By David Bialock and John Carpenter,
with additions by Keith Vincent, Virginia Ravenscroft, and David Lurie
I. General Remarks:
A) Classical and Modern
B) Pre-Modern Literature
C) Modern Literature
II. Reference works in English
III. Multi-volume conpendia of primary texts
VI. General Reference Works
VII. Specialized Dictionaries and Handbooks
VIII. Literary Histories
A) CLASSICAL AND MODERN
The vast amount of scholarly research published each year on all periods of Japanese literature makes "keeping up" a daunting task, even for the most assiduous of bibliographers. For a start, however, the following hints should be useful.
For the classical through early modern periods, scan the pages of the Kokubungaku nenkan (M/S X-31), issued annually, being sure to glance at the first section which provides useful summaries of developments by period. For developments in contemporary literature, the Bungei nenkan (M/S X-11), also issued annually, is very useful.
Another approach is to go directly to the journals and look for the latest special issue (tokushû) devoted to your particular field of interest. Here you will find much of the latest scholarship conveniently gathered within the covers of a single volume as well as bibliographies of related work by other scholars. The journals Kokubungaku: kaishaku to kanshô and Kokubungaku: kaishaku to kyôzai no kenkyû (see section V below) are especially useful in this regard. Lists of special issues can be found under the heading "tokushû" in the Kokubungaku nenkan mentioned above.
One of the major ills that plagues the academic world in Japan is the
fact that much of the latest scholarship, often of the highest quality,
lies buried and inaccessible in the pages of the myriad kiyô
and journals published by various universities and institutions. The editors
of the series titled Nihon bungaku kenkyû shiryô sôsho
(M/S X-35, published by Yûseidô, 1969--), have wisely undertaken
to remedy this situation in part by providing in a compendious format a
selection of what they deem to by the most important and ground-breaking
of the latest scholarship in the field of Japanese literature. Each volume
in the series (which is still coming out) deals with a particular period,
genre, author or work. The essays are wide-ranging, most have footnotes,
and each volume contains useful bibliographies in the back. The volumes
acquired after 1982 are not shelved together and can be located by consulting
CLIO--at last check, over 60 volumes could be found there; pre-1982 volumes
are shelved together in the Annex (910.8 N5731).
1. Find the original text in the appropriate volume. Major canonical works can be found in the Shin koten bungaku taikei, the Nihon koten bungaku taikei and/or the Nihon koten bungaku zenshû (look in their respective indexes to find a text); the Shinpen kokka taikan contains every surviving poetry collection through the end of the medieval period.
2. Look up the work and author in the Iwanami Nihon koten bungaku daijiten, for a quick overview; for a more extensive overview, turn to Kenkyû shiryô Nihon koten bungaku.
3. To find recent scholarship on the text in question, go first to the bibliography in the back of the most recent tokushû edition on the text in question in both Kokubungaku: kaishaku to kanshô and Kokubungaku: Kaishaku to kyôzai no kenkyû journals. If a Shin Nihon koten bungaku taikei or Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku zenshû volume has been published for the text in question, the back of that volume will have a useful bibliography as well.
4. If you are short on time or interest, try the appropriate hikkei for a quick and convenient overview of recent criticism (or look in the Shin koten bungaku kenkyû hikkei if it doesn't have a seprate volume), but remember to avoid citing these.
5. You may also want to look at the appropriate volume, if available, of the Nihon bungaku kenkyû shiryô sôsho, as well as the Issatsu no kôza, both of which will give you a useful perspective on the history of scholarship related to your topic.
6. A glance at some of the literary histories should help to establish the work in its context; try to look at more than one, so that you get a variety of viewpoints.
When your project is of still larger proportions, you will want to explore more specialized resources, but the six step plan described above will be a good start.
If, on the other hand, you are teaching a class, or have little time,
and wish to encounter a particular work in brief, you may want to bypass
most of the above and rely instead on the
Kanshô Nihon koten bungaku
and/or the Kenkyû shiryô Nihon koten bungaku, both of
which contain extensive excerpts from the text, connected by summaries
of excised portions, and accompanied by modern translation, glossary, and
commentary. Japanese Literature in Foreign Languages: 1945-1990
(M/S X-19) can help you find translations into Western languages; for historical
overviews and English-language bibliography, the relevant volume of the
Asian Literature Bibliography series may be useful. More detailed English-language
literary history can be found in the first two volumes of Professor Keene's
series: Seeds in the Heart and World Within Walls..
Scholars of contemporary literature should be aware of several important journals: much recent critical debate has gone on in the pages of Gendai shisô (B804 .G451) and Hihyô kûkan (PN80 .H54), while Gunzô (AC95 .J3 G8), Bungei (PL700 .B843), Shinchô (PL700 .S4), and Yuriika (PL731 .Y8) all publish important works of literature and criticism.
To locate primary texts in the zenshû of individual writers,
you should turn to the Gendai Nihon bungaku sôran shiriizu
(M/S X-6). For translations into European languages, the most complete
index is the Japan P.E.N. Club's Modern Japanese Literature in Translation,
1945-1990 (M/S X-19). For translations into Japanese of Western works,
use the Meiji Taishô Shôwa hon'yaku bungaku mokuroku
(M/S X-16). For quick reference, the Shinchô Nihon bungaku jiten
is an essential desktop tool. For more detailed information on individual
authors, however, the single-volume edition of Kôdansha's Kindai
Nihon bungaku daijiten is more complete. In English, there is always
Professor Keene's encyclopedic Dawn to the West, which has an excellent
index for quick facts.
