period.
  • Whoplus: Contains biographical information of 330,000 prominent figures active in Japan and e-version of several biographical reference dictionaries covering 280,000 people, including Jinbutsu refarensu jiten 人物レファレンス事典, Umi o koeta Nihon jinmei jiten 海を越えた日本人名事典, Jiten kindai Nihon no senkusha 事典近代日本の先駆者, Tsuitō kiji sakuin 追悼記事索引1991-2005, Bijutsu sakuhin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 美術作品レファレンス事典:人物・肖像篇, Shashin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 写真レファレンス事典人物・肖像篇.
  • World Biographical Information System: Serves as an index to various biographical dictionaries in print, both in English and Japanese.

Texts and Translations

Following resources are useful to locate citations for texts and translations:

Following are selected sources that offer online texts:

Statistics/Data/Datasets

Here is a short list of resources for statistics and other data on Japan:

Connecting from Off Campus

To use library databases from off campus you have to set up the proxy server: this changes your browser settings.

  • Different browsers [Firefox, Chrome, Safari...] have different instructions- they are all here.
  • You can set it up on multiple devices
  • You log in with your CalNet ID
  • There's an alternative: the VPN

Citation managers

Reference managers (also called citation managers or bibliographic management software) offer a way to save, organize and manage references. Many work with word processing software to format in-text citations and bibliographies for papers and theses, allow you to share references, and enable you to attach or link PDFs to a citation record.

Wikipedia comparison of reference management software

RefWorks

  • Free to UC Berkeley users
  • Web-based: use at any computer with internet access
  • Format bibliographies in Word
  • Import citations from RSS feeds
  • Use UC-eLinks to find the full text of articles from within RefWorks
  • Share lists of references or create a group account for co-editing
  • From ProQuest

Zotero

  • Free (up to 300 MB web storage) browser extension
  • Sync Zotero to access your library from any computer with internet access
  • Format bibliographies in Word and OpenOffice
  • Capture citation data from PDFs and web pages
  • Share and collaboratively edit lists of references
  • Open source software from the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
Mendeley
  • Free (up to 1 GB web storage) software/web hybrid for PC, Mac, Linux
  • Format bibliographies in Word or Open Office
  • Sync PDFs to your web account for online access
  • Capture citation data from some PDFs
  • Search and annotate PDFs
  • Share and collaboratively edit lists of references
  • From Elsevier
EndNote
  • Discounted to UC Berkeley users
  • Desktop-based software (plus EndNote Web)
  • Format bibliographies in Word or Open Office
  • Capture citation data from some PDFs
  • Annotate PDFs
  • Use UC-eLinks to find the full text of articles from within EndNote
  • Share lists of references with other EndNote users
  • See our EndNote Support page for tutorials and additional information
  • From Thomson Reuters

Making a Research Trip to Japan

If you are planning a research trip to Japan, you might want to bring with you a letter of introduction to access to Japanese libraries. Please contact Toshie Marra for more information.

You might also find the following research guides useful for preparion of your research trip to Japan:

Copyright © 2014-2016 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License.