Japanese Studies: About the Collection

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

Japanese Collection Overview

As of July 2014, the Japanese collection at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library comprises over 408,000 volumes and over 1,200 current periodical titles. It supports the teaching and research needs of the Berkeley campus in all areas of Japanese studies across the social sciences and humanities. The collection is especially strong in Japanese history, art history, Buddhism, literature, anthropology, sociology, and political science. The materials written in Western languages on Japan are located in the Gardner (Main) Stacks of the Doe Library and other subject libraries on campus.

The Library’s specialized holdings include:

Murakami Collection (8,850 volumes): Originally collected by Murakami Hamakichi (b.1885), author of Meiji bungaku shomoku 『明治文学書目』, and intended to serve as a primary source for the study of the Meiji era. Most works date to the Meiji era. Belles letters, including popular fiction and translations of western works, are particularly well represented; other subject areas include political economy, social criticism, history, philosophy, and religion. The Library also has microfiche reproduction of selected materials from this collection, which was published as a part of Meijiki kankōbutsu shūsei 『明治期刊行物集成』. Use Meijiki kankōbutsu shūsei bungaku gengo sōmokuroku 『明治期刊行物集成文学言語総目錄』(Ref. PL726.6A12 M46 1996) for paging individual materials.

Edo Printed Books Collection (ca. 5,000 titles in 16,000 volumes): Many titles from the Mitsui Collection. Accessible through Nihon Kotenseki Sōgō Mokuroku Dētabēsu 日本古典籍総合目録データベース(国文学研究資料館提供) and the printed catalog: Mitsui bunko kyūzō Edo hanpon shomoku: Kariforunia Daigaku Bakurē-kō shozō 『三井文庫旧蔵江戸版本書目: カリフォルニア大学バークレー校所蔵』(Yumani Shobō, 1990).

Japanese Manuscripts Collection (2,877 titles in approximately seven thousand volumes): Ranging in date from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Subject areas include literature, tea ceremony, memoirs, and history. Originally collected by Mitsui Takatatsu (1845-1922) and Dohi Keizō (1866-1931). Accessible through “Kariforunia Daigaku Bakure-kō kyū Mitsui Bunko shahon mokuroku kō”「カリフォルニア大学バークレー校旧三井文庫写本目録稿」(Chōsa kenkyū hōkoku 5 (Mar. 1984): p. 261-340).

Japanese Historical Maps Collection (over 2,000 woodblock, copperplate, and manuscript maps): Dating from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Originally collected by Mitsui Takakata (1867-1950), the collection contains over two hundred maps of Edo and an impressive number of maps of the Kyoto area. A portion of the collection has been digitized by David Rumsey and Cartography Associates and is available for viewing online at the Japanese Historical Maps website.

Sugoroku Collection (Approximately 150 sugoroku sheets): Some with the original wrappers in which they were marked, collected by Mitsui Takakatsu (1845-1922). Most date to the Meiji era and are secular in content. The collection has been digitized by the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University and is available for viewing online from here or through David Rumsey's website.

Ho-Chiang Collection of Buddhist Sutras (This collection of woodblock and manuscript sutras contains approximately fifty-seven Japanese scripts.): Dating from the eighth century to the nineteenth, including exapmles of Kasuga-ban. Originally collected by Ho Kuang-chung and his wife, Chiang Chen-yu. The Japanese portion of the collection has been cataloged in “Kariforunia Daigaku Higashi Ajia Toshokan-zō kokyō korekushon mokuroku kō” 「カリフォルニア大学東アジア図書館蔵―古経コレクション目録稿」(Seishin Joshi Daigaku ronsō 94 (Jan. 2000): p. 111-171).

Mitsui Tinies Collection (574 titles, in many more volumes): Nearly all date to the Meiji era; average volume height is approximately twelve centimeters. Subject matter includes belles letters and classics, history, and travel. Accessible through an in-house card file.

Meiji Shōka Collection (110 volumes of songbooks and song sheets, many illustrated): The collection focused on children’s songs and military songs.

New Acquisitions in Japanese Studies

With OskiCat, new acquisitions lists are updated daily. The 15 most recent items in Japanese Studies are listed below while the full list of materials cataloged in the past 60 days can be viewed at the following site.


Other Guides

Here is a list of archived course guides available on Japan:

Contact Your Librarian

Toshie Marra
Room #322
C. V. Starr East Asian Library
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