Last updated December 2016
- Catalogues of Japanese monographs and serials
- Subscription-based e-resources
- Free on-line dictionaries
- Useful sites to find full text e-journals
- Free e-resources for research
- Free e-resources for undergraduates
CiNii Books: English interface; Japanese interface
Most up-to-date union catalogue. It contains the bibliographic record of most Japanese publications with their holding libraries. Bibliographic records appear in this database immediately after they have been catalogued. Searchable in Japanese. Search can be limited to UK libraries, participating European countries, Asia. Japan etc. If you wish to search the Japanese collection of the Cambridge University Library only, use the 'Advanced search' screen and enter Cambridge's Library ID: FA012976. To limit your search to other specific UK library, use the following IDs (Oxford: FA012965; BL: FA012954; Sheffield: FA012987; SOAS: FA013006. IDs for other participating UK libraries (UK Union Catalogue) are: FA012998; FA017925; FA018382; FA021999; FA023123; FA023203. Participating UK Libraries are : British Library; British Museum; Bodleian Japanese Library; Cambridge University Library; Edinburgh (Stirling) Library; Japan Foundation London Library; Japan Infromation and Culture Centre, Embassy of Japan in the UK; SOAS Library; The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures; University of Sheffield). Please note that not all monographs in SOAS Library can be retrieved in this database.) Unrestricted access.
CiNii Articles: English interface ; Japanese interface
This is a service that provides information on scholarly articles, with an emphasis on Japanese papers. It allows users to find articles by navigating a large volume of information including periodicals published by Japanese scholarly societies, research bulletins published by Japanese universities, and the National Diet Library periodicals index database.Through joint collaborations, it also provides links to full text documents and other services.
Includes the Japanese Collections of the Cambridge University Library. Most bibliographic records catalogued after 2004 describe Japanese monographs in original script as well as in transliteration. This means that monographs published in Japanese script can be retrieved more easily by performing searches in Japanese. However, since not all records have been upgraded, for the best search result we recommend performing searches in the correct transliteration (in Romaji) as well.
Provides access to a wide range of information from newspapers, news wires, websites, company reports and more (over 36,000 sources) from 200 countries and 28 languages. Continuously updated. Searchable in Japanese by keyword via iDiscover. Alternatively, search Factiva itself by selecting the language.
Digitized Early Japanese Books from the Cambridge University Library:
a.) Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center Project (Prof. Akama's project)
This database contains 230 digitized early Japanese books held in the Cambridge University Library. The project is still ongoing.
The access to the above site is restricted and you will need to contact the Head of the Japanese Department at the Cambridge University Library to request access.
(Accessible on or off campus. Click ''Login-Enter'))
Online web archive that boasts the largest corpus of encyclopedia, dictionaries, reference compilations, and periodical resources (approximately 50 different sources) in Japan. The version that we are subscribing to, JapanKnowledge+NK, also includes Nihon Kokugo Dai Jiten (N), the largest Japanese language dictionary, and Kokushi Dai Jiten (K), Koji Ruien (古事類苑) with search function and the whole Koten Bungaku raiburarii (古典文学ライブラ リー). A few years ago, Nihon jinbutsu bunkei mokuroku (日本人物文献目録) and Nihon kakou denshou jinmei jiten (日本架空伝承人名事典) has also been added. It also includes full text online articles from Shuukan Ekonomisuto (週刊エコノミスト) published on Mondays. Toyo Bunko (The Eastern Library series), The Complete Collection of Japanese Classical Literature, and Gunsho Ruiju series are sorted according to group headings of their original source or category.
(Accessible on and off campus. Click “Enter (SSL)”. If you want to read today’s articles, add today’s date in both columns.)
Database which enables the user to search and read articles carried by The Asahi Shimbun (and Shukan Asahi and Aera) over the past 130 years. Along with "Historical Photo Archives", articles from the Meiji, the Taisho, and the Showa era have been included to the current database. To read the most recent articles of Asahi Shinbun (+ Shukan Asahi and Aera), select today’s date in the box of 発行日 and select “のみ”. Shukan Asahi is published on Fridays and Aera is on Mondays.
(Available on and off campus. Click 'Log-in' after ticking the terms and conditions agreement button and then click on 'SETSUZOKU'.)
Largest online source on Japanese business delivering the latest news covering Nihon Keizai Shinbun and related newspapers and other publications. The service includes full text search of Nikkei's four business newspapers, company information search, Who's Who search and Time Nikkei flash news. There is an English menu which provides not only round-the-clock Nikkei news translated from the Nikkei's newspapers but also full contents of the Nikkei Weekly which is an English paper published by Nikkei. Not searchable by keyword from text.
Available on and off campus (with Raven password).
Yomiuri Shinbun database which lets you search all Yomiuri articles from 1874 to the present and advertisement in the Meiji, Taisho and early Showa. It includes the English Daily Yomiuri from 1989. Only previous day's and older articles from the Yomiuri Shinbun are accessible online via this service. On the first screen, choose “Heisei” then in the search screen, choose “一致” instead of “範囲” in the 検索期間（search period） box and then add the date of the previous day (yesterday).
Aimed at native speakers of Japanese (or researchers). Iphone Application is available.
When looking up a character it gives readings and many compounds that includes the character each with English translation. Provides links to other dictionaries and resources for each compound. Character etymology, Chinese character genealogy can be found for each character in the compound when clicking on 'Examine'.
Goo (Sanseidō) Online Dictionary
Aimed at Japanese people. Search possible in English-Japanese, Japanese-English or Japanese-Japanese (国語辞典)(or all three simultaniously). When searching for a character it gives many compounds.
