Japanese Studies

Before You Begin Your Research

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

  • JapanKnowledge Lib: 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.
  • Whoplus: Contains biographical information of 330,000 prominent figures active in Japan and e-version of several biographical reference dictionaries covering 280,000 people, including Jinbutsu refarensu jiten 人物レファレンス事典, Umi o koeta Nihon jinmei jiten 海を越えた日本人名事典, Jiten kindai Nihon no senkusha 事典近代日本の先駆者, Tsuitō kiji sakuin 追悼記事索引1991-2005, Bijutsu sakuhin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 美術作品レファレンス事典:人物・肖像篇, Shashin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 写真レファレンス事典人物・肖像篇.
  • 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:

Japanese Historical Language Dictionaries

Here is a short list of Japanese historical dictionaries and guides to them:

Biographical Information

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
  • Whoplus: Contains biographical information of 330,000 prominent figures active in Japan and e-version of several biographical reference dictionaries covering 280,000 people, including Jinbutsu refarensu jiten 人物レファレンス事典, Umi o koeta Nihon jinmei jiten 海を越えた日本人名事典, Jiten kindai Nihon no senkusha 事典近代日本の先駆者, Tsuitō kiji sakuin 追悼記事索引1991-2005, Bijutsu sakuhin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 美術作品レファレンス事典:人物・肖像篇, Shashin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 写真レファレンス事典人物・肖像篇.
  • 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:

Following are selected sources that offer online texts:

Statistics and Data

Here is a short list of resources for statistics and other data on Japan:

Connecting from Off Campus

To use library databases from off campus you have to set up the proxy server: this changes your browser settings.

  • Different browsers [Firefox, Chrome, Safari...] have different instructions- they are all here.
  • You can set it up on multiple devices
  • You log in with your CalNet ID
  • There's an alternative: the VPN

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

Last Update: 16 Apr 10:36 | Tagged with: Japanese studies Japanese language Japan