I. Premodern Books
II. Meiji Books
II. Twentieth-century Books


*** Kokusho sômokuroku, expanded edition. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1989 (1963). 8 volumes + author index and appendix.
Call no.: REF Z3301 .K642 1989

Kotenseki sôgô mokuroku. Kokubungaku Kenkyû shiryôkan. Iwanami shoten, 1990. 2 volumes + author and title indexes.
Call no.: REF Z3301 .K643 1990
M/S: I-16/17. IHJ: 1016.

These two works should be used together to find the publishing data and locations of extant, catalogued books written by Japanese (including translations) or published in Japan before 1867. Other items such as emakimono, edited volumes, jôruri, and maps are included only sporadically. The Kokusho sômokuroku was compiled after the war by collecting one million cards and indexing the 229 available catalog listings of more than 600 public, private, and university libraries and local collections. Many of the private collections were destroyed during the war; books are still listed for those collections, but a chart at the beginning tells which libraries still exist.

The Kotenseki sôgô mokuroku is a hard copy made in 1988 of the Kokubungaku kenkyû shiryôkan's database, compiled since 1980. The database includes the contents of 83 library and collection catalogs published since the compilation of the Kokusho sômokuroku. Of the 91,000 included titles, about 43,000 did not appear in the Kokusho sômokuroku. Entries are given in the same format as the Sômokuroku, but instead of providing cross-references in the body of the work, alternate readings are given in separate title and author indexes. In both works, titles are listed in gojûon order. Entries provide the title (with kana reading), number of volumes, genre, author or editor, date of publication (including whether it is only an estimate based on the date of the preface), and locations of originals, facsimiles, mimeographs, reprints, print-blocks, and printings. For authors with multiple names, only those names under which a catalogued book was written will appear either in the entry or in the author index.

A series of circles and dots provides cross-indexing between the main body of the Kokusho sômokuroku, its appendix in volume 8, and the Kotenseki sôgô mokuroku. See the opening explanation of the revised edition of the Kokusho sômokuroku for a summary of these. These markings are in fact the *only* thing that has been revised in the "new, revised" Kokusho sômokuroku.

OVERALL EVALUATION: These two works are invaluable for finding premodern books. They are also helpful for an understanding of the entire field of premodern publishing, although it should be kept in mind that the nature of the work (extant books in collections with public catalogs) means that the view given of early publishing is by no means complete. [ST]


The state of Meiji-period bibliography has been revolutionized with the creation of the microfilm reproduction of all the Meiji-period books in the National Diet Library, together with a CD-ROM index of the contents. As of summer 1995, the Starr Library has both the CD-ROM index and roughly half of the actual microfilm collection, which is housed on the lowest level together with a reader-printer. Anyone wishing to use the reader-printer must have an orientation session that the library is happy to provide.

One basic preliminary point must be made about the Meiji Microfilm collection: it is NOT, as Maruzen propaganda sometimes implies, a complete collection of everything published in the Meiji period. To begin with, it does not include ANY periodicals, one of the richest sources for the study of Meiji Japan. Nor is the coverage of books anywhere near complete, particularly for works published outside of Tokyo, and for small and informal publications. Having said this, the collection remains a vast and astonishing resource that sits waiting in the bottom of Starr Library for anyone wishing to tap into its riches.

The CD-ROM index takes a bit of practice to get used to; an essential starting point for those new to the machine is Emanuel Pastreich's "English Guide" that is left beside the reader. Here are a few further specific points to be noted:

1) Note, as Pastreich's guide describes on p. 13, that you can search for words anywhere in the title *only* by entering the words in katakana. (He explains how to do this, going to the bottom of the screen to the kanji line and then converting from hiragana with F2.) If you enter kanji on the title line, your search will be only of first words. (Don't ask why.) Remember also that you can use the separators "*" (for "and") and "+" (for "or") between words in a katakana search.