Japanese Literature in Foreign Languages: 1945-1990. Japan Book
Publishers Association, 1990.
Call no.: PL 726.55.J37 1990g
Probably the most complete listing of literary translations of Japanese works into European languages. It includes less well-known short stories and essays, and translations published in more out-of-the-way journals. They are listed by original author.
This volume only includes works translated before 1956, but it is fun to peruse, as it goes back much farther in time, to works more useful for the perspective they provide on historical perceptions of Japan than for their literary accuracy. The introduction is by Kawabata Yasunari, the president of the P.E.N. Club at the time. Works are listed by Japanese author if known, or by text name, and are classified according to time period.
Hisamatsu, who also edited the Nihon bungaku shi, provides the traditional Japanese viewpoint on a fairly extensive list of major canonical authors; this dictionary is a useful quick reference for students of any level. The book is organized by time period and alphabetized, with an outdated but lengthy bibliography at the back, arranged by author. Entries are somewhat cursory; they include legends, sometimes presented as fact, along with traditional speculation on such subjects as the effect that authors' biographical details had on their writing, etc. Many entries close with unoriginal evaluative comments on the "importance" and "quality" of the author's work. An entry describing the "femininity" of Empress Jitô"s poetry was particularly amusing.
Guide to Japanese Drama. Pronko, Leonard C. Boston: G.K. Hall,
Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 P76 1984
Guide to Japanese Poetry. Rimer, J. Thomas. Boston: G.K. Hall,
Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 R54 1984
These guides are part of the Asian Literature Bibliography series (which also includes Guide to Chinese Poetry and Drama and Guide to Chinese Prose); they are geared toward the non-specialist, and provide information on available critical works and translations in English.
The Guide to Japanese Prose is probably the most convenient to use of the series. An introduction provides the history of Japanese prose from the Kojiki to Ôe in 17 pages; the bulk of the work is an annotated bibliography of 174 translations of primary works. Each entry (several paragraphs long) gives a brief introduction to the work, as well as an evaluation of both the work itself and the English translation. In effect, the guide makes decisions as to preferable translations (either by direct comparison or by omission). At the end of the work is a much shorter listing of critical works in English, with summary comments.
The Guide to Japanese Drama also has an easy to use organization. It begins with an introduction covering the major forms. The annotated bibliography is divided according to genre: general works, nô and kyôgen, kabuki and bunraku, other traditional forms (e.g., bugaku, gagaku) and shingeki, or modern theater. A section at the end called "Further Reading" lists chapters from books or journal articles on drama (without annotation), the only such listing in any of the three guides.
The Guide to Japanese Poetry is a bit more confusing to use. It is split into three sections: a "General Introduction," dealing with formal aspects of Japanese poetry, an "Historical Sketch and Bibliographic Outline," and a bibliography of 264 works including historical studies, anthologies, surveys, and bibliographies for English and Japanese materials. This last section is also organized (for the most part) chronologically, and it is unclear why parts two and three could not have been combined. Overall Evaluation: These guides would be extremely useful for such tasks as compiling a reading list for a course; they provide a good picture of what is available in English as well as some basis for making qualitative judgments. As with any annotated bibliography, the evaluations are entirely subjective, and you can trust them only as far as you trust the author; in general, however, these authors make informed and careful judgments. One obvious and serious limitation of these works is the fact that they are somewhat outdated, a problem that will only get worse.
This extensive and well-researched resource is divided into six sections: (1) a bibliography of works on Japanese folklore, extensively annotated with tables of contents for books and comprehensive summaries of articles; (2) a bibliography of Japanese folktale anthologies in English, with extensive summaries of many if not all of the folk tales included in each anthology; (3) a series of short summaries of twenty-six "classic folktales of Japan," which means all the folktales the editor has found that are not included in the anthologies in section two; (4) a very abbreviated bibliography of Japanese sources; (5) glossary; (6) index. Sections two and three provide a quick and thorough introduction to Japanese folklore, and are highly entertaining as well.
This is a massive compendium of information otherwise unavailable in English, but it should be used with extreme caution, as errors and inaccuracies are unfortunately numerous. Because it is so unreliable, it is unsuited to serious research, but it has its uses for quick reference and for students unable to use to Japanese-language works. Many of the problems are discussed in a forty-three-page review of the work by Edwin Cranston (Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 53:1 [June 1993]), which goes through the book page by page, correcting errors and omissions. However, cross-checking information against the review can be time-consuming and cumbersome; in general, those who can will be much better off using Japanese reference materials.
The book contains ten parts: (1) literary- historical essays by Earl Miner discussing the history of Japanese literature through 1868; (2) literary timeline, names of sovereigns & years of their reigns; (3) a dictionary of major works and authors with extensive and detailed entries (though a lack of cross-referencing causes serious problems); (4) a dictionary of literary terms; (5) drama; (6) a miscellany of "Collections, Kinds, Criticism; Buddhism & Confucianism (including descriptions of Buddhist sects and sûtras); Dictionaries"; (7) explanations of calendars and dating; (8) poetic place names and places, with maps; (9) charts and lists of ranks and offices in the imperial government; (10) another miscellany of architecture, clothing, weapons, and armor. There is an index and a list of sources at the end.
McCullough's aim in this book is to examine the Kokinshû in its
historic context; she ends up providing a detailed discussion of Japanese
poetic history from its oral roots through the ninth century (including
which are so often ignored by non-Asian scholars). Her seventy pages on
"the Chinese Heritage" (the first chapter in the book) provide a useful
introduction to the Chinese poetic tradition and its interaction with Japanese
poetry. The appendixes are a miniature treasure trove of useful information:
(A) Man'yôshû: Facts and Figures; (B) Early Heian Poetry Contests;
and (C) Kokinshû Authors and Their Poems. Also to be found in the
back: a glossary; an unfortunately brief "Works Cited" section, rather
than a full-blown bibliography; an index of first lines of poems, organized
by anthology but not in chronological order, which is somewhat confusing;
and a subject index.
Nihon koten bungaku taikei. Iwanami Shoten. 100 volumes, 2 supplements
(see under section IX for information on the supplements).
Call no: 910.82 N574
The Iwanami NKBT, as it is commonly known, is generally regarded as the standard authority for primary textual material from the pre-modern period. Citations of primary texts are usually made from this source, even if there is a newly published Shin Nihon koten bungaku taikei volume containing the same text. The Iwanami contains detailed headnotes, with further explanation and discussion notes in the back of each volume. The exact format varies, but usually there is a commentary in front of each text (in the first volume of a multi-volume text), and, in the back, an extremely precise, line-by-line exposition of every textual variant (in each volume of a multi-volume text). Often a family and/or political tree of interrelated characters is included as well.
For readability, some prefer the Iwanami because the subject of every verb is written in interlinear notes; particularly difficult sentences may also have phrases (direct objects, for example) interpolated in the interlinear notes. Of course, one may disagree with the putative subject, but when one has no idea who it might be, these notes are very useful. The detailed headnotes often compensate for the lack of a complete translation into modern Japanese, although translation does occupy headnote space that could be devoted to explication. Last but not least, a few of the Iwanami volumes contain pictures: diagrams of clothing and homes, maps of relevant areas, and reproductions of famous depictions of scenes in the text.
The Shôgakkan NKBZ is the newer of the two complete sets. Fine-tuned material like the textual variants is missing, but a number of indexes in the back of each volume make reading and finding passages easy. The demands of each text are different, but one might find an index of first lines of poems (appended to a prose or poetry text), a biographical dictionary of poets (appended to a poetry collection), a list of all the poems in a prose text ordered by author, an index of characters in a narrative text with references to where key information about them can be found, an index of the different titles applied to characters, etc. There are other useful tools like a timeline showing the progress of the narrative, as well as critical essays in some volumes. In terms of readability, the modern translation that occupies the lower quarter of the page throughout every text can be extremely helpful. Furthermore, the punctuation is much less obtrusive in the Shôgakkan than in the Iwanami. And, because translation is taken care of at the bottom of the page, the headnotes are saved for additional information, which is sometimes more extensive than that in the Iwanami, though the Shôgakkan lacks the endnotes that fill out the Iwanami.
If you are doing serious research on a text, it is probably best to consult both the NKBT and the NKBZ, no matter which one you prefer to use for quick reference. Their respective strengths complement one another well and make reading and understanding difficult texts more manageable. Also, in some case the two make use of different base texts, so that comparing them offers valuable insights into variant readings and other textual problems.
When all its volumes have been published, this may eventually replace the NKBT, with relatively up-to-date critical essays and good bibliographies for each text. There is still no modern Japanese translation in the new series, but there are fewer commas, which makes texts easier to read.
Once Iwanami Shoten began revamping its classical compendium, Shogakkan had no choice but to retaliate, giving us this 90's version of the NKBZ. The format is similar, but the volumes now sport up-to-date bibliographies (some cursory, some astonishingly thorough) at the end of their kaisetsu sections.
Less well-known than the two primary sets, this series can be particularly useful for the Edo and Muromachi period commentaries listed in the back of many volumes. The texts are edited by well-known scholars, whose notes and differing choices of variant readings make them useful supplements to the other compendia.
This is the most recent and best annotated collection of modern Japanese literature. It is especially useful for early Meiji texts, such as Tsubouchi Shôyô's novel Tôsei shosei katagi, which are sometimes more difficult to read than even much older classical texts. Each volume includes a kaisetsu treating the authors included.
Although not annotated, this collection encompasses an enormous range of texts, including essays and historical writing from the period. Each volume has a selected bibliography at the back.
This is a very useful source of primary critical texts by classical critics such as Fujiwara Teika. It contains kanbun texts of criticism as well as compilations like the Hyakunin isshû that are important reflections of the judgements of contemporary arbiters of taste.
A compendium of literary essays and literary criticism from the Meiji
period onward which is useful in tracing the history of literary movements
and of the criticism of modern literature. Vols. 1-3, Meiji; vols. 4-5,
Taishô; vol. 6, Taishô/Shôwa; vol. 7, Shôwa; vol.
8, shiron, karon, hairon; vol. 9, Engekiron; vol. 10, nenpyô.
There are literally thousands of journals and kiyô published by literature departments at different universities around Japan; often, the only qualification necessary for having one's work published in these periodicals is to be affiliated with the university in question, so the usefulness of the material varies widely. That's why you need anthologies of respected articles (see below) and the popular journal bibliographies listed in section V.
The following three journals are, however, considered to be reliable in producing good research, and thus an awareness of their contents helps in keeping up with general scholarly trends. Also, in general, when you come across an article from one of them listed in a bibliography, you can be relatively sure that it will be of high quality.
Bungaku is the most prestigious of the prestigious journals; you are likely to find the latest and the best of cutting-edge scholarship in here, mostly on Japanese literature, pre-modern and modern. Every issue is a tokushû, but only about half of each issue is used for a number of shorter essays on the topic of choice. The remainder contains several sometimes much longer articles, and a round table among noted scholars.
