TRANSLATIONS OF JAPANESE LITERATURE AND REFERENCE WORKS IN ENGLISH
Japanese Literature in Translation Search. Japan Foundation. Database for translations of Japanese literature into various languages. One of the most updated versions.
Japanese Literature in Foreign Languages: 1945‑1990. Japan Book Publishers Association, 1990. Call no.: PL 726.55.J37 1990g. M/S: X‑19.
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.
Japanese Literature in European Languages : A Bibliography. Compiled by Japan P.E.N. Club. Tokyo: The Club, 1961. Call no.: Z3308.L5 J35 1961.
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.
Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Literature. Ed. Hisamatsu Sen'ichi. Kodansha International, 1976. Call no.: REF PL 723 .B5; Butler REF R049.9 .B523. M/S: mentioned pp. 64, 127; IHJ: 0207.
Hisamatsu, who also edited the Nihon bungaku shi, provides the traditional Japanese viewpoint on a fairly extensive list of major canonical authors. The book is organized by time period and alphabetized, with an outdated but lengthy bibliography at the back, arranged by author.
Guide to Japanese Prose. Marks, Alfred. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1984. Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 M37 1984.
Guide to Japanese Drama. Pronko, Leonard C. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1984. Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 P76 1984.
Guide to Japanese Poetry. Rimer, J. Thomas. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1984. Call no.: REF Z3308 .L5 R54 1984.
These guides are part of the Asian Literature Bibliography series. They are geared toward the non‑specialist, and provide information on available critical works and translations in English. These guides are helpful for compiling a reading list for a course and provide a good picture of what is available in English. One obvious and serious limitation of these works is the fact that they are somewhat outdated, a problem that will only get worse.
Japanese Folk Literature: A Core Collection and Reference Guide. Joanne P. Algarin. New York: R.R. Bowker Co., 1982. Call no.: REF Z3308.L5 A44 1982.
This extensive and well‑researched source.
Princeton Companion to Japanese Literature. Earl Miner et al, eds. Princeton University Press, 1985. Call no.: REF PL726.1 M495 1985.
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. 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.
Japanese Women Writers: A bio-historical sourcebook. Chieko Mulhern. Greenwood Press. Call no.: PL 725. J37 1994. Covers both modern and pre-modern women writers.
Modern Japanese Novelists: A Biographical Dictionary. John Lewis. Call no.: Pl 747. 55. L48 1993.
Columbia Bibliography of Premodern Japanese Literature and Scholarship in English.
Compiled by recent graduate students (especially Anne Commons and Jamie Newhard) under Professor Shirane’s guidance. This is unpublished but it is the most comprehensive bibliography with over a thousand entries.
FOR TRANSLATING PREMODERN OFFICIAL TITLES AND RANKS
Kanshoku yôkai.**Waka Hidematsu, with additional notes by Tokoro Isao. New edition in Kodansha gakujutsu bunko, 1983 paperback. Call no.: JQ1647.W12 1983.
Gives descriptions of the civil service positions in premodern Japan.
A Tale of Flowering Fortunes. William and Helen McCullough. Stanford UP. 1980. Volume 2. Call no.: PL787.E5 E5 1980.
Appendix on offices and ranks. Useful for translating premodern court ranks, offices, etc.
Early Japanese History. Edwin Reischauer. Gloucester, Mass., P. Smith, 1967 [c1937]. Call no.: DS851 .R4 1967.
2 is an index to ranks and offices with English translations.
The Tokyo Daigaku Shiryô hensanjo online: “Glossary of Japanese Historical Terms”: