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JAPAN 100S: Japanese for Sinologists (Spring 2013): Start

This course guide points to library print and electronic sources for research in Japanese on Chinese subjects

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.

Searching Japanese Materials

Japanese language materials at UC Berkeley Library can be searched either using original Japanese scripts (ひらがな, カタカナ, 漢字) or the modified Hepburn Romanization (transliteration) system. The modified Hepburn Romanization system is slightly different from the official Romanzation system (訓令式) currently used by Japanese goverments. The following links offer information about the modified Hepburn Romanization system:

Japanese Romanization Table: A table of Japanese alphabets (ひらがな) and equivalent Romanized letters.

LC (Library of Congress) and ALA (American Library Association) Romanization Table for Japanese:
Detailed explanation of the guidelines that many American libraries follow when romanizing Japanese materials

Note that when searching OskiCat, if you use Japanese scripts, you might miss some records, because some records do not have information in Japanse.

When searching using Romanization, space after each word, including prepositional word. Example: "Nihon kokka no keisei."

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


  • 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


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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