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Japanese Studies


Happy New Year 2024! 

I hope everything is going well with all of you.  I am available on site and virtually to help you with your research questions and resources. Please send me an email at should you have any questions, or need to set an appointment for research consultation. We can set a personal or Zoom meeting if needed.  Thank you and have a great season!


Workshop: Navigating Library Resources for East Asian Studies Feb 10 @1:00pm

A new database, Shinpen Kokka Taikan (新編国歌大観), is added to JapanKnowledge
Comprehensive compilation of waka (classical Japanese poetry), containing 450,000 works with annotations, drawn from 1,162 imperial and private anthologies, and uta-awase poetry contests.

Quick Links

GACoS - Gateway to Academic Contents System
Gateway to search for documents and other academic information over the Internet, created by Information Technology Group at the University of Tokyo.

Reference Guides from Kyoto University Library

Japanese Research & Bibliographic Methods for Undergraduates
Created by Professor Susanna Fessler of the University at Albany, it is a full curriculum for students in undergraduate programs who have studied at least one year of Japanese.

Browser Extensions to quickly look up Japanese words and characters

Searching in Japanese
For research in Japanese, searching by Romanization is a reliable way to find Japanese materials in BruKnow and such databases as WorldCat.  Use an authoritative dictionary for Romanization or refer to ALA-LC Romanization Tables for Japanese, which library catalogers follow.  If you are not familiar with Romanization, search by Japanese script. Non-Roman characters and syllables can be searched as keyword, author names, and titles though all subject headings are in English.  For more information on searching in non-Roman languages, see this guide by Yale University Library.

General Library Catalogs

CiNii Books
Union catalog of the holdings of Japanese academic institutions supported by The National Institute of Informatics in Japan. It includes about 2.5 million titles, including materials published before 1868.

NDL Online (国立国会図書館オンライン)
Search library materials and digital contents held at the National Diet Library.

NDL Search (国立国会図書館サーチ)
Integrated search service of catalogs and digital archives including libraries, archives, academic institutes and the National Diet Library.

Webcat Plus
Includes the records of books and journals held in university libraries throughout Japan.

Database of Pre-Modern Japanese Works (新日本古典籍総合データベース)

Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books (日本古典籍総合目録)

Dictionaries and Reference Materials

Japanese-English Dictionaries (for English speakers)

WWWJDIC: Online Japanese Dictionary Service

Maintained by the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University. The website and interface lack a modern design aesthetic, but the dictionary files of the WWWJDIC are the basis for nearly every other free online Japanese-English dictionary aimed at native English Speakers. Has a detailed and informative User Guide.

Japanese Dictionaries (for Japanese speakers)

Online Dictionary to search for definitions of Japanese words in Japanese. Includes a thesauri search as well.

Kotobank (コトバンク) 

Produces a combination of encyclopedia, dictionary, and news story entries on words searched. Search results can contain ads, but entries are ad free.

Kanji Jiten Online (漢字辞典オンライン) 
Detailed information on individual kanji. Best for when reading material and need to look up the meaning of only one kanji, not as good for kanji compound words.

Eijirō (英辞郎) on the Web 

Corpus of translations. It is especially helpful for seeing how phrases in English or Japanese are translated into the other language, i.e., the phrase "On Second thought," cannot be literally translated into Japanese. With this database you can see how a translator dealt with this English phrase in Japanese, or vice versa.

Other Dictionaries

Digital Dictionary of Buddhism

A compilation of Buddhist terms, texts, temple, schools, persons, etc., found in Buddhist canonical sources.

JAANUS Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System

Japanese Wikipedia

Japanese Date Conversion
Converting recent dates. Since 1873-01-01 the system of months and days follows the Gregorian calendar.

Japan Style Sheet--The SWET Guide Writers, Editors, and Translators
This 93-page online book was compiled to assist writers, editors, translators, graphic or web designers, administrators, office staff, or anyone working with English-language publications related to Japan.

Databases and Journals

Journal Articles

Database of Research Thesis in Japanese Literature (国文学論文目録データベース)

Periodical index to Kokubungaku Nenkan (国文学年鑑), which lists journal articles on Japanese literature.

J-STAGE (科学技術情報発信・流通総合システム)
Online database that indexes scholarly arts and sciences articles published in Japan. Some articles are available in full-text.


JapanKnowledge: Encyclopedias, Dictionaries and Databases
Includes an e-book collection of the following multi-volume sets:
●    Tōyō bunko (東洋文庫)

      Shinpen Kokka Taikan (新編国歌大観)

●    Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku zeshū (新編日本古典文学全集)
●    Bunko Kuseju [Que sais-je?] besuto serekushon (文庫クセジュベストセレクション)

Aozora Bunko 青空文庫
Free database of a collection of over 15,000 works of Japanese-language fiction and non-fiction, including out-of-copyright books and works that the authors wish to make freely available.

The Japan P.E.N. Club Digital Library
Contains over 900 literary works including many copyrighted works with the permission of the copyright holders of each work.

National Diet Library Digital Collection
The NDL Digital Collections enables a user to search and view a variety of resources, collected and stored by the National Diet Library of Japan.

Other Databases

Institutional Repositories Database (IRDB) (学術機関リポジトリデータベース)
Allows you to search all the institutional repositories sites in Japan.

KAKEN Database of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (科学研究費助成事業データベース)
Includes information on adopted projects, assessment, and research achievements from the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) Program

Japanese Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR)  JapaneseEnglish
Digital archive of Asian historical records, that are historical documents of Japan concerning the modern Japanese relations with other countries, particularly those in Asia.

National Archives of Japan Digital Archive (国立公文書館デジタルアーカイブ)


Other Newspapers

Japan News
●    via Yomidas rekishikan (1989-present)
●    Japan News (via Access World News Research Collection) (2001-present)

Japan Times
●    Nippon Times (Microform) (1943-1951)
●    Japan Times (Microform) (1977-1987)
●    Japan Times (via ProQuest Business Collection) (1991-2000)
●    Japan Times (via Access World News Research Collection) (2006-2021)

Rafu Shimpo
1914-present; digital archive of Rafu Shimpo, the longest running Japanese American newspaper in the United States. The Rafu Shimpo Digital Archive contains all obtainable published issues from 1914-1917. The archive will grow with an additional years worth of content added annually.


Films related to Japan (from Kanopy Films and Documentaries)

Japanese Cinema (from Kanopy Films and Documentaries)

Art, Culture, and Religion


Bijutsu jinmei kensaku (美術人名検索)
Biographical database of about 10,000 Japanese artists.

ColBase: Integrated Collections Database of the National Museums, Japan (国立文化財機構所蔵品統合検索システム)
Enables a cross-sectional search of the collections of the four national museums in Japan and the collections of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.

e-Museum (e国宝)
Provides high-definition images of national treasures and important cultural properties owned by Tokyo National Museum, Kyoto National Museum, Nara National Museum, Kyushu National Museum.  Descriptions in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.


Cultural Heritage Online (文化遺産オンライン)
Provides descriptions and images of national treasures and important cultural properties administered by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.


Database of Japanese Intellectual History 日本思想史文献データベース検索
Database provided by the Department of Japanese Intellectual History, Tohoku University, covering publications from 1968 to 2003.

Kokugakuin Daigaku Dejitaru Myūjiamu 國學院大學デジタル・ミュージアム
Provides various digital resources, including Encyclopedia of Shinto.

Online bibliography of Sōtō-shū (曹洞宗関係文献目録オンライン検索)
Database of publications related to Sōtō Zen.

SAT Daizōkyō Text Database (SAT大正新脩大藏經テキストデータベース)
Database of the Taishō revised edition of the Chinese Buddhist Cannon.

Shūkyō nenkan (宗教年鑑)
An annual publication about religions in Japan by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.  A recent issue as well as back issues available online.

Special Collections and Archives

Data, Statistics, and GIS

China Historical GIS
Launched through Harvard University in 2001 to provide a GIS platform for scholarly and scientific research. Japan GIS resources are linked from this homepage, and include numerous historical maps, Tokugawa data, and links to other Japan-related geographical resources.

Japanese Government Statistics Bureau portal English Japanese
Includes census data from 1995 and 2000 census. Maps from 1955-1995.

Digital Humanities Projects

List of Dataset by Center for Open Data for Humanities
Offer various data sets including per-modern texts, modern magazines, Edo cooking receipts, and shapes and coordinates of old Japanese characters, etc.

Corpora and Databases by by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics
Corpus for "Linguistic resources of written and spoken Japanese"

Perry In Japan: A Visual History
A project of the Department American Studies at Brown. Contributors to this project include Susan Smulyan (Faculty lead). Materials for use in cross-cultural evaluation of Perry’s encounter with the Japanese.

Interdisciplinary Databases

Databases Accessible from Library's Website

Direct Borrow Services: BorrowDirect

Requesting Articles

How to request articles not available online at Brown.

Purchase Request

A Key for Resource Icons


full text icon = Some full text
licensed icon = Licensed for Brown
audio icon = Audio Available
video icon = Video Available
mobile icon = Mobile Access Available