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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 2022, the Japanese collection at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library comprises over 443,000 volumes and over 870 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 the following (for use of these materials, please look at the guide for EAL's Rare and Special Collections; some collections are available in the UC Berkeley Library Digital Collection and in the Japanese Special Collections in the C. V. Starr East Asian Library portal provided by the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University):

Murakami Collection (ca. 9,100 volumes): Originally collected by Murakami Hamakichi (b.1885), author of Meiji bungaku shomoku 『明治文学書目』(1937), 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 collection also includes works with kuchi-e 口絵 frontispiece, some of which were digitized and available in Kindai Shoseki Sōtei Ishō Etsuran Shisutemu 近代書籍装丁意匠閲覧システム database. 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), including 760 titles with digital images (658 titles of Edo hanpon and 102 titles of manuscripts), 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) and Motoori Bunko mokuroku: Kariforunia Daigaku Bakurē-kō shozō 『本居文庫目録: カリフォルニア大学バークレー校所蔵』(Yūshōdō Ākaibuzu, 2011).

Japanese Manuscripts Collection (ca. 2,800 titles in over 7,700 volumes): Most of these materials arrived at the Library in 1950 as a part of the Mitsui acquisition, originally collected by Mitsui Takatatsu 三井高辰 (1845-1922), Dohi Keizō 土肥慶蔵 (1866-1931), Mitsui Takakata 三井高堅 (1867-1945), and others. Ranging in date primarily from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. 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) and “Kariforunia Daigaku Bakure-kō kyū Mitsui Bunko shahon mokuroku kō tsuika” 「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追加」(Chōsa kenkyū hōkoku 8 (Mar. 1987): p. 360-361). The collection also includes eisō collection, comprising collections of poems in over 3,300 origami eisō by generations of poets from the Sanjōnishi 三条西 family and 323 manuscript booklets of Japanese verse dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries (for the latter, see: "Kariforunia Daigaku Bākure-kō kyū Mitsui Bunko zō gyokai kankei shiryō saimoku kō" カリフォルニア大学バークレー校旧三井文庫御会関係資料細目稿」Chōsa kenkyū hōkoku 9 (Mar. 1988): p. 95-118). Many titles are 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), including 760 titles with digital images (658 titles of Edo hanpon and 102 titles of manuscripts)

Dohi Keizō Gakken's Chinese Poetry Collection (534 titles): A portion of Dohi Keizō's collection as a part of the Mitsui acquisition has been examined by Machi Senjurō with a focus on Chinese poetry ("Kariforunia Daigaku Bakure-kō shozō no Dohi Gakken kyūzō kanshibun shomoku (kō)" 「カリフォルニア大学バークレー校所蔵の土肥鶚軒旧蔵漢詩文書目(稿)」 (Nihon kanbungaku kenkyū 17 (Mar. 2022): p.147-190)).

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.

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 listed 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」by Okuda Isao (Seishin Joshi Daigaku ronsō 94 (Jan. 2000): p. 111-171).

Japanese Historical Maps Collection (ca. 2,300 woodblock, copperplate, manuscript, and other maps): Dating from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. Originally collected by Mitsui Takakata 三井高堅 (1867-1945), the collection contains over two hundred maps of Edo and an impressive number of maps of the Kyoto area. A portion of the collection were digitized by David Rumsey and Cartography Associates and is available for viewing at the Japanese Historical Maps website. More recently, with a CLIR funding (2016) the remaining maps produced before 1923 were digitized and all the Japanese historical maps are made available at the UC Berkeley Library Digital Collections. In addition, over 1,000 maps are  available in Japanese Map Warper (you can view all those maps by searching "UCB" in Tags). A separate guide, the Japanese Historical Maps Collection from the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, is available to effectively navigate through digitized maps in the UC Berkeley Library Digital Collections.

Sugoroku Collection (ca. 150 sugoroku sheets): Some with the original wrappers in which they were marked, collected by Mitsui Takakata 三井高堅 (1867-1945). 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.

Copperplate Print Collection = Dōbanga korekushon 銅版画コレクション (ca. 2,400 images): Originally collected by Mitsui Takakata 三井高堅 (1867-1945). The collection physically consisting of 472 items with over 2,400 copperplate prints and plates from Japan, dating to the 19th and early 20th centuries has been digitized by the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University and is available for viewing online from here. The digital collection with enhanced metadata is also available as the Dōbanga (Copperplate Print) Collection in the UC Berkeley Library Digital Collections. The physical collection is organized in the following manner (please specify the series and box number for viewing request):

Single-sheet Print Collection = Ichimaizuri korekushon 一枚摺コレクション (688 items with over 1,000 images): Mostly, originally collected by Mitsui Takakata 三井高堅 (1867-1945). The collection is organized in the following manner (please specify the series, box, folder, item, and the original Mitsui number for viewing request):

Kasutori Magazine Collection = Kasutori zasshi korekushon カストリ雑誌コレクション (269 titles in 929 issues): A collection of popular magazine issues published in the immediate post-war Japan between 1945 and 1954. Many of these publications remain scarce even in Japan. As the acquisition of this collection was partially funded by the Multi-Volume Sets Project managed by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources, these materials are available nationally through inter-library loan. For individual titles and issues contained in this collection, please consult the following list (please indicate the part, volume, and issue no. in the first three columns for making ILL requests):

Yahiro Fuji Screenplay Collection = Yahiro Fuji kyūzō eiga kyakuhon kikaku korekushon 八尋不二旧蔵映画脚本・企画コレクション (533 titles): A collection of unpublished screenplays and related works originally held by the well-known screenwriter Yahiro Fuji (1904-1986) who was active in the early Showa period (1925-1989) through the 1960s, especially in the genre of jidaigeki or period drama. The collection includes over 140 screenplays written by Yahiro between 1932 and 1962, with some hand-written, as well as those by many other screenwriters. It also includes over 70 plot proposals considered at the Daiei Kyoto Studio between 1950s through early 1960s. Several screenplays from the pre-war period bear the seals of Naimushō or the Home Ministry, indicating its censorship.

Japanese Movie Posters Collections: East Asian Library has two distinct collections of Japanese film posters under the following titles respectively: Nihon eiga posutā-shū 日本映画ポスター集 [1938-1995] (consisting of 911 posters donated by Kawakita Kinen Eiga Bunka Zaidan 川喜多記念映画文化財団) and Shōchiku eiga posutā-shū 松竹映画ポスター集 [1951-2011] (consisting of 1,800+ posters donated by Shōchiku Otani Toshokan 松竹大谷図書館).

Contact Your Librarian

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Toshie Marra
C.V. Starr East Asian Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
(510) 643-0656
Subjects: Japanese Studies