I. General
    II. Bibliographies
    III. Reference Works
    IV. Nikkei Telecomm


International House of Japan Library, comp., A Guide to Reference Books for Japanese Studies. Compiler, 1989.
Call no.: REF Z3306 .G84 1989g

The first section of this deals with English-language bibliography and reference works; it is the most up-to-date such guide, and is far more comprehensive than this list. It should always be consulted for more specialized bibliographies.

The Japan Foundation, Japanese Studies in the United States. 1989. 3 vols.
Call no.: REF DS834.8 .J37 1995 v. 1-3

Useful for biographies, with lists of writings, of North American scholars of Japan. Also includes current PhD topics.


The following series constitutes a virtually exhaustive bibliography of Western-language material on Japan until 1937, including books, articles, pamphlets: everything. Its sheer bulk makes it clumsy to use, and many of the items are useless and/or unlocatable. You will also have to know some German to use the last in the series with any efficiency.

a. Friedrich von Wenckstern, Bibliography of Japan. 2 vols.
Call no.: REF Z3301 .W47

b. Oskar Nachod, Bibliography of Japan, 1906-1926. 2 vols.
Call no.: REF Z3301 .W471

c. Oskar Nachod, Bibliographie von Japan, 1906-1935. 5 vols.
Call no.: REF Z3301 .W472

d. Wolf Haenisch & Hans Praesent, Bibliographie von Japan, 1936-37.
Call no.: REF Z3301 .W472 v.6

Frank Shulman, Japan. Oxford: Clio Press, 1990. Call no.: Ref. Z3301 .S475 1990

This is now the major bibliography of recent English-language books on Japan, distinguished by its very detailed descriptive annotations of each work. It is selective, emphasizing recent American publications.

John Dower, ed., Japanese History and Culture from Ancient to Modern Times: Seven Basic Bibliographies. New York: Markus Wiener Publishing, 1986.
Call no.: REF Z3306 .D69 1986

One scholar's personal selection, but fairly recent and extensive, including articles and arranged by historical period and theme.

Peter Kornicki, Bibliography of Japanese History to 1912 (University of Cambridge, 1996), REF Z3306 .K89 1996g.

Another personal bibliography that is worth knowing about, especially for historians, and recent.

Bibliography of Asian Studies  (BAS)

Available online at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/indexes/bibl-asian-st.html

For many years, this crucial bibliography was published in annual print editions, but it was always about 4-5 years late, so not of much use for recent bibliography.  Meanwhile, electronic catalogs like RLIN (Eureka) and OCLC (WorldCat), complete with subject categories, made it redundant to catalog monograph titles, and from 1992, the BAS dropped its coverage of single-authored books. It finally produced an electronic version in 1997.

One key use of the BAS now is for articles, which are covered since 1971 in the online version.  It had proved fairly good in keeping up-to-date in its coverage of at least the most important journals in the field, since it has as Ahot list@ of the 100 most important journals in Asian Studies, which are given priority in indexing, and appear in the BAS within a few months of publication.

Perhaps the greatest use of the BAS, however, is for articles in edited volumes, which are not included in many other bibliographies (although these increasingly tend to be included as the contents in CLIO listings, for example.)

The greatest limitation of the BAS is its subject categories, which are quite general and not nearly as focused as LC subject listings.  But since you can limit the search area to "Japan" by checking that box, you will not be overwhelmed by too many items in any given subject category.

Frank Shulman, ed., Japan and Korea: An Annotated Bibliography of Doctoral Dissertations in Western Languages, 1877-1969. American Library Association, 1970.  Call no.: REF Z3306 .S54

Frank Shulman, ed., Doctoral Dissertations on Japan and Korea, 1969-1979. University of Washington Press, 1982.  Call no.: REF Z3306 .S54 Suppl. 2

Essential for access to unpublished dissertations, also includes references to later publications based on the dissertations. For works since the sequel, see the annual issues of Frank Shulman, ed., Doctoral Dissertations on Asia (REF Z3301 .D6).

NOTE:  This work has essentially been superceded by the online Dissertation Abstracts (at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/indexes/diss-abs.html ).  It remains useful, however, particularly the initial 1970 volume, for the cross-references to publications (including articles) that resulted from the dissertations, something not available elsewhere.

Shigeo Fujitsu, Ôbun Nihon jinbutsu bunken mokuroku [A Bibliography of Japanese Biography in Western Languages]. Author, 1981. Call no.: REF Z5305.J3 F84 1981

A very useful listing of biographical sources for a large number of Japanese historical figures, mostly in English.

Yasuhiro Yoshizaki, comp., Studies in Japanese Literature and Language: A Bibliography of English Materials. Nichigai Associates, 1979.  Call no.: REF Z7072 .Y67

Most useful for secondary studies of Japanese literature; it does include translations into English, although the following two items are more useful and complete for that purpose (and for Western languages other than English).

Japan PEN Club, Japanese Literature in European Languages, A Bibliography. The Club, 1961. Supplement to same, 1964.  Call no.: D895.61 P371 + Suppl.

This has been replaced by the following item for modern literature, but not for premodern. It should be supplemented for more recent translations by item no. 6 above, and by items II.7 below.

International House of Japan Library, ed., Modern Japanese Literature in Western Translations: A Bibliography. Kodansha Intl., 1979.  Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 K66 1979

Claire Zebroski Mamola, Japanese Women Writers in English Translation: An Annotated Bibliography. Garland Publishing, 1989. Call no.: Z3308 .L5 M34 1989

Primarily a guide to translations of works written by women, but for some reason it excludes poetry. Also includes a limited listing of "specialized works" and dissertations written by women (but not necessarily about women), while excluding works about women written by men.

