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Undergraduate Japanese Studies Resources: Finding Books

A guide for undergraduates doing primarily English-language research on Japanese studies, with a limited knowledge of Japanese.

Introduction

This section provides links to databases for searching articles and books freely online, rather than via subscription databases. Some of these databases search English catalogs and citations, while others are primarily for Japanese resources. However, save for Webcat Plus, all have English interfaces and CiNii Books translates romaji to Japanese.

Japanese Book Catalogs

CiNii Books is best for finding books located in Japan, because it searches across Japanese library catalogs, but can be helpful for finding information about books (including how to read the title and author's name), links to Webcat Plus and National Diet Library catalog, and sometimes provides tables of contents for multi-author books.

Buying Books from Japan

Although it can be expensive to buy books from Japan due to high shipping costs, these sites are the most convenient for buying books from abroad. When in Japan, shipping is fast and cheap. Amazon is best for new books, while Kosho is better for hard-to-find used books.

Finding Books

You can find books using other databases and catalogs besides Penn's Franklin. Try E-ZBorrow and Borrow Direct for expanding your search to other nearby libraries (with a turnaround of only a few days, the same as LIBRA), including using the subject search function. This allows you to find books that may not be in Franklin, but might be useful to your research and study. 

WorldCat can be used to find books not held by Penn or in E-ZBorrow/Borrow Direct, that you can borrow via Inter-Library Loan. It will also indicate if a book is held by Penn, and provide a Franklin link to the book if so.

CiNii Books is best for finding books located in Japan, because it searches across Japanese library catalogs, but can be helpful for finding information about books (including how to read the title and author's name), links to Webcat Plus and National Diet Library catalog, and sometimes provides tables of contents for multi-author books.

Subject Guide

Online Full Text Books

These digital archives and guides provide information on, and access to, Japanese ebooks. All works are in the public domain, and range from pre-modern to early 20th century books, short stories, and essays.