Modern Japanese Literature Research Tools

Many of the tools below are restricted to UW users. Other users may have access through their institutions. Access for UW users on campus should be automatic; if you are off campus, use “Off-campus” links.

    • Japan Knowledge (Off-campus link): Comprehensive reference includes dictionaries (Japanese, English-Japanese and Japanese-English); the Nihon dai hyakka zensho (Nipponica), a full text 30 vol. encyclopedia; two dictionaries of current words: Imidas and Gendai yôgo no kiso chishiki; a biographical dictionary: Nihon jinmei daijiten; the JK Who’s Who; the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan; Edo-Tokyo kasane chizu(overlay map), full-text of books in the Tôyô bunko series; chronologies (world history, Japan by period, Japan by prefecture, science, culture, society, daily life, social movements, economics and for individuals); a database of video (TV, news) recordings from 1908 to 2004; database of dissertations from the humanities departments of six universities in Japan; URL database; books in print database; and more. Restricted.
    • Yomidasu! Database of Yomiuri shinbun 1874 to the present: image format from 1874 to 1989; full text 1986 to the present, along with the English-language Daily Yomiuri (Sept. 1989- to the present), both searchable by article, keyword, subject category, and issue.
    • Nikkei Newspapers Digital Archive: The Nikkei Newspapers Digital Archive (NNDA) is a project of the Hokubei Hochi (North American Post) Foundation and the University of Washington Libraries. The newspapers, North American Times (1902-1942) and North American Post (1946-1950), were published primarily in Japanese, with occasional, and then regularly appearing, pages published in English. Translation summaries (English) are provided for some front page stories. You may search by browsing the individual issues. They hope to provide additional search features in the future. This project is a “work-in-progress” as issues continue to be scanned and will continually be added to this public collection.
    • Yomidasu (Off-campus link): Online database of the Yomiuri Shimbun from the Meiji period to present. Restricted.
    • Cambridge History of Japan: All the available volumes are grouped into topics, making it quick and easy to search and browse through an array of historical subject areas. The extensive bibliographic referencing and other leading functionality, enhances usability and makes this resource ideal for any type of historical research. Restricted.
    • Japanese Magazine Plus: Japanese Magazine Plus is the largest database of periodicals and academic articles in Japan.
    • Genii: A single interface that searches critical articles (CiNii), books and magazines (Webcat Plus), research papers (Kaken), and discipline-specific journals (Nii-DBR). Also provides abstracts of articles. (Update: now goes directly to the CiNii search engine.)
    • Web OYA-bunko: A searchable database of some of the magazine holdings of the Ōya Sōichi Bunko. It covers over 5,000,000 articles from the Meiji period to the present, with a particular focus on “popular” magazines.
    • JSTOR (Off-campus link): Fully searchable database of scholarly articles in English, though omitting the most recent issues. Restricted.
    • JACAR: Japan Center for Asian Historical Records. “A digital database testifying to Japan’s historical relations in Asia as well as elsewhere. This site provides access to official documents of the Japanese Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Army and Navy.”
    • Japanese Literature in Translation: Fully searchable database of translations of Japanese literature into foreign languages, provided by the Japan Foundation and the Japan PEN Club.
    • Aozora Bunko: Library of copyright-expired modern Japanese literature in various digital formats.
    • Japan Search is a searchable “national, integrated and cross-sectoral portal website” that accesses multiple digital archives in the publications, cultural properties, and media arts fields and organizes metadata of those archives’ contents.
    • Computer translation between Japanese and English is still far from perfect, but MiraiTranslate is far better than Google Translate. It is driven by technology developed by Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).