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Provided by the Japan Foundation, the Database of Japanese Literature in Translation covers works ranging from premodern to contemporary, and translations from throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. It aims to have current information on translations of Japanese literature into a range of languages, and is not limited to English translations. One can search by both Japanese bibliographic information as well as target language metadata, such as original author, translator, original and translated titles, and publisher. The database can be difficult to search because the default search does not limit the text to single words - it can find "ring" in "spring," for example - and limiting it to "exact match" makes the search case-sensitive. Therefore, careful search formulation is necessary to successfully use this database.
JLit is a database of information on modern and contemporary literature, prizes, and authors, including literature news as well as timelines and biographical and bibliographic information. It is a good resource to consult for information on current literature and literary events in Japan. In English.
This webpage covers many aspects of literature throughout the history of Waseda University, including information about literary activities and journals, Tsubouchi Shōyō, and full text of literature columns written for Waseda publications. You can also browse the site by author, search, and follow a list of links.
A bibliography of English translations of Japanese literature, including a comparison of some Japanese/English editions, analysis/comparison of title translations, and images of translations' book covers.
Short Stories Japan is a site dedicated to Japanese literature in English translation, especially short stories and “light novel” type works. The aim of this site is to introduce English speakers to the vast and largely untapped world of Japanese fiction, while providing a place for the translation community to interact with each other, and work together at developing their abilities.
Katei Bunko provides scanned page images of works from the Katei Bunko collection at Tokyo University, which consists largely of Edo-period light fiction such as gesaku. It provides both search and browse functions.
This is a comprehensive database of transcriptions of the writing of Fujiwara Teika and Heian-period works, with the goal of making premodern texts available and usable for the public. It also includes bibliographies of Teika research, a bibli and a chronology of Teika's works.
This site provides high-quality scans of a copy of Genji Monogatari held by the Library of Congress, along with a transcription in tyeset Japanese either superimposed on the image or displayed alongside it.
This database provides page images of yomihon from the Edo period, from Ritsumeikan's Art Research Center. Its interface is difficult to use, but if you click on "縮小画像一覧" you can view all thumbnails from a given book.
This is a full text, plaintext version of LOC's Genji Monogatari prepared as a dataset for the Himawari text keyword searching program. Download the data here, and then download the Himawari software to view and search the text.
A large collection of Hyakunin Isshu books from the Edo period with full-color page images, at University of British Columbia. Originating from the personal collection of Professor Joshua Mostow of the UBC Department of Asian Studies, this project was made possible through generous funding from the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO) and collaboration between the UBC Department of Asian Studies, Asian Library, Digitization Centre, Rare Books and Special Collections and Technical Services.
The Japanese Historical