JAPAN 159: Contemporary Japanese Literature

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  • Toshie Marra
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  • Office Hours: M-F 9-5, by appointment
  • Office Location: #322 C. V. Starr East Asian Library
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About this Guide

This course guide points to library print and electronic sources for research in contemporary Japanese literature.

Before You Begin Your Research

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

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, organize and store your PDFs, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but all are easier than doing it by hand!

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in for the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service. Zotero is also available as a stand-alone application that syncs with Chrome and Safari, or as a bookmarklet for mobile browsers.
  2. RefWorks - web-based and free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies, then works with Word to help you format references and a bibliography for your paper. Use theRefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: Desktop software for managing your references and formatting bibliographies. You can purchase EndNote from the Cal Student Store

Tip: After creating a bibliography with a citation management tool, it's always good to double check the formatting; sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Other Guides

Here is a list of other useful guides:


Library Catalogs

For books and e-books offered by the UC Berkeley Library, consult the Library's Find Books and E-Books page first. In the U.S.-based catalogs such as OskiCat, Japanese language materials 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. LC (Library of Congress) and ALA (American Library Association) Romanization Table for Japanese offers detailed explanation of the guidelines that most U.S. libraries follow when romanizing Japanese materials.

In Melvyl, WorldCat, etc., click on the REQUEST or UC-eLinks button for Inter-library loan requests. UC Berkeley faculty, registered graduate students, and staffs can also borrow materials from Stanford University Library through Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP). For requesting materials from Stanford University Library, please use RLCP Borrowing Request forms.

For books held by libraries in Japan, use the following databases to locate materials:

Possible Starting Points

Genbaku wa bungaku ni dō egakarete kita ka 原爆は文学にどう描かれてきたか / Kuroko Kazuo. Call No.: East Asian PL726.82.H52 K87 2005

Gendai bungaku kenkyū : jōhō to shiryō 現代文学研究 : 情報と資料 / henshū Hasegawa Izumi, Call No.: East Asian Ref. Z3308.L5 G28 1986

Kindai sensō bungaku jiten 近代戦争文学事典 / Yano Kan'ichi hen. Call No.: East Asian PL721.W3 Y36 1992

Korekushon Sensō to bungaku コレクション戦争と文学. Call No.: East Asian PL777.82.W65 K67 2011

Nihon bungaku kenkyū bunken yōran : gendai Nihon bungaku 日本文学研究文献要覧: 現代日本文学: Covers books and articles published on contemporay Japanese literature in every five years since 1975

Sensō bungaku zenshū 戦争文学全集 / Hirano Ken ... [ra] hen. Call No.: East Asian 5880.7.6207.5

Article Databases

Here is a short list of useful articles databases for Japanese studies. Note that many of these sources only index journal articles -- they don't actually have the full text. Use the gold "UC-eLinks" button to do an automated search to find the full text.

Selected Print Article Indexes

Selected Journals (Western Languages)

Here is a list of major journals in Western languages covering the field of Japanese studies, many of which are availble both online and print:

Selected Journals (Japanese)

Here is a list of selected journals in Japanese literary studies:

Newspaper Article Databases

Here is a short list of newspaper article databases for Japanese newspapers: 

 Selected Print Sources

Useful Websites

Here is a list of selected useful websites for research on modern Japanese literature:

Japanese Language Dictionaries

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

Chiezō 知恵蔵: A handy source to look up contemporary terminology. The latest issue is offered in Asahi Kikuzo II Visual.

Dai Kan-Wa jiten 大漢和辞典 / 諸橋轍次著: The most comprehensive dictionary of Chinese characters from Japan (ca. 50,000 characters with ca. 500,000 word entries). 語彙索引 in Japanese alphabetical order is also available.

Gendai yōgo no kiso chisiki 現代用語の基礎知識: A handy source to look up contemporary terminology. The latest issue is offered in JapanKnowledge.

New Nelson Japanese-English character dictionary / by John H. Haig: A completely revised, new Nelson dictionary (The modern reader's Japanese-English character dictionary / Andrew Nathaniel Nelson).

Nihon hōgen daijiten 日本方言大辞典 / 編集 尚学図書: Lists words in dialects in Japanese alphabetical order. For finding dialects from standard words, use 標準語引き日本方言辞典.

Nihon kokugo daijiten (dai 2-han) 日本国語大辞典 (第2版): The most comprehensive dictionary of Japanese language (ca. 500,000 entries). Provides meanings, usages in old literary or historical works, variations of words in dialects, etc. A more updated online version of the dictionary is available via JapanKnowledge.

Reading Tutor リーディング チュウ太: A collection of links for learning Japanese language.

Rikai: Program for learning Japanese, which also provides readings and definitions of Chinese characters in English; created by Todd David Rudick utilizing the resources made available by Jim Breen and his EDICT Project.

Weblio: Supports translation from Japanese to other languages. 

Reference Books

Here is a list of selected reference materials:

Gendai bungaku kenkyū jiten 現代文学研究事典 / Ōkubo Tsuneo, Takahashi Haruo hen. Call No.: East Asian PL726.65 .G4

Gendai josei sakka kenkyū jiten 現代女性作家研究事典 / Kawamura Minato, Hara Zen hen. Call No.: East Asian PL725 .G46 2001

Gendai Nihon bungaku sōran shirīzu 現代日本文学綜覧シリーズ. Call No.: East Asian Ref. Z3308.L5 G46 1982

Guide to Japanese drama / Leonard C. Pronko. Call No.: Main (Gardner) Stacks PL734.A12 P7 1984

Guide to Japanese poetry / J. Thomas Rimer and Robert E. Morrell. Call No.: Main (Gardner) Stacks PL782.E3 A12 R5, 1984

Guide to Japanese prose / Alfred H. Marks and Barry D. Bort. Call No.: Main (Gardner) Stacks PL782.E8 A12 M3, 1984

Nihon gendai bungaku daijiten 日本現代文学大事典 / hensha Miyoshi Yukio ... [et al.]. Call No.: East Asian PL726.6 .N48 1994

Nihon gendai shōsetsu daijiten 日本現代小說大事典 / Asai Kiyoshi, Satō Masaru hen. Call No.: East Asian Ready Ref. PL747.55 .N54 2004

Sakka shōsetsuka jinmei jiten 作家・小說家 人名 事典. Call No.: East Asian Ref. PL723 .S315 1990

Shinpan Nihon bungaku dainenpyō 新版日本文学大年表 / 市古貞次, 久保田淳編. Call No.: East Asian Ref. PL719.5 .S55 2002

Shōwa bungaku nenpyō 昭和文学年表 / 監修 谷沢永一 ; 編集 浦西和彥, 青山毅. Call No.: East Asian PL726.65 .U725 1995

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