2) When converting hiragana to kanji at the bottom of the screen, the first time you press the "henkan" key, you will get only one combination for the reading; to get more, push the henkan ken again, and you will get a numbered set of choices. You can move down to more sets of choices with the down arrow key, and then select with the appropriate numeral.

3) When you are looking for an author, you can enter just the last name on the author line, and then press F3 to get the "lookup" index, from which you can select the exact name. This will place the selected name at the *end* of the author line, with your original request remaining at the head of the line. In such a case, a search with the F10 key will be for the revised name at the end of the line.

4) Pastreich says that the search field for the NDL call number is "an option for the specialist: so far no one has ever used this function." I think that in fact there may be a use for this key, since presumably these call numbers predate the 1971 cataloging, and hence may preserve the distinction between "ko" and "otsu" books--the latter being pamphlet type emphemera that were previously uncatalogued (see my handout). Note that the character "toku" (special) in the old printed catalog translates into "T" in the call number. This means that if you find a particularly interesting item, you might try searching for adjacent call numbers and find things that are related in ways not reflected in the catalog itself.

5) When your search yields a large number of items, it will only load 340 items at a time, and then ask you if you want to continue. You can then use the return key to load the entire search result, but you must do it 340 items at a time. You can stop at any point and look at what has been loaded so far by pressing the space key. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to tell how large the actual search result was without going through the whole thing in groups of 340.

6) Note that the number of items in a search may be rather inflated by multi-volume sets, for which every single volume appears as a separate entry.

7) If you try to print out the initial search result on the "Ichiran hyôji" screen, beware that it will print out the *entire* list, not just the screen in front of you. You can tell how long the whole list is from the "gaitoo kensuu" indication to the upper left. The printer gets only about 30 items per page, so try not to waste paper.

8) A further printer-related problem is for items on the "Ichiran hyôji" list for which you have selected the "Detailed information" (shôsai hyôji) with F8. This unfortunately shows only one item at a time (although you can move up or down the list with the F4/F5 keys), and hence you can print only one item at a time--which means an entire sheet of paper for a single item. We are still looking for a more economical way, such as downloading to a disk and then printing later. [HS]

*** Kokuritsu kokkai toshokan Meiji-ki kankô tosho mokuroku. 6 vols. NDL, 1971-76.
Call no: REF Z955 .T585 K58 1971 (kept at Ken Harlin's desk) M/S: I-18. IHJ: 1018

This is the printed catalog on which the Meiji microfilm project described above was based, and it has not been completely superceded by the CD-ROM index. The CD-ROM index, for some inexplicable reason, seems to have been prepared without reference to the printed catalog, even though the printed catalog provided the order in which the books were microfilmed. Because of this lack of coordination, the CD-ROM index often excludes crucial information (such as date and place of publication) that will be found in this printed version. The printed catalog is organized by subject, with a title index for the entire collection; the crucial missing component is an author index, for which one must turn to the CD-ROM version. Within each subject heading or sub-heading, the works are arranged by title in gojûon order.


NOTE: See Makino-Saito, pp. 18-20, for a general description of the successive indexes of Japanese published books. It should be noted, however, that the implication on p. 18 that the Publishing Law (Shuppanhô) assures the recording of every book published before the war is far from the case. It is true that the modern system of control set up first under the Shuppan Jôrei (1869, rev. 1875, 1887) and Shuppanhô (1893), requirements were made for the approval and eventually the full censorship of all legally published books, but the system never worked very efficiently. More importantly for bibliographers, no master list of books was ever compiled, so there exists no single index of modern Japanese books. The closest thing we have are the holdings of the Imperial Library in Ueno, which was merged into the National Diet Library after the war, and recorded in its catalogs. There was no system before the war, however, of requiring published to submit copies of books to a national library, since no such library existed. The NDL collection is the closely thing we have, but it is only a fragment of all that was published before the war.