Kokugo kokubun. Kyoto University journal, published monthly by Chuô Tosho Shuppan Hakkô. Call no.: PL 501.K66
These two journals are prestigious simply by virtue of their connection to two prestigious universities. Kokugo to kokubungaku has more supplementary information, including tables of contents for the previous and following issues, and an index in back listing recent issues of literature journals and the major articles to be found within them. It also usually contains a larger number of shorter articles, as well as book reviews. There is an cumulative index in volume 60 (1983). Kokugo kokubun is somewhat drier and more philologically oriented. It is a thin pamphlet, only fifty or so pages, usually dominated by three long articles.
This is a sixty-volume series (with new volumes being published periodically) of anthologies of key essays on major texts and authors. It is one way to help sort through the tremendous amount of good and bad scholarship on any subject, and it is particularly useful for finding important articles that have been published in obscure journals unavailable in this country. In the back of each volume there is a historical survey of scholarship. This is one of the first places to look when starting research.
This is a series of reference books on particular literary texts (classical
through modern), each text occupying a volume in the series (e.g. Issatsu
no kôza Kagerô nikki). Each volume contains various critical
essays by different scholars with different approaches, representing key
ideas and developments within the scholarship on the text in question.
These essays are followed by a timeline of events, and three bibliographies:
a listing of publications containing the actual text with criticism; a
list of books and articles containing research on the text (kenkyûsho);
and a list of critical essays (ronbun).
Japanese History: A Guide to Survey Histories--Part II: Literature.
Naomi Fukuda, ed. Ann Arbor: Center For Japanese Studies, University of
Call no.: REF Z3306 .F83 1984 v. 2
Although this volume suffers from the same half-hearted approach of its companion volume A Guide to Survey Histories--Part I: History, still it is useful to the extent that it brings together a vast array of sources in an easy-to-scan format. It is divided by time period with a glossary of relevant Japanese terms at the beginning of each section; each entry gives a title in rômaji and kanji, with a short and useful description in English, including a description of the contents of each volume in a series. Some tokushû (a special issue of a journal on a particular topic) are included, but journal articles other than those in a tokushû are omitted. Overall, this source has its uses, but more complete and up-to-date information is to be found elsewhere.
Kokubungaku: Kaishaku to kyôzai no kenkyû. Published
monthly by Gakutôsha.
Call no.: PL 700. B75
These two journals, Kokubungaku: Kaishaku to kanshô (popularly known as "Kaishaku"), and Kokubungaku: Kaishaku to kyôzai no kenkyû (popularly known as "Kokubungaku"), are published for consumption by Japanese undergraduates, and are not to be cited in any serious research paper. Their up-to-date bibliographic information is more important than the contents of their articles. Look for the most recent tokushû or special issue on the topic in question; most major texts or authors (e.g. Heike monogatari or Saigyô) have a tokushû devoted to them every year, while a tokushû on a less central text or author might appear every three years or so. At the back of the section devoted to the subject of the special issue is a comprehensive bibliography of recent scholarship on the topic. This is one of the first places you should go when beginning research.
Kokubungaku kenkyû shomoku kaidai. Ed. Ichiko Teiji. Tôkyô
Daigaku Shuppankai, 1982. Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 K625
M/S: mentioned p. 130; IHJ: 1498.
These two texts are extremely useful ways of finding some of the most important scholarship on your topic. For most purposes, the more recent volume is all that you need, but the 1955 book contains useful information about criticism and scholarship from Meiji to mid-Showa (some earlier works are listed). Both volumes consist of signed entries on selected works, organized by period, genre, and text. The number of works discussed is small, but their inclusion means they are well-regarded; the short essays about them will tell you why.
The Kokubungaku nenkan contains a comprehensive overview of each year's new scholarship in the field of Japanese literature. There are fifteen sections in each volume: (1) a bibliography of journal articles, arranged by time period, genre, and text (including articles from major English-language publications, e.g. Monumenta Nipponica, and English-language articles published in Japanese journals); (2) a bibliography of newspaper articles, arranged by genre; (3) a bibliography of tokushû (arranged by journal and issue of journal); (4) a directory of gakkai or study associations, within which each entry includes: (a) address, (b) topics of interest, (c) date founded, (d) yearly publications, prices of same, (e) president, (f) membership statistics, (g) date and place of major assembly/ies, (h) journal, frequency of publication, and cost; (5) research materials published by gakkai, (symposia, topics, and editors); (6) Mombushô grants: recipients and their projects; (7) recipients of prizes for books; (8) obituaries of people important in the field; (9) a bibliography of books, by genre of subject, listed with author, publisher, cost, and number of pages; (10) addresses of publishers of periodicals; (11) addresses of publishers of books; (12) an index of all books published this year in gojûon order with the page number of their full entry in section nine; (13) a list of reprints and reissues; (14) an index of all scholars whose work is listed in the volume (in gojûon order); and (15) a supplement to the previous year's volume. The most useful sections are the bibliographies and indexes, but one can imagine a need for the information in any of the sections. The only drawback to the list of books and articles, of course, is that it includes everything, with no prioritizing of more influential scholarship. In order to find the cream of the crop, refer to selective bibliographies, such as those in "Kaishaku" and "Kokubungaku."
This is a classified list of journal articles and books on Japanese literature for the years 1965-1974. Classification is by period, genre, author and works. Vol. 1: Kodai-Kinsei. Vol. 2 & 3: Gendai literature, with volume 2 dealing with authors and works and volume 3 with genres. Each volume is provided with indexes. An important source to refer to when beginning to compile a bibliography on a limited topic.
