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 research has been done in Japan? Kaken database provides information on research projects funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science since 1965 and their research results.
- 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.
Portals to Web Sites and Databases
Here is a short list of useful resources for navigating through web sites and databases--often not searchable with major search engines. The list also includes archives of web sites.
- Dnavi: Covers various databases from Japan, created by the National Diet Library
- Web Archiving Project (WARP): Selected archived Web sites and online journals produced by Japanese government agencies, universities, and other public institutions and organizations, developed by the National Diet Library. Online publications are searchable at Internet Shiryō インターネット資料 page.
- Wayback Machine: The largest Internet archive site in the U.S.; includes some Japanese sites
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
- Denshi kuzushiji jiten 電子くずし字字典: One of the databases offered by 東京大学史料編纂所.『電子くずし字字典データベース』『木簡画像データベース・木簡字典』連携検索 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
- Itaiji kaidoku jiten 異体字解読字典 / [監修山田勝美 ; 編者「難字大鑑」編集委員会]: A dictionary for variant characters
- Kadokawa kogo daijiten 角川古語大辞典 / 中村幸彥, 岡見正雄, 阪倉篤義編: Lists a variety of words used in pre-modern periods including Buddhist terms, place names, personal names, etc.
- Kokuji no jiten 国字の字典 / 飛田良文監修 ; 菅原義三編: Includes over 1,500 Chinese characters created in Japan--the characters not used in China
- Kuzushiji yōrei jiten くずし字用例辞典 / 児玉幸多編: Offers many examples of cursive writings
- 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
- Onkunbiki komonjo daijisō 音訓引古文書大字叢 / 監修 林英夫: Lists ca. 14,000 words frequently used in historical documents from the Edo period, in Japanese alphabetical order
- 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
Japanese Historical Language Dictionaries
Here is a short list of Japanese historical dictionaries and guides to them:
- Kohon Kagakushū shichishu kenkyū narabini sōgō sakuin 古本下学集七種研究並びに総合索引 / 中田祝夫, 林義雄著: 第1部. 解說篇 -- 第2部. 影印篇 -- 第3部. 索引篇
- Koji ruien dētabēsu 古事類苑データベース: An encyclopedia compiled during the Meiji period. It covers various things and phenomena with references to histoical documents.
- Kojisho ongi shūsei 古辭書音義集成: 1. 新訳華厳経音義私記 – 2. 四分律音義 – 3. 大般若経音義 / 大般若経字抄 – 4. 妙法蓮華経釈文 – 5. 法華経音義 – 6. 字鏡 (世尊寺本) – 7-9. 一切経音義 – 10-11. 孔雀経音義 – 12. 金光明最勝王経音義 – 13. 香薬字抄 – 14. 伊呂波字類抄 – 15-16. 音訓篇立 – 17. 孔雀経単字 – 18. 字鏡 (世尊寺本) 仮名索引 – 19. 一切経音義索引 – 20. 音訓篇立索引
- Kojisho sōkan 古辭書叢刋 and Zōho kojisho sōkan 増補古辭書叢刊: Facsimile reproduction of: 簾中抄 / 藤原資隆撰 – 和名類聚鈔訂本 / 源順撰 ; 狩谷棭斎校訂 – 和玉篇 – 法華経音義 – 壒嚢抄 / 行誉編 – 類字韻 ; 初辞通韻 – 仙源抄 / 長慶天皇著 – 色葉字類抄 / 橘忠兼著 – 字鏡集 – 伊呂波字類抄 / 橘忠兼著 – 化城笑具 – 新撰字鏡 / 昌住著 – 瑣玉集 / 円一著 – 節用集 – 童蒙頌韻 / 三善為康撰 – 拾芥抄 / 洞院公賢撰 ; 洞院実煕補 – 玉篇畧 – 縮芥抄 / 洞院公賢編 ; 洞院実煕補 – 和名類聚抄10巻本 / 源順撰 – 色葉字類抄 2巻本 / 橘忠兼著 – 口遊 / 源為憲著 – 和歌童蒙抄 / 藤原範兼著 – 和歌色葉 / 上覚著 – 字鏡抄 – 童蒙頌韻 / 三善為康著 – 下学集 / 東麓破衲編 – 世俗字類抄 – 和名類聚抄 20巻本 / 源順撰 – 掌中歴 / 三善為康著 – 消息詞・書状文字抄 / 菅原為長著 – 法華経単字 / 源実俊著 – 名數語彙 – 下学集 : 元和三年板
- Kojisho taikei 古辞書大系: 字鏡鈔 : 天文本 : 影印篇 – 多識編自筆稿本刊本三種研究並びに総合索引 – 倭玉篇慶長十五年版硏究並びに索引 – 倭玉篇夢梅本篇目次第硏究並びに総合索引 – 合類節用集硏究並びに索引 – 印度本節用集古本四種研究並びに総合索引
- Kōzanji kojisho shiryō 高山寺古辭書資料:1. 金剛頂経一字頂輪王儀軌音義 – 2. 新訳華厳経音義
- Nihon kojisho o manabu hito no tame ni 日本古辞書を学ぶ人のために / 西崎亨編: A guide to Japanese historical dictionaries, including extensive bibliographies
Here is a short list of sources for checking biographical information of Japanese persons:
- Gō, betsumei jiten 号, 別名辞典 (日外アソシエーツ) series: Cataloged in multiple titles. Helps to identify Japanese persons from other known names such as pennames
- J-Global: The database maintained by the Japan Science and Technology Agency provides information on researchers affiliated to Japanese institutions
- JapanKnowledge: Includes basic Japanese encyclopedias and dictionaries, including Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan
- Jige Kaden Haga Jinmei Jiten Database 地下家伝・芳賀人名辞典データベース: Includes ''Nihon jinmei jiten'' (1914) by Haga Yaichi (1867-1917) and ''Jige kaden'' (1937-1938) by Mikami Kagefumi and Masamune Atsuo (1881-1958)
- Jinbutsu refarensu jiten 人物レファレンス事典 (日外アソシエーツ) series: Cataloged in multiple titles
