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Japanese Digital Resources: Literature

A guide to mostly free online resources and software that facilitates Japanese research and study.

Introduction

This page contains digital archives, reference, databases, and portals related to all periods and genres of Japanese literature. Resources provided on this page include:

  • Portal sites
  • Databases with full text
  • Reference
  • Translations with full text
  • Digital archives (general, premodern, and modern)
  • NIJL and Nichibunken databases
  • Poetry
  • Wahon

Databases

These databases contain information about literature and publications, rather than texts themselves.

Reference

These reference resources cover all periods of literature, from pre-modern to contemporary, and provide information about works, genres, periods, and authors.

Translations

These resources contain original translations of Japanese works into English and other Western languages. They contain actual translations, rather than translation bibliographies.

Digital Archives - Pre- and Early Modern Literature

These digital archives provide text and page images of works from the pre-modern and early modern periods to approximately 1867.

Digital Archives - Modern Literature

These digital archives provide text and page images, as well as search and indices, of works from the Meiji period through contemporary literature. They are necessarily limited by copyright restrictions.

Poetry

Mostly focusing on haiku, these sites and databases contain full text of works of poetry from both premodern and modern periods.

Portals

These portals contain guides and lists of links to other sites and databases on the web relating to literature.

National Institute of Japanese Literature

The National Institute of Japanese Literature provides a wide variety of databases related to Japanese literature. This is a selection of those databases directly related to literature; others related to history, art history, and general reference are filed in those sections.

International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken)

Wahon

Wahon 和本 are Japanese-style books of a variety of binding sizes and styles. Here, the list is focused on literature published as wahon through the Edo period and beyond.