Japanese Language and Culture

Literature Sources

Japanese only sources

CiNii–  (Scholarly and Academic Information Navigator, pronounced like “sigh-knee”) is a database service which can be searched with academic information of articles, books & journals. It is available free of charge for anyone. In viewing paid content, special rates and other privileges are offered to institutional fixed-price users (registration by institution) or users with an ID (individual registration).

Japanese Institutional Repositories Online – Dates of coverage vary. (National Institute of Informatics) Full text and index to academic information (journal articles, theses, dissertations, departmental bulletin papers, research reports, etc.) accumulated in Japanese institutional repositories.  Contains citations to and (in many cases) full text of articles, papers, dissertations, etc. from Japanese universities.

Koseisha Database - The only online index to Japanese articles that goes back as far as the Meiji period.  (BU subscribes).

Kokubungaku Ronbun Mokuroku Dētabēsu 国文学論文目録データベース – Covers articles in Japanese literary studies since 1912.

Senryōki zasshi kiji jōhō dētabēsu 占領期雑誌記事情報データベース - Indexes to magazine and newspaper articles published between 1945 and 1949 held in the Prange Collection at the University of Maryland, which originally belonged to the Civil Censorship Detachment.

Japanese Newspapers from library database Library Press Display

J-Stage – Science oriented

Aozora Bunko – Includes open access to the texts of thousands of works of literature and literary criticism, including works by Natsume Soseki, Dazai Osamu, Hayashi Fumiko, and countless others. Can be searched by author name or title of the piece. Many works are glossed with kanji pronunciation. Available in text files, words can easily be cut and pasted into on-line dictionaries.


English sources

National Diet Library

Japanese Text Initiative at the Univ. of Virginia Library

Print Journals: Go to the Advanced Search option from the front page; on the upper right of the following page will be an option “Journal Title Search”. Click on that option to find: journals and newspapers with the title(s): Japan, Japanese, etc.

Books in Mugar

Books in Mugar can be found by searching ‘Japan’ or ‘Japanese’ or ‘Asia. Once a search is done, look to the left to narrow results and click on ‘Books’.  Literature books will be cataloged in the PL subject area. There are also many e-books.

cover The Kanji Dictionary, 1966/ This uses a different indexing system for characters from Nelson’s Kanji — and traditional Japanese language character indexes.

Dai Kan-Wa jiten – Morohashi, Tetsuji   This is the mother of all kanji dictionaries. Essential for people working on classical Japanese and obscure pre-modern texts.  (X PL681.C5 M6 1965M)

Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan – (X   DS805 .K633 1983)

Japan and the Japanese: a bibliographic guide to reference sources – best annotated reference guide to material on Japan in English. (DS835 M33 1996)  

The New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary – ordered 10/17/2013 for Mugar


Useful databases

Bibliography of Asian Studies

Japan Knowledge  -

Japan Knowledge is a large database of Japanese language reference materials, including the massive, multi-volume Kokugo Daijiten (rather like the Oxford English Dictionary in Japanese), and the Kokushi Daijiten,13 volumes of entries on Japanese history. In English, they have the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan, as well as various dictionaries of hard-to-read proper names and place names. Also included is a large collection of classical literature in the original.  A wonderful feature is that you can look up one item and it will show you the entries across all the dictionaries and encyclopedias where it appears. The interface is Japanese, but you can enter English language terms that might be found in the English materials, or English-Japanese dictionaries. Japanese words are best entered in kana or kanji characters.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

MLA International Bibliography

JSTOR – The Scholarly Journal Archive

Project Muse: Scholar Journals Online

Google Books – can limit to find digitized texts: “free google e-books”

Internet Archive


Online dictionariesDenshi Jiso and Jim Breen’s


Websites of Interest


NCC  – North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources

Japan Blog List – Self explanatory.

Research Guide on Japanese Art and Architecture

Research Guide on Japanese History

Asian Studies