A very useful reference work for locating earlier scholarship in the field of Japanese language and literature. Most of this volume is taken up by a comprehensive listing of journal articles on literary topics that were published between 1941 and 1962; these are classified by period, genre, author if known, and then the text dealt with (a list of what journals are covered appears in the back). There are also two separate sections listing articles on subjects related to Japanese language education (kokugo kyôiku) and to Japanese linguistics; these sections are classified by subtopic. All entries simply list the author and title of the article along with the title and volume of the journal in which it is to be found. At the end of all this are three indexes: to writers, to texts, and to article authors.
This volume will direct you to katsuji reprints and photo-reproductions of pre-modern works of literature, many of which only exist in manuscript form. Kokusho sômokuroku includes references to early works such as the Gunsho ruijû (M/S X-3), but this is a handy work to consult for more recent reprint information. Title listed in gojûon order; no author index.
Includes translations of Western literature into Japanese, from 1868
until 1955. Includes only books, not translations that appeared in journals.
$*** Nihon koten bungaku daijiten. 6 vols. Ed. Ichiko Teiji et
al. Iwanami Shoten, 1983-1985.
Call no.: REF PL 707 .N542
M/S: X-22; IHJ: 1505
¢** Nihon koten bungaku daijiten, Kan'yakuban. Iwanami Shoten,
Call no.: REF PL 707 .N543 1986
This is the first place to look up anything and everything you need to know about premodern literature. The entries are in gojûon order, and readings are given for each one. More than 13,000 entries on authors, texts, political and social terms, and literary concepts are included. Articles are comprehensive and signed; the boldface subheadings make them very readable. The entries include statistical information about texts and authors, summaries of texts and biographies of authors, commentary and criticism, bibliographic information, etc. Entries on literary terms like mono no aware contain very useful overviews of critical interpretation and literary usage of the term. Three useful indexes are included: a stroke index for finding words written with difficult characters, a section on hentaigana, and a general index without readings.
The one-volume compact edition has 4,000 entries. Those included are not abbreviated, but the type is smaller. Includes fewer bibliographical entries (Some modern scholarship is deleted). Same indexes, same format. Good desk reference.
¢** Single-volume edition: Nihon kindai bungaku daijiten.
Call no: REF PL726.55 .N4854 1984
The 6-volume edition is most complete reference work available on modern Japanese literature. Vols. 1-3 contain author entries; vol. 4 contains subject entires; vol. 5 has entries on newpapers and periodicals; and vol. 6 contains a complete index and lists of literary prize receipients, zenshû contents, and a chronology of publishing history. All articles are signed, and limited references are usually provided.
The one-volume edition contains the contents of the first three (author) volumes, with none deleted or added. Unique to this edition is the addition of about 30 specially commissioned articles on current literary issues, a 60-page chronology of modern Japanese literature, and a multi-page "Bungaku shiryô arubamu" of color photos of important modern literary figures.
This is the best all-round single-volume reference work to have on your desk for both classical and modern literature. Those specializing in particular periods of Japanese literature will have to complement it with more detailed works, but this will help as the kind of general reference to all Japanese literature that you frequently need in teaching. In terms of modern literature, it differs from the one-volume edition of Nihon kindai bungaku daijiten (M/S X-23) in the inclusion of subject entries for genres and movements. It contains information on contemporary literature, with entries dealing with living scholars, writers, and critics, as well as literary prizes and so on. Author entries usually include summaries and evaluations of the most important works. Limited references are given. All articles are signed.
This extremely useful book contains 6,300 entries on Japanese literature in Chinese--people, books, poetry, facts, events, etc. Includes Japanese scholars of (and their important works on) Chinese literature. Gojûon order in kana; characters follow. Written from a scholarly rather than a traditional perspective. Extensive entries (often including complete texts or lengthy excerpts) give references to modern scholarship--with publishers and dates!--and tell where to find texts in modern publications. Indexes: chronological tables of Japanese kangaku, Edo kangakusha, nengo charts for Japanese and Chinese, separate gojûon indexes (no kana) for persons, books, events, poetry, and comparative literature.
This compendious resource is the latest and best method of calculating
equivalent dates in Japanese and European calendars. It correlates Japanese
and European calendar reckonings, the reign periods of emperors and shôguns,
the dates of texts (even obscure texts), and various political and historical
** Waka daijiten. Inukai Kiyoshi and others. Meiji Shoin, 1986.
Call no.: REF PL 728. 81 .W3 1986
The standard and most up-to-date dictionary on classical waka. All entries are arranged in gojûon order and include brief biographies, descriptions of works and terminology. Very useful for providing information on poetic associations of flowers, place-names, and for its discussion of the terminology of waka poetics. Bibliographic references are appended to some entries, and an appendix of historical tables is included.
Though its entries are largely superceded by the above work, this is still a valuable source for research on waka, especially for its appendices, which contain a great deal of useful information not easily available elsewhere, such as an index to kahi (poems inscribed on stones), a list of manyôgana readings, and an comprehensive index for locating poems of individual authors scattered in the various imperial collections. There is also a supplement: a collection of genealogical charts which is in a gray box on the shelf next to the book.
An extremely useful compendium of information on kigo (seasonal words), utamakura (poetic place names), and haimakura. If you are curious about the literary value and history of a location, a plant or an animal, or some other noun, this is the place to go.