James Morley, ed., Japan's Foreign Policy, 1868-1941: A Research Guide. Columbia University Press, 1974.  Call no.: DS881.9 .M63

The bibliography of this work includes both English and Japanese language sources up to 1970.

Robert Ward and Frank Shulman, The Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-53: An Annotated Bibliography of Western-Language Materials. American Library Association, 1974.  Call no.: REF Z3308 .A5 W35

A massive and thorough work of bibliography, including articles and all extensively annotated.

William Wray, Japan's Economy: A Bibliography of Its Past and Present. Markus Wiener, 1989.  Call no.: Business REF and Barnard REF Z7165 .J3 W7 1989

A fairly recent and very useful bibliography of English-language works on the Japanese economy, both historical and contemporary. It is arranged topically and lacks an author or title index.

Herbert Passin, Japanese Education: A Bibliography of Materials in the English Language. Teachers College Press, 1970.  Call no.: REF Z5815 .J3 P37

Edward Beauchamp and Richard Rubinger, Education in Japan: A Source Book. Garland, 1989. Call no.: REF Z5815 .J3 B43 1989

This work updates the previous one, and adds much more explanatory material. It remains limited to English-language works.

Hesung Chun Koh, ed., Korean and Japanese Women--An Analytic Bibliographical Guide. Greenwood Press, 1982.  Call no.: REF Z7964 .K6 K63

Byron Earhart, The New Religions of Japan: A Bibliography of Western-Language Materials. 2nd ed. U. of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 1983.  Call no.: Z7834 .J3 E2

Richard Gid Powers and Hidetoshi Kato, eds., Handbook of Japanese Popular Culture. Greenwood Press, 1989.  Call no.: DS822.5 .H347 1989

Primarily useful for its bibliographies, on a wide variety of topics in modern Japanese popular culture: cities, film, TV, sports, music, comics, science fiction, mysteries, etc.


Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. Kodansha Intl., 1983. Call no.: REF DS805 .K633 1983

Still the single most important and useful reference work on Japan in the English language. All articles of substance are signed and offer bibliographical references, although these are now increasingly out of date.

Janet Hunter, comp., Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History. Univ. of California Press, 1984. Call no.: REF DS881.9 .H86 1984

Useful particularly for English-language bibliographical references and as basis for English translations of terms.

Seiichi Iwao, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Japanese History. International Society for Educational Information, 1978.  Call no.: REF DS834 .B56

A standard biographical dictionary, with 521 names.

Earl Miner, et al., The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature. Princeton University Press, 1985.  Call no.: PL726.1 .M495 1985

An essential reference book for premodern literature and culture. [But see more critical comments below, ch. 16, pt. II.]

Sen'ichi Hisamatsu, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Literature. Kodansha Intl., 1976.
Call no.: REF PL723 .N667

Includes fairly detailed articles on about 300 literary figures.

Alfred Marks and Barry Bort, Guide to Japanese Prose. Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 M37 1984

J. Thomas Rimer & Robert Morrell, Guide to Japanese Poetry. Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 R54 1984

Leonard Pronko, Guide to Japanese Drama. Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 P76 1984

The three volumes in the above series are intended largely for the general reader, but are useful for basic reference and bibliography. Second editions of all were published by G. K. Hall in 1984. [See p. 176 below for more on this series.]

Laurance P. Roberts, A Dictionary of Japanese Artists. Weatherhill, 1976.  Call no.: REF N7358 .R54

An essential reference work, with basic information on some 3000 artists, both premodern and modern, with kanji for names, and bibliographical references.

The Japan Biographical Encyclopedia and Who's Who. Tokyo: The Rengô Press, 1958. 1st ed., 1958; 2nd ed., 1960; 3rd ed., 1964.  Call no.: Butler Ref. RO49.9 J27

A useful biographical reference work in English for Japanese who were alive at the time of the various editions. All three editions, despite their age, are of real use to those who study modern Japan.


This is a electronic English-language service, with two terminals at Columbia, one in the Business School library, and the other in the East Asian Institute. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. ("Nikkei") began its computer-based information service in 1975 primarily to provide information on the Japanese economy. Currently, the service has expanded to include a combination of current news and economic data resources both in an English-language-based system and a Japanese-language-based system. Columbia University through the business school library provides free and easy access to the English language based service.

The Nikkei Telecom English-language system, Japan News and Retrieval, offers two basic services: 1) economic numerical data from NEEDS, the largest and most comprehensive economic data base in Japan, and 2) "up to the minute" news printed in Japanese newspapers, including text search capability and full-text articles. The numerical data covers a wide range of topics and seems a valuable resource for economists. The economic database gives daily updates on the stock market, bond market indices, currency exchange rates (including interest rates, Tokyo money market rates and currency quotes), commodity information, and corporate information (financial statements and corporate profiles of major companies).

The news retrieval service is the fastest way to remain updated on news in Japan and is generally useful for those not directly interested in the economic information. Nikkei Telecom continually updates its news articles, since reports are displayed automatically as they are filed by reporters in the field. Also, articles from The Japan Times can be read the evening before (Japan time) they reach the public. For research, Nikkei Telecom offers full text, free term search of the following newspapers and periodicals: The Japan Economic Journal (entries from 1983--), Mainichi Evening News (entries from 1987--), The Japan Times (from 1986) and translations from Nihon Keizai Shimbun, as well as a broad range of economic and business newsletters.

OVERALL EVALUATION: The Nikkei Telecom system is user-friendly and contains a wealth of news and economic information. As the service continues to expand (and if Columbia subscribes to the Japanese Language service), this system provides exciting access to data and information. Compared to LEXUS, the primary U.S. news retrieval system, this service is rather limited in scope, reflecting the diversified news market in Japan which promotes more narrowly focused databases, as opposed to wide-ranging news retrieval. Still, for the economist, this service is extremely useful. [JR]

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