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Japanese Studies

Searching Japanese Electronic Resources

Each Japanese database offers different search options and functions. So read help files carefully to form your searching queries. Depends on your research topics and search terms, you may want to change your search options and use different search commands.

分かち書き Word Division or Word Segmantation

  • NDL OPAC 利用の手引き NDL OPAC User Guide
    Read 3.検索の方法 and 5.詳細設定 and learn about 全文検索 and ワード検索. 全文検索 in NDL OPAC does not mean the same full text search in searching American databases. It means the full-string search in specified fields such as title field and author field. Try keywords such as 国会, 法事, and 講 to see difference between 全文検索 and ワード検索.
  • 検索語の分割方法は? Google の「分かち書き」を調べる
    Pay attention to this automatic word segmentation function when using compound words as your search terms. Try keywords such as 国際交流 and 日本文学, and check the highlighted words in result list.
  • Google の詳しい検索方法
    Read the section about phrase searches. Phrase searches may work better for personal name searches and compound word searches..  
  • Hollis Catalog (Harvard University Library)
    Check how Harvard University Library OPAC handles keyword searches in Japanese. This OPAC applies ADJACENT command when you conduct keyword searches in Japanese. Results for W-title all= 日 本 史 ADJ

漢字のバリエーション Chinese Character Variants

  • 旧字体と新字体
    Some databases can handle 旧字体 and 新字体 well, but others cannot. Try searching 村上龍·村上竜 and 文藝春秋·文芸春秋 in Google, OCLC WorldCat (MSU Access), and the University of Iowa Libraries OPAC.
  • IME variants not present in the EACC/MARC21 character sets (Compiled by Princeton University Library)
    EACC/MARC character set is used by librarians to create CJK bibliographic records. Some of the characters in this set are different from the Chinese character variants we normally use. For example, letters highlighted in orange color are used in the bibliographic records. You may want to add those charaters to 単語/用例の登録 tool on your language bar, if you use those characters frequently for your search terms. eg) 戸·、 寛·、 録·、 説·

表記のゆれ Transcription Variants


総合目録 Union Catalogs

  • Webcat Plus (National Institute of Informatics)
    This catalog is a union catalog of Japanese university libraries. Information taken from Book Database (vendor database) and some publisher's databases are added to the bibliographic information. Try both 連想検索 and 一致検索. ローマ字検索 is available for 一致検索. Romanization table is available at
  • 総合目録ネットワークシステム (国会図書館)Union Catalog Network System (National Diet Library)
    This union catalog consists of bibliographic databases of 51 libraries including the National Diet Library, some prefectural libraries, and some public libraries in government-designated cities. This database offers only browsing search (xxx beginning with) and exact match search options. Keyword search is not available. Try subject heading searches in addition to browsing searches.


Periodical Indexes (Japanese)


Periodical Indexes (English)

  • Bibliography of Asian Studies (UI Access)
    This onlide database indexes mainly western-language journal articles and book chapters on all parts of Asia on all subjects published since 1971.


Table of Contents

  • ブックコンテンツ・データベース (東京大学図書館) Book Contents Database (University of Tokyo)
  • Webcat Plus
    Webcat Plus includes Book Database which supply additional information such as table of contents and summaries. Use keyword search box to search the information incudled in Book Database.
  • オンライン書店bk1 Online Bookstore bk1
    bk1 offers searchable table of contents database for publications such as anthologies and collected papers.
  • started offering なか見!検索.
  • 紀伊国屋書店 Books Kinokuniya
    Most of bibliographic information includes table of contents and summaries. However, they are not searchable.


新聞 Newspapers

  • Excite ニュースサーチ
    You can search news from major newspapers and local newspapers during the past seven days.
  • 神戸大学新聞文庫 Newspaper Article in digital version
    Newspaper article database from the end of Meiji to prewar days. Main focus is on commercial economy. Newspaper articles on related topics such as foreign relations and law are included in the database.

Searching Japanese Electronic Resources Continuing

国会図書館 National Diet Library

    NDL OPAC is not available during 14:00-17:00 (EST). NDL OPAC is also searchable in romanized Japanese. Change 詳細設定 to enable this function.
  • 雑誌記事索引 Japanese Periodicals Index
    Japanese Periodical Index is not available during 14:00-17:00 (EST). Japanese Periodical Index is also searchable in romanized Japanese. Change 詳細設定 to enable this function.
  • 総合目録ネットワークシステム Union Catalog Network System
    This database can be used during the NDL OPAC maintenance time.
  • 日本全国書誌 Japanese National Bibliography Weekly List
  • 近現代日本政治関係人物文献目録 Bibliography of Persons in Modern Japanese Politics
  • データベース・ナビゲーション・サービス Database Navigation Service (Dnavi)
    9,000 online resources are accessible via this site.
  • 日本関係欧文図書目録 Books on Japan
  • 参考図書紹介 
  • Statistical Materials for Learning about Japan

       電子政府 E-Gov
  • 電子図書館 Collection of the Electronic Library
      貴重書画像データベース Rare Books Image Database
      近代デジタルライブラリー Digital Library from the Meiji Era
      インターネット資源選択的蓄積実験事業 Web Archiving Project (WARP)
  • 国会会議録 Diet & Parliaments
  • 資料の貸出 International Loan Service (for libraries)
  • 資料の複写 International Photoduplication Service (for libraries and individuals)


国立情報学研究所 National Instutite of Informatics (NII)

  • GeNii (NII学術コンテンツ・ポータル) GeNii (Global Environment for Networked Intellectual Information)
      CiNii (NII論文情報ナビゲータ)
      Webcat Plus (NII図書情報ナビゲータ)
      KAKEN (科学研究費成果公開サービス)
      NII-DBR (学術研究データベース・リポジトリ)
  • 大学Webサイト資源検索 Academic Information Resources at Universities
    This site is useful to search for special collections and library resources in Japan.
  • 研究開発支援総合ディレクトリ(ReaD)


国際日本文化研究センター International Research Center for Japanese Studies

Chronological search is available if your research topic is focused on specific time period. For more details, check データベースの案内 page.


国文学研究資料館 National Institute of Japanese Literature

Below are a few examples of databases available from the National Institute of Japanese Literature. See 電子史料館 page for more details.

  • 古典籍総合目録
  • 国書基本データベース(著作編)
  • 史料館収蔵史料


国立歴史博物館 National Museum of Japanese History

Below are a few examples of databases available from the National Museum of Japanese History. See データベース page for more details.

  • 館蔵資料データベース General Catalog Database
  • 館蔵中世古文書
  • 古代・中世都市生活史(物価)


国立国語研究所 National Institute for Japanese Language

Below are a few examples of databases and resources available from the National Institute for Japanese Language.

  • 言語データベースとソフトウェア
  • e-Japan ITを活用した日本語学習環境の整備
  • 『日本語話し言葉コーパス』


文学関係 Japanese Literature


For Japanese Language Students


電子ブック E-Books


Other Resources

East Asian Library Websites in North America
Check Japanese collection websites of these East Asian library websites. You will find research guides and links to useful websites created by Japanese Studies librarians.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Chiaki Sakai, Japanese Studies Librarian at University of Iowa Libraries, who kindly permits the reproduction of her Japanese Internet Resources guide at Northwestern University Library