The first two volumes are guides to kigo: volume one is devoted to spring and summer, and volume two covers fall, winter, and the new year. Each season is divided into six sub-sections: time, weather, geography, "human affairs" (foods, festivals, and so on), animals, and plants; gojûon indexes at the end of the volumes make it possible to look up any word. Each entry notes the word's precise seasonal position (e.g. "early spring" or "all of fall"), and then lists synonymous and associated words (those in blue are waka engo, while those in green are connected to haikai). A signed (and often quite thorough) descriptive essay follows, and entries are rounded out by illustrative poems ranging from Man'yô to modern times (including waka, kanshi, renga, haikai, haiku, and tanka). Photographs, prints, or paintings are often included; it comes as quite a relief to finally see what those famous plants and animals look like.
Volume three gives similar treatment to utamakura and haimakura: they are organized by region, with a gojûon index in back. Volume four is not as useful: it is divided into the less traditional categories of emotions, travel, humanity, religion, the arts, the body, living, society, war, nature, time and space, and "omokage" (a collection of short biographies of legendary and quasi-legendary Japanese and Chinese poetic figures).
If you need to know anything about the literary associations of place-names, this is one of the best places to look. The first volume deals with place-names that appear in poems and songs, while the the second is devoted to those from prose works (also nô and kyôgen). Entries describe the actual location of a place-name (including its accessibility by 1971 public transportation), and then explain its literary associations through time, spanning the period from kodai through kinsei. To illustrate, the editor has quoted generously (with references) from the established canon. Organization is by gojûon order, with an index by prefecture at the front. There are useful maps, not only of places mentioned in each volume, but also maps of particular works and the places mentioned within them (e.g., an Ise monogatari map, a Genji monogatari map, etc.). This is a very useful and detailed resource.
In this helpful and easy-to-use guide, short essays on the history and associations of particular poetic words and place names are organized in gojûon order; there are explanatory notes for cited poems. Indexes include a list of utamakura by province, a condensed biographical dictionary of poets cited, and a general index.
You can spend hours flipping through this book, which contains entries on mythical creatures (from kami to o-bake), fictional people, and the legends about historical people. Entries contain bibliographic information and are accompanied by reproductions of visual images of the various beings, along with quotations from relevant texts (some in kanbun) and references to other texts in which the legends appear.
Though limited in scope, this work is useful for identifying characters that appear in Japanese literature. Covers kodai through kindai. An index to characters and works is included.
This is a dictionary of critical and theoretical jargon, organized in gojûon order, and including gairaigo in katakana form, words that have been adopted from other languages and translated into kanji, and words created in Japan to describe new ideas. The entries explain the origin of the word, how and when it appeared in Japan, its alternate translations, what it meant originally in the original language, what it has come to mean in Japanese, etc. The entries not only cover recent additions, but also include Sanskrit-derived Buddhist terms, etc.
There are more than twenty different hikkei (research handbooks) available, each focused on a different text, author, genre, or field; the Shin koten bungaku kenkyû hikkei is the encyclopedic version, with a series of overviews of criticism of various important pre-modern works. The book is organized by time period and genre; each signed article presents an explanation of the basic facts of the work in question, followed by an brief history of its study and reception. Topics covered vary among entries, but a typical list is: 1) the study of the text itself; 2) exegesis & commentary; 3) history of scholarship; 4) contents and special characteristics of the text; 5) the author's style and expression; 6) reception and influence. Articles conclude with possible themes for research and a "research guide" suggesting where to start.
Discusses works, authors, and genres for all periods of Japanese literature from Kodai through Taishô. Largely superceded by other references, but it is especially useful for the lists of earlier scholarship on classical works--in particular, the ancient commentaries and exegesis that form the foundation for much modern scholarship. An index is included.
This twelve-volume set is organized by genre, and within each volume, by author or title in gojûon order. The entries are signed. Entries on authors contain fairly extensive biographical information with bibliographical references; entries on texts are very informative, each containing sections on the following topics: 1) general remarks, 2) organization, 3) contents (a detailed plot summary), 4) special characteristics, 5) textual variants, 6) history of research and criticism, 7) bibliography of major works. The final section of any entry on a text contains lengthy excerpts of key points in the narrative, with modern translation, glossary, and connecting summaries. The twelve volumes are:
1. Monogatari bungaku
2. Rekishi, gunki, rekishi monogatari
3. Setsuwa bungaku
4. Kinsei shosetsu
5. Man'yô, kayô
7. Renga, haikai, kyôka
8. Zuihitsu bungaku
9. Nikki, kikô bungaku
11. Kanshi kanbun hyôron
12. Bunpô: tsuketari jishô
Although these books should not be cited as sources of research, they can be useful to those who are studying for orals or who need to be able to teach others about books they have yet to read themselves. The excerpts are longer than those in the Kenkyû shiryô Nihon koten bungaku series, with footnotes, modern translation, brief discussion of the importance of the excerpt, and connecting summary; there is also an overview and summary of the entire work in each introduction, and a series of ten brief essays on key topics in the back of each volume. A fairly good bibliography follows.
Given that few of us have time to read everything that we might like
to, a summary is sometimes worth more than a thousand words. This is an
extremely useful collection of summaries and evaluations of 1017 major
works of Japanese literature and literary criticism from 1871 through 1975.
Each article begins with a three-line statement of "three characteristics
of this work." The editors have organized each article according to a consistent
format, with sections describing the plot or the outline, the "yomidokoro,"
the "author's motives," and bibliographical references. An index in the
back of each volume includes all the people, places, and subjects that
appear in the text of the articles. The last volume includes an index of
all works in the series, by author and title.
Seeds in the Heart: Japanese literature from earliest times to the
late sixteenth century. Donald Keene. Henry Holt & Co., 1993.