Multilingual Japanese dictionary for iPhone and iPad touch devices. It offers dictionary/kanji and example sentences. Full offline use.
Aimed at Japanese people. Has iPhone apps.
English-Japanese, Japanese-English. Useful for quick word search.
Firefox add-on that helps you read Japanese text online. Easy to install and use. This plugin is powered by the WWWJDIC, so you will get identical definitions as long as the dictionary file is kept up-to-date. Fairly good with people and place names. Can detect that verbs are conjugated and displays them in simple present tense. For video introduction to Rikai-chan by Susanna Fessler click HERE.
Japanese-English and English-Japanese. Includes Classical Japanese search, Name search, Specialized search. Its Kanji search gives you stroke orders, meanings of each compund with links to Nelson and other dictionaries.
Aimed at Japanese people.
JAIRO (Japanese Institutional Repositories Online)
An electronic archive system which accumulates and stores intellectual products of Japanese academic institutions in electronic form and discloses them free of charge. Includes journal articles, thesis, disssertations, departmental bulletin papers, research papers etc. The metadata can be searched cross-sectionally. In October 2008 it contained 540,000 contents from 84 Japanese institutional repositories.
J-Stage (Japan Scince and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic)
In Japanese and in English. Contains free leading scholarly online journals and proceedings mainly in science and technology but includes some articles in Humanities and social sciences.
Zasshi kiji sakuin
Important research tool for finding journal articles. It is a major index to scholarly journals, academic bulletins and magazines published in Japan and held in the NDL. It contains citations of journal articles, and NOT the full text articles themselves. Since it is not a 24 hour service, beware of the time difference!
This online collection encompasses several thousands of works of Japanese-language fiction and non-fiction. These include out-of-copyright books. (e.g. Natsume Soseki, Mori Ogai, Akutagawa, Osamu Dazai, Murasaki Shikibu etc.) Searchable in Japanese ot English.
Ajia Rekishi Shiryo Senta (JACAR: Japan Center for Asian Historical Records)
(アジア歴史資料センター): in Japanese ; in English
Digital archive of primary sources. This site provides access to official documents, dating from the Meiji era through 1945, of the Japanese Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Army and Navy. In an effort to share history as it has been documented, JACAR's archives showcase the original records, including full images of the documents, all in digitized form, on an unprecedented scale.Can be browsed & searchable by keywords.
Early Photography of Japan
Early Photography of Japan is a virtual collection of more than 40 souvenir photograph albums and illustrated publications with over 2,000 images from Widener Library, the Fine Arts Library, and Harvard-Yenching Library. These images primarily document the early history of commercial photography in Japan and are representative of what is often called Japanese tourist photography or Yokohama shashin. They reflect the Western image of traditional Japanese culture before the dramatic transformation brought about by modernization during the Meiji period (1868-1912).
Published online by Columbia University. Listed materials are intended as a guide to the Japanese bibliography and reference materials in the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, to which all call numbers refer. Provides an excellent introduction to Japanese reference material in Premodern History, places, people, dictionaries, and on various subjects.
Japanese Classic Literature Genji Net (古典総合研究所)
This Research Institute is based in Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo. It's focus is on creating text database for the Genji Monogatari, developing programs to perform quantitative analysis of the database as well as automatic word analysis and automatic quote analysis.
Japanese Literature in Translation
The database covers Japanese literary works translated into other languages mainly from the end of World War II to the 1990s. It is searchable by author, title, translator, or other keywords. Terms may be input in either Japanese or roman letters.
Keio Associated Repository of Academic Resources (KOARA)
This institutional repository includes University bulletines, dissertations (PhDs and Masters), research papers, grants-in-aid for scientific research report.
Keio University Digital Gallery
of rare books and Special Collections.
Kokubungaku Kenkyu Shiryokan Denshi Shiryokan
Database of classical Japanese texts produced by The National Institute of Japanese Literature (NJIL). including P. Kornicki Oshu shozai Nihon kosho sogo mokuroku
National Diet Library Digital Library from the Meiji Era
Provides copyright -cleared books and periodicals published in and after 1868 on the Internet.
Nihon Bijutsu Gaho (日本美術画報)
is being digitized into a searchable online resource. This will prove to be a very useful place to go not only for modern art specialists, but also for
pre-modern experts interested in the development of the
Japanese art historical canon, or those looking for images of artworks
now lost, or even just to get an idea of what people were saying about
certain artworks a century ago.
Bridge to Japan
Provides useful links to Japanese information resources. The list includes links to computer and software sites related to the Japanese language, Japanese search engines, on-line Japanese bookshops, directories to libraries, companies, organisations in the UK and in Japan, postcode search, telephone directory, language-learning related websites, radio stations, Shinto encyclopaedia and many more.
Fessler's Guide to Japanese Research and bibliography methods for undergraduates
Essential website to undergraduate students of Japanese. Provides valuable information on online and print dictionaries and how to use them, on the structure of kanji (translated from Japanese as this information is unavailable in English), all you need to know about calligraph, citation of CJK bibliography etc.
Fessler's guide to Japanese research and bibliography methods for undergraduates on YouTube
The above information is available on YouTube here.
When entering a web page, it puts readings of all kanji in hiragana above the characters.
Japan Web Navigator
Created by Japan Information Network. Covers news, government and politics, business/economy, travel, science, education and a whole lot more Information on study in Japan is also found
Japanese Text Initiative
(from the University of Virginia and the University of Pittburgh)
Collection of online texts of classical Japanese literature in Japanese characters. Primary audience is English-speaking scholars and students. Where possible, the Japanese texts will be accompanied by English translations. Includes dictionary.
ZOTERO (Japanese compatible)
Free reference management tool for writing dissertations, thesis.