Japanese Studies Research Guide


  • Shoshi nenkan (書誌年鑑)
  • Shuppan Nenkan ( 出版年鑑)
  • CLIO
    Columbia's online public catalog was transformed to a discover tool and contains records for almost all materials, including books, periodicals, microforms, and databases, and beyond.  Most of Japanese language materials are cataloged both in Japanese language as well as translitelation of Japanese in romanization in the modified Hepburn System employed by the Library of Congress.  It is more effective to search by romanization rather than Japanese, but pay attention to word divisions.  CLIO search tips, please click here.
  • WorldCat (OCLC)
    An online catalog of the 24,000 member libraries of OCLC. WorldCat has over 49 million titles, including books, serials, musical scores and recordings, and maps.  It also contains the majority of Waseda University's holdings. This catalog is useful for finding Japanese name readings.
  • CiNii Books
    A new version of Webcat -- a service for searching for information on books and journals held in libraries of universities and research institutions in Japan. Searchable for about 10 million titles held in 1200 university libraries (totaled over 100 million books), and about 1.5 million authors of these books that has been accumulated through the online cataloging system (NACSIS-CAT) which NII provides.
  • Webcat Plus
    A  “second-generation Webcat,” this database uses an “associative search function” that uses keywords to extract other words from the bibliographic records that have a high association with them.  Like Webcat, it also provides Japanese library holding information (useful for ILL).
  • National Diet Library (NDL 国立国会図書館)OPAC
    Search materials (books, journal articles, "Standards & Technical Reports, Materials on the Allied Occupation of Japan), held by the National Diet Library.
  • NDL Search 〔国立国会図書館サーチ)
    "NDL Search" is an integrated search service of catalogs and digital archives including libraries, archives, museums, academic institutes and the National Diet Library. Please note: Columbia does not participate in ILL for books with NDL.  NDL will, however, provide photocopied articles to Columbia.
  • National Diet Library Digital Collection (国立国会図書館デジタルコレクション)
    Service for searching and displaying more than 2 million library materials collected and accumulated in the National Diet Library including books, antiquarian/rare books and old materials, journals, newspapers, dissertations, historical sound sources, official gazette (官報), modern Japanese political history materials (憲政資料), etc.
  • Waseda University Scholarly Information Network System (WINE)
    WINE is the Waseda University Library online catalog.  Although it contains 2.9 million records, WINE does not reflect the library's complete holdings. This catalog is useful for finding Japanese name readings.
  • Books.or.jp(本を探す) (Search Engine for Japanese Books)
    Online "Japanese Books in Print" contains Japanese books currently available from commercial publishers and is maintained by the Japan Book Publishers Association

Institutional Repositories

  • JAIRO (Japanese Institutional Repositories Online)
    JAIRO is the cross-sectionally search service for academic information (journal articles, theses or dissertations, departmental bulletin papers, research papers, etc.) which has been accumulated in Japanese institutional repositories.

Indexes to Works in Collections and Series:


Getting Japanese Books






To obtain a copy of a book you have located on the above catalogs/databases, try the following steps:

  1. Go to CLIO (Columbia Library Information Online) to see if it is available in one of the Columbia libraries. 
  2. If a book is not at Columbia or the Columbia copy is checked out,  try Borrow Direct
  3. If the Borrow Direct libraries do not have an available copy, try ILL to request a copy. 

Note: Columbia is a member of GIF (Global ILL Framework), which allows us to borrow books and get copies of articles from GIF member libraries in Japan.






Early Japanese Books (古典籍)






  • Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books = Nihon Kotenseki Sōgō Mokuroku Dētabēsu (日本古典籍籍総合目録データベース)
    A database of pre-Meiji materials maintained by the National Institute of Japanese Literature (Kokubungaku Kenkyu Shiryōkan). This database, “New KOKUSHO SO MOKUROKU” is a union catalogue of early Japanese books. (It also includes Chinese classics and some Meiji inprints). It provides authoritative information about Japanese classical literary works and their authors. It also provide bibliographic information on early Japanese books, and their holding libraries.







Kotenseki Databases

















  • Premodern Japanese Texts and Translations
    Edited and individually maintained by Michael Watson, Faculty of International Studies, Meiji Gakuin University, this website contains an exhaustive list of classical Japanese texts, along with related translations (mostly English, some French and German) and studies on the texts.
  • Japanese Literature in Translation Search (日本文学翻訳書誌検 索)                                                                         The database is compiled by the Japan Foundation in collaboration with the Japan P.E.N. Club for Japanese literature, mainly works after the World War II, which are translated into other languages.  Search can be made in Japanese or its Romanization.
  • Reading Japanese Literature in English (英語で読む日本文学)










Contents list of monographic titles   
    Ronbunshū naiyō saimoku sōran (論文集内容細目総覧)

List/Catalog of Journals



Indexes for Journal Articles

  • Zasshi kiji sakuin shūsei dētabēsu : Meiji kara genzai made sōgō zasshi kara chishi made (雑誌記事索引集成データベース:明治から現在まで、総合雑誌から地誌まで)= The complete database for Japanese magazines and periodicals from the Meiji era to the present.
    Index to periodical articles published in Japanese, including those in former Japanese colonies, and including local periodicals not present in many other indexes. Coverage is from 1868 onwards. Merges data from various composite periodical indexes by Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan.
  • CiNii Articles
    Is a database service which can search of information on academic articles published in academic society journals, university research bulletins or articles included in the National Diet Library's Japanese Periodicals Index Database and databases. It also contains a large number of articles that are available free of charge, and the search function can be used without registering. 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).
  • Web OYA-bunko (Web大宅文庫)
    WebOya indexes periodicals held by the Ōya Sōichi bunko, a private library in Tokyo with a comprehensive collection of popular journals reflecting popular culture in Japan. Provides basic and advanced Boolean searching, as well as classified searches by personal names, occupation, subject, and keyword. Indexes 400 titles including 110,000 personal name and 7,000 subject headings. Coverage: 1988- present.
  • Kokubungaku Ronbun Mokuroku Database (国文学論文目録データベース)
    Periodical article index to Kokubungaku Nenkan. Provides citations to journal articles and books with subjects related to Japanese literature.

Institutional Repositories

  • JAIRO (Japanese Institutional Repositories Online)
    JAIRO is the cross-sectionally search service for academic information (journal articles, theses or dissertations, departmental bulletin papers, research papers, etc.) which has been accumulated in Japanese institutional repositories.

CDs/DVDs : Available on Japanese CD/DVD-ROM workstation in the Reading Room.

  • Seisen Kindai Bungei Zasssishū Sōmokuji (精選近代文芸雑誌集総目次)
  • "Jinmin Bungaku" Zengō hyōshi gazō, sōmokuji, sakuin (「人民文学」全号表紙画像、宗目次・索引)
  • "Shinbun to Shaki" kanbetsu kiji (「新聞と社会」 巻別記事)

Online Web journal:

CD/DVD format reprint journal: Available on Japanese CD/DVD-ROM workstation in the Reading Room.

  • Bungei Kurabu (文藝倶楽部)
  • Fujin Gaho (婦人画報)
  • Gunzō (群像)
  • Kokka (国華)
  • Taiyō [Hakubunkan] (太陽 [博文館])

Journal articles in Web-based databases:








Newspapers :

Online databases

  • Asahi shinbun onrain kiji dētabēsu (朝日新聞オンライン記事データベース:聞蔵II)
    (also known as: Kikuzo II Visual, Asahi shinbun articles online database)
    Asahi shinbun newspaper articles from 1879 to the present.
  • Mainichi Shinbunsha no dētabēsu, Maisaku (毎日新聞データベース、毎索)
    (also known as Maisaku)
    Includes Mainichi Shinbun and its predecessor, Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun from 1872 to the present.
  • Nikkei Telecom 21 (日経テレコン21)
    All major Japanese newspapers (central, local, and English newspapers) from the mid 1980s. 
  • Yomiuri shinbun online (読売新聞オンライン: ヨミダス歴史館)
    (Also known as Yomidasu Rekishikan)
    Includes Yomiuri shinbun 1874 to the present , along with the English edition: the Daily Yomiuri (Sept. 1989- to the present).
  • Taiwan nichinichi shinpō (台湾日日新報)
    An official newspaper published by the Government-General of Taiwan from 1898 to 1944.
  • Kobe University Library Newspaper Clippings Collection (神戸大学附属図書館新聞記事文庫)
    The "Newspaper Article Collection", also known as the "newspaper clippings collection," is a collection of newspaper clippings from the end of the Meiji era to Showa 45 (i.e. 1970).  It was created by the Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe, Japan.  There are approximately 3200 clippings, collected continuously for over 60 years.  If you count articles, the number of items increases to approximately 500,000 articles.

List, Library Holdings:

    Zasshi shinbun sōkatarogu (雑誌新聞総カタログ) = Japan's periodicals in     print

    Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko shozō zasshi mokuroku : Shōwa 54-nen         3-gatsu genzai /明治新聞雑誌文庫所蔵雑誌目錄 : 昭和54年3月現在

    Zenkoku fukusei shinbun shoz¯o ichiran : Heisei 5-nen 7-gatsu 1-nichi         genzai = National union list of reduced, microformed, and reprinted         newspapers in Japan /全国複製新聞所蔵一覧 平成5年7月1日現在


Encyclopedias & Dictionaries



  • Japan Knowledge Plus (June 24, 2009)
    Enables the simultaneous search of multiple searchable resources such as encycloppedias, various dictionaries, other knowledge contens by a single query.
    Included Dictionaries (selected):
    * Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (日本国語大辞典)、
    * Kokushi Daijiten (国史大辞典)
    * Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (日本歴史地名大系)
    * Dejitaru Daijisen (デジタル大辞泉)
    * Jitsū (字通)
    * Randam House English-Japanese Dictionary
    * Progressive Japanese-English dictionary
    * Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (CAMBRIDGE英英辞典)
    * Igaku Ei-Wa jiten (医学英和辞典)
    * Jōhō chishiki imidas (情報・知識イミダス)
    * Gendai yōgo no kiso chishiki (現代用語に基礎知識)
    and many more.






Government Documents & Statistics









Library Services

The Columbia University Libraries offer a wide range of research, instruction, and borrowing services to support all levels of academic research.

Hours & Study Spaces

Check the hours of our libraries, departments and services. We offer a variety of study spaces and venues. See which Study Spaces are Open Now!  

Reference & Research Help

Librarians are available to assist you with research support in person, via e-mail, phone, IM, or by appointment. If you need help, Ask a Librarian.

Finding Library Materials

The Libraries' website is a gateway to collections and services.

CLIO is the libraries' unified discovery system. It provides a search interface to many kinds of resources, both local (e.g., our catalog and website) and non-local (e.g., articles and e-journals).

Borrow Direct enables you to borrow books directly from other university libraries if the book you need is unavailable or is not owned by Columbia University.

Interlibrary Loan is the service to use for items that are not available through Borrow Direct, such as journal articles.

Library Tutorials and Workshops

Our Library Tutorials video available are short video tutorials to help you with your research. Many of the Columbia Libraries offer hands-on research skills workshops to help you make better use of the libraries.