Call no.: PL726 .115 K44 1993
World within Walls: Japanese literature of the pre-modern era 1600-1867.
Donald Keene. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976.
Call no.: PL726 .35 K4
Dawn to the West: Japanese literature of the modern era. Donald
Keene. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984. (Volume One: Fiction; Volume Two:
Poetry, Drama, Criticism)
Call no.: PL726 .55 K39 1984
These works are narrative histories, but the extensive indexes and convenient chapter divisions make them useful for reference purposes as well. Each chapter is followed by notes and a bibliography which lists selected works of scholarship in Japanese and English, and each volume has a glossary at the end. Important names and titles are provided, with dates, and there are biographical sketches of all major figures. Coverage is relatively comprehensive, although the modern volumes omit (for the most part) discussion of authors who were alive at the time of its writing (a group that includes Abe Kôbô, Oe Kenzaburô and Endô Shûsaku). Until the completion of this history, the only full-length English-language survey of Japanese literature was W. G. Aston's smugly Victorian History of Japanese Literature (1889); the intervening century of scholarship (and literary production) is now well represented.
Together with the Nihon bungakushi, this is one of the most useful literary histories of Japan. It is divided by time period into six volumes, each edited by a specialist (some of whom reveal a bias toward their own fields within the time periods they cover). The volumes are organized as follows: (1) jôdai, (2) chûko, (3)chûsei, (4) kinsei, (5) kindai, (6) gendai. The essays are easy to read with bold face topic headings; they are extremely detailed and informative, and follow the most traditional ideas of literary history, graphing all developments along the axes of time and genre. Each volume contains general essays on the development of various movements and genres, along with essays on texts that are important or representative. The texts covered in this history are often not the same ones covered in the Nihon bungakushi, so it's useful to look at both series not only for the overview sections but also for the different texts covered. There are extensive (though now outdated) bibliographies in the back of each volume, and indexes of authors and titles of works discussed.
This is similar to the Nihon bungaku zenshi in its approach to literary history, and has some of the same contributors, but there are substantial differences in the details. Thus it's a good idea to consult both sources for a well- rounded picture. More topics and texts are covered in this than in the previous source, but its text is similarly easy to read. The volumes are divided as follows: (1) jôdai, (2) chûko, (3) chûsei, (4) kinsei I, (5) kinsei II, (6) kindai I, (7) kindai II, (8) nenpyô (a 533-page timeline of literary works extending from Emperor Jimmu to 1975). Essays about the grand sweep of history appear at the front of each volume, followed again by essays on more individualized topics and texts. There are several indexes including title and author.
This is meant to replace the Nihon bungakushi. The volumes are divided as follows: (1) kodai I, (2) kodai II, (3) chûsei, (4) kinsei, (5) kindai, (6) gendai. Each is edited by a well-known specialist in that period, and includes a timeline and an up-to-date bibliography. As it is the most recent of the various literary histories, this is a good place to begin.
This source is best viewed as a complement to the more traditional literary histories. The emphasis is not on key texts so much as on key topics in the changing nature of literary language. This work is also unusual in that it includes Ainu and Okinawan literature. The volumes published so far are: (1) kodai I, (2) kodai II, (3) chûsei, (4) kinsei, (5) kindai I. The many essays are written by reputable scholars and provide focused bibliographies which list editions of primary texts as well as works of scholarship.
A Marxist approach to literary history is taken in this source; the canon and its "great books" are not the focus here, but rather the contexts in which these works were written, especially in terms of class, political situation, and audience. Emphasis is placed on oral literature and popular culture, as well as on readers and their access to literature. There is a supplementary collection of maps, with a separate index.
A History of Japanese Literature. (translations edited by Earl
Miner). Princeton University Press, 1984-1991. 3 vols.
Call no.: PL717 .K6213 1984
Because of their idiosyncratic terminology and periodization, and their selective coverage, these are not recommended as references or introductions. However, Konishi Jin'ichi is one of the most eclectic and productive modern scholars of Japanese literature, and his unconventional perspective and comparative bent make these works valuable supplements to more traditional literary histories. They are also notable for their attention to kanbun writing, their reference to Korean and Chinese parallels and influences, and their inclusion of Ainu and Okinawan literature.
The five Japanese volumes run through the modern period (a supplement,
with index, has yet to be published), but translation into English stopped
in the "middle ages"; as of summer 1995, Princeton University Press reported
that there were no plans to continue publication. The three volumes that
have been completed are: (1) The Archaic and Ancient Ages, (2) The Early
Middle Ages, and (3) The High Middle Ages. Both English and Japanese editions
have extensive bibliographies and helpful timelines in back of each volume.
*** Nihon koten bungaku taikei sakuin. Iwanami Shoten, 1963-1969.
2 vols. (Nihon koten bungaku taikei bekkan)
Call no.: REF 910.82 N574 Suppl 1 & 2
Part one covers NKBT volumes 1-66, while part two covers NKBT 67-100;
each part is divided into three sections: an index of words and subjects;
an index of waka, haiku, and kayô, (with the addition of kanshi and
wasan [Buddhist hymns] in the second part); and a listing of the table
of contents of each volume of the NKBT, including the editors' names, the
chapters, maps, pictures, critical essays, and so on.