With the establishment of the National Diet Library (NDL) in 1948, however, on the model of the U.S. Library of Congress, systematic efforts have been made to collect and index all published books, in the publication described below. This is now all available in digital form, as Japan-MARC [Japan MAchine-Readable Catalog]: the Japanese National Bibliography, essentially the National Diet Library holdings. Its is available online through the NACSIS "B" level databases, which now appear to be available to institutions outside of Japan; also available in cumulative (since 1949) form on CD-ROM known as "J-BISC" [Japan Biblio-Disc]. These now appear to work on ordinary CD-ROM readers, and may be the answer to continuing difficulties of access in the States. [HS]

Zen Nihon shuppanbutsu sômokuroku ("Japanese National Bibliography")
Call no.: 029.21 J27 [1948-67]; Z3301 .Z4 [1968-76]
M/S: I-22. IHJ: 1013. Fukuda: A-35.

This annual bibliographic record for National Diet Library acquisitions begins in 1948 and continues through 1976. The 1948-67 volumes are located in Lehman Library under the old Nippon Decimal number, while the years 1968-76 are in Starr. Each volume is divided into books and periodicals, and both categories are broadly divided between government and general (ie, non-government) publications. Government publications are listed under the originating institution (ministry, agency, prefecture, etc), while the general publications are listed according to subject heading. There is a special subject heading for children's literature, which includes manga. Both books and periodicals are listed (somewhat awkwardly) in alphabetical order by author, rather than in gojûon order. This series is succeeded by the Nihon zenkoku shoshi (Z3301 .N2, but only for part of 1977) in a similar format; Starr library has not, however, continued this title. [HB, rev. SL]

Nihon zenkoku shoshi--Shûkanban ("Japanese National Bibliography Weekly List") Call no: Z3301 .N15 (1990 ff, with some numbers missing: see CLIO)
Nihon zenkoku shoshi--Shûkanban sakuin ("Japanese Nat'l Bibliography Quarterly Index")
Call no: Z3301 .N151 (1981 ff, with some numbers missing: see CLIO)
M/S: I-24. IHJ: 1007.

The first title above is a weekly listing of books acquired by the National Diet Library, and includes a monthly listing of newly received periodicals, as well as a quarterly index. The pubolication began in 1955, but the Starr library holdings begin with 1990, and the most recent issues are placed in the new periodical section. The entries are broadly divided according to government and general (non-government) publications, the latter being divided by subject. The works are listed by title in gojûon order, with a full bibliographic entry including NDL call number and readings in katakana for both title and author. The weekly listings are difficult to use because there is no table of contents of the subject headings, nor are the headings provided at the head of each page.

The second title is a quarterly index of the weekly edition, begun in 1981, which consists of listings by both author and title, in gojûon order, except for romanized names and titles, which are entered in a separate alphabetic list. The indexes are divided into general books and childrens books.

OVERALL EVALUATION: This high-frequency listing of the latest NDL acquisitons is useful mostly to librarians wishing to keep up with the very latest books. If you are looking for data on a new title, however, it is likely to appear here before it is listed in the annual Nihon shoseki sômokuroku ( "books in print"). The quarterly index would be the first place to turn, then look at the weekly listing for fuller data. Only if your title is not in the index would you want to look at the latest weekly listing on the Reference room shelf.

Nihon kenmei tosho mokuroku 77/84
Call no.: Z3301.N525 1984
Nihon kenmei tosho mokuroku. Annual since 1986. Call no.: Z3301.N52281
[Not listed in M/S] IHJ: 1014/1015

A subject guide to Japanese books published since 1977. The years 1977-84 are cumulated in the first item, a set of 30 volumes organized under 20 general subject areas. The binding of each volume clear indicates the subjects it includes. Within each volume, the table of contents then breaks the larger heading into very detailed subheadings. Each entry provides full bibliographical information for the book, including publisher, date of publication, and number of pages. The annual updates since 1986 are also multi-volume and similarly organized.

This is a straightforward guide, and a useful way to canvas recent books on a particular topic since 1977. One only needs to become accustomed to the subject headings. It is not only useful to prepare a bibliography on a specific topic, but to verify bibliographical information. [HB]

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