- Jinmei yomikata jiten 人名よみかた辞典: Helps to find possible reading of Japanese personal names
- Kokusho jinmei jiten 国書人名辞典: Covers Japanese authors in pre-modern period
- Rekishi jinbutsu gazō dētabēsu 歴史人物画像データベース: Includes images of historical figures dipicted in Japanese old and rare publications
- Wagakusha sōran 和学者総覧: Lists Japanese scholars from pre-modern period
- World Biographical Information System: Serves as an index to various biographical dictionaries in print, both in English and Japanese
Texts and Translations
Following resources are useful to locate citations for texts and translations:
- Index Translationum: A database of translations maintained by UNESCO
- Japanese Literature in Translation Search = 日本文学翻訳書誌検索: A database of translations of literary works into a variety of languages; maintained by the Japan Foundation
- Premodern Japanese Texts and Translations: A bibliography of translations and reviews of the literary works up to about 1600; includes works written in kanbun and Chinese
- Shinpen Kokka taikan 新編国歌大観: CD-ROM version is available for use at the Reading Room of East Asian Library
Following are selected sources that offer online texts:
- Aozora Bunko 青空文庫: Modern Japanese literary works in full-text
- J-Texts (日本文学電子図書館)
- Japan P.E.N. Club Digital Library = 日本ペンクラブ電子文藝館: Poetry, essay, novel and critical works in various fields
- JapanKnowledge: In addition 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.), JapanKnowledge provides access to 東洋文庫 (平凡社) and 新編日本古典文学全集(小学館) series.
- Japanese Text Initiative = 日本語テキストイニシアチブ: Texts of classical and modern literature; collaborative effort of the University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center and the University of Pittsburgh East Asian Library
- Kokubungaku Kenkyū Shiryōkan Denshi ShiryōkanDētabēsu 国文学研究資料館電子資料館データベース: Offers a variety of databases for Japanese literary studies, including 国文学論文目録データベースwhich covers articles since 1912. Also offers full texts from 「日本古典文学大系」(岩波書店), 「噺本大系」(東京堂出版), etc.
Statistics and Data
Here is a short list of resources for statistics and other data on Japan:
- e-Gov: Denshi Seifu no Sōgō Madoguchi 電子政府の総合窓口: Gateway to government-related information and homepages of Japanese government agencies
- e-Stat: Portal Site of Official Statistics of Japan: Developed by Statistics Bureau. Use the "Search for statistics" box to locate statistics from over 30 ministries and agencies.
- Kokumin keizai keisan 国民経済計算 (National Accounts of Japan): Provided by Japan's Cabinet Office
- Nihon Ginkō 日本銀行: Offers various statistics information
- Nihon tōkei nenkan = Japan statistical year-book = 日本統計年鑑
- Nikkei Research Telephone Survey 日経電話世論調査: Nikkei's telephone survey reports since 2002
- Social Science Japan Data Archive (SSJDA): Archive of social science data concerning Japan. The SSJDA collects, compiles, and digitizes micro-level data on Japanese society, and offers them for secondary analysis.
- Sōmushō Tōkeikyoku 総務省統計局 = Statistics Bureau of Japan
- Yoron chōsa 世論調査 (内閣府): Public opinion polls conducted by the Japan's Cabinet Office
- Yoron chōsa 世論調査 (NHK放送文化研究所): Public opinion polls conducted by the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute
Connecting from Off Campus
To use library databases from off campus you have to set up the proxy server: this changes your browser settings.
Citation Management Tools
Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!
- Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with 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.
- RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
- EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central.
It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.
Making a Research Trip to Japan
If you are planning a research trip to Japan, you might want to bring with you a letter of introduction to access to Japanese libraries. Please contact Toshie Marra for more information.
You might also find the following research guides useful for preparion of your research trip to Japan:
- Levi McLaughlin, "All Research is Fieldwork: A Practical Introduction to Studying in Japan as a Foreign Researcher," The Asia-Pacific Journal, 30-1-10, July 26, 2010
- NCC's Online Guide to Research Access in Japanese Museums, Libraries, and Archives (MLAs) 日本研究のためのMLAアクセスガイド