*** Shinpen kokka taikan. Kadokawa Shoten, 1983-1987. 10 volumes. (Revised edition of the Kokka taikan, 1951-1958)
Call no.: PL 758 .S4955 1983
M/S: X-13; IHJ: 1517
This work collects and indexes the entire corpus of classical portry
composed in waka form through the end of the medieval era. It is therefore
the basic reference work for tracing poetry allusions that occur as single
poems or in prose contexts. Also, there are some obscure collections for
which printed (much less annotated!) editions may be difficult to obtain;
in such cases, these volumes will provide you with the bare minimum: the
poems and their sequence. Each of the ten volumes is divided into two parts,
the first collecting the texts of the poems and the second providing an
index. The classification is as follows:
1) Chokusenshû (Imperial Collections), e.g. Kokinshû,
2) Shisenshû I (Collections edited privately without imperial sanction), e.g. Manyôshû, Kokin Rokujô.
3) Shikashû I (Personal collections of individual authors)
4) Shikashû II and Teisûka I (more personal collections and sequences with fixed numbers of poems)
5) Utaawase I, Kagakushû, Monogatari, Nikki, etc. (Poems composed for poetry contests, collections of exemplary poems, and poems occuring in the prose contexts of stories, diaries, etc.)
6) Shisenshû II (more privately edited collections as in no. 2 above as well as variant texts).
7) Shikashû III (more personal collections pluss variant texts).
8) Shikashû IV
9) Shikashû V
10) Utaawase II, Supplement
Unless one knows the kind of collection (imperial, private, story, etc.) the poem is from, it is best to begin with the Chokusenshû volume and then work through the volumes in order. (For useful lists of collections, see The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature, pp.341-348.)
It is important to note that each poem is indexed five times under each of the five ku (lines of verse) that constitute a classical waka, which makes the index especially useful for tracing partial quotations or poetic allusions within single poems.
This series provides texts and concordances for the Chinese classical corpus. Although individual Japanese concordances exist for some of these texts, this series is very complete and convenient to use. Each volume provides a character index by stroke count where numbers are assigned to each character. The numbering system is consistent between volumes, making it simple to check word usage across texts. From the character number one then turns to the concordance section in the back to trace the desired passage. Reference has three numbers: page, chapter and line numbers for the text at the front of the volume.
This series contains the texts of the Chinese classics, kambun readings, modern translations and extensive notes. Used as a companion to the above concordances, this series is helpful in translating and understanding classical allusions within their original context.
NOTE: In order to use either of the two above sources, one must first know the source of the allusion. Generally speaking, a good kanwa jiten will provide this information under key words in the allusion. Obviously the speed of the search depends partly on skilful choice of the key word to search.
Zoku Nihon zuihitsu sakuin. (1932), 1963.
Call no.: REF AI 19.J3 O822 1932
M/S: X-5; IHJ: 1520
Two indexes to Edo period zuihitsu. At the front of each volume appears a list of the essays covered along with author, and the date and location of the modern katsuji version he has used. Entries cover a wide range of topics including people's names and sources of kotowaza. Entries follow in gojûon order, with laconic citation of the relevant zuihitsu (usually the first two characters of the work's title), a volume and a page number. From these one can refer back to the list at the front. The first volume covers 214 works, while the Zoku covers 178. Since they do not cross-reference, it is necessary to look in both volumes for an item.
This is the index for a catalog which lists tables of contents for complete works (zenshû) and series (sôsho) of classical Japanese literature. Though originally designed for the use of reference librarians, it may also be consulted to track down single works, e.g. plays or poetic treatises, that are more often than not found only in collected editions. Part 1 lists tables of contents, part 2 (sakuin) is a index by title of works, and part 3 (zoku hen) is a 1989 expansion with tables of contents and title index in one volume.
This work takes up 11 volumes, as follows:
1. Tables of contents for general zenshû, in two parts
2. Author index for general zenshû, in two parts
3. Title index of works in general zenshû, in two parts
4. Tables of contents for zenshû of individual authors, in five parts
5. Title index for zenshû of individual authors, in four parts
6. Tables of contents for poetry zenshû, in two parts
8. Title index for poetry zenshû, in two parts
9. Tables of contents for general zenshû (1993 expansion)
10. Author index for general zenshû (1993 expansion)
11. Title index for general zenshû (1993 expansion)
[Note that the library does not have volume 7, which is an author index for poetry zenshû.]
[Sakuhinmei kara hikeru] Nihon bungaku zenshû annai. Nichigai
Call no: REF Z3308 .L5 S325 1984
M/S: X-7, X-8.
[Sakuhinmei kara hikeru Nihon bungaku] Hyôron, shisôka
kojin zenshû annai.
Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 S3244 1992
[Sakuhinmei kara hikeru Nihon bungaku] Sakka, shôsetsuka kojin
Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 S3246 1992
[Sakuhinmei kara hikeru Nihon bungaku] Shiika, haijin kojin zenshû
annai. Nichigai Associates, 1992.
Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 S3246 1992
These volumes are distillations from the multi-volume Gendai Nihon sôran shiriizu. Unless your author is very obscure, they is likely to include what you are looking for. The former two volumes include a fairly wide variety of zenshû are included, from specialized ones like the Nihon puroretaria bungaku zenshû to several generic "Nihon bungaku zenshû" compendia; the latter three index works from individual collections of critics, novelists, and poets.
Published in 1968 and revised in 1992, this work lists the tables of contents of 145 literary journals from late Meiji to 1955 (Shôwa 20). It includes an index of names as well as extensive annotations.
Tables include breakdown by poetry, tanka, haiku, novels, drama, children's literature, miscellaneous essays, criticism, and relevant events. Index of authors with pen names, or difficult-to-read titles of works and their authors, but not when they were written; and works with titles that have variant ways writing them.
This is good for seeing what was published in what year. It is useless if one is looking to find when a title was published, or when an author was publishing, since it includes no author/title index.