Nihon bungaku dainenpyô. ** Ichiko Teiji, Kubota Jun, et. al., Ôfûsha. 2002. Call no.: PL719.5.126 2002.
Indispensible for getting dates of composition of texts, birth and death of authors, etc.
Nihon bunka sôgô nenpyô. ** Iwanami Shoten, 1990. Call no.: REF DS 821 .N535 1990.
This compendious resource is one of the best for getting dates of texts and authors. It correlates Japanese and European calendar, the reign periods of emperors and shôguns, the dates of texts, and various political and historical events.
Gendai Nihon bungaku dainenpyô. 2 vols. (Vol.1: Meiji: vol.2: Taishô). Call no.: REF PL726 .55 G414 1968.
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. This is good for seeing what was published in what year, but unfortunately it includes no author/title index.
Nihon kindai bungaku nenpyō. Odagiri Susumu, ed. Shōgakkan, 1993. Call no.: REF PL726.6 .N54 1993.
Nihon bungaku zenshi. ** Gakutôsha, 1979. Ichiko Teiji, ed. 6 vols. Call no.: 910.2 Ic32.
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. The volumes are organized as follows: (1) jôdai, (2) chûko, (3)chûsei, (4) kinsei, (5) kindai, (6) gendai. Each volume contains general essays on the development of various movements and genres, along with essays on texts that are important or representative. There are extensive (though now outdated) bibliographies in the back of each volume, and indexes of authors and titles of works discussed.
Nihon bungakushi. Hisamatsu Sen'ichi, ed. Shibundo, 1975 (expanded new edition). 8 vols. Call no.: 910.2 H6223.
At one time this was the best overall literary history. It is similar to the Nihon bungaku zenshi in its approach to literary history, but in many ways it is more comprehensive. 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.
Nihon bungaku shinshi. Shibundô, 1990. 6 vols. Call no.: PL 716.N535 1990.
This originally started as a special issue of Kaishaku to kanshô. It is not as comprehensive as the Nihon bungaku zenshi or Nihon bungakushi, but the references in the headnotes are more up-to-date. Each volume consists of ten or so essays by different scholars. The volumes are divided as follows: (1) kodai I, (2) kodai II, (3) chûsei, (4) kinsei, (5) kindai, (6) gendai. Each volume includes a timeline and bibliography.
Nihon bungeishi: Hyôgen no nagare. ** Kawade shobô shinsha, 1986‑. 5 vols. to date. Call no.: PL 716.N58 1986.
Highly recommended. This source is best viewed as a complement to the more traditional literary histories. The emphasis is on key topics. This work is also unusual in that it includes Ainu and Okinawan literature. The volumes include: (1) kodai I, (2) kodai II, (3) chûsei, (4) kinsei, (5) kindai I. The essays provide focused bibliographies which list editions of primary texts as well as works of scholarship.
Nihon bungaku no rekishi. Kadokawa shoten, 1968. 12 volumes and supplement. Call no.: 910.2 N573.
A more socio-historical approach to literary history, focusing on the contexts in which works were written. Emphasis is placed on oral literature and popular culture, as well as on readers. There is a supplementary collection of maps, with a separate index.
Iwanami kôza Nihon bungakushi. Call no.: PL 716. I93 1995. 18 vols.
Latest scholarship and approaches from ancient to modern literature. The essays can be highly specialized. Highly recommended for new directions in contemporary scholarship.
Nihon bungakushi. 5 vols. Yûhikaku sensho series. 1979.
Volume titles: Jôdai Nihon bungakushi, Chûko Nihon bungakushi, Chûsei Nihon bungakushi, Kinsei
Nihon bungakushi. 2 vols.
A very helpful and well written series on premodern literary history. Subdivided by period and by topics and issues. Yûhikaku also put out a multi-volume literary history in the Yûhikaku sôsho series in 1976, which is also good and structured along similar lines but by different editors.
Kindai bungaku. Ed. Miyoshi Yukio, Takemori Tenyû. Yûhikaku. 1978. 10 vols.
The same series as above but for modern literature. Moves chronologically, but each volume has a special topic.
Jidai betsu Nihon bungakushi jiten. Yûseidô. 6 vols. 1997.
Six volumes divided by period: Jôdaihen, chûkohen, chûseihen, kinseihen, kindaihen, gendaihen. Not as comprehensive as some of the above literary histories but it is more recent and reflects more current scholarship. Can be useful.
Nihon bungeishi. Konishi Jin'ichi. Kodansha, 1985‑1992. 5 vols. Call no.: PL716 .K648 1985.
A History of Japanese Literature. Edited by Earl Miner. Princeton University Press, 1984‑1991. 3 vols. Call no.: PL717 .K6213 1984.
A one-man literary history with idiosyncratic terminology and periodization. Notable for attention to kanbun writing, reference to Korean and Chinese parallels and influences, and inclusion of Ainu and Okinawan literature. The five Japanese volumes run through the modern period, but the English translation stopped after three volumes. The three English volumes are: (1) The Archaic and Ancient Ages, (2) The Early Middle Ages, and (3) The High Middle Ages.
Donald Keene, Seeds in the Heart: Japanese literature from earliest times to the late sixteenth century. Henry Holt & Co., 1993. Call no.: PL726 .115 K44 1993.
World within Walls: Japanese literature of the pre‑modern era 1600‑1867. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976. Call no.: PL726 .35 K4.
Dawn to the West: Japanese literature of the modern era. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984. (Volume One: Fiction; Volume Two: Poetry, Drama, Criticism). Call no.: PL726 .55 K39 1984.
Each chapter is followed by notes and a bibliography which lists selected works of scholarship in Japanese and English. Important names and titles are provided, with dates, and there are biographical sketches of all major figures. Until the completion of this history, the only full‑length English‑language survey of Japanese literature was W. G. Aston's History of Japanese Literature (1889).
Kindai Nihon no hihyô. Ed. Karatani Kojin. Fukutake shoten. 1990. 4 vols.
History of modern literary criticism. Separate volumes on Meiji, Taishô and Shôwa. Quality uneven depending on volume, but overall very stimulating and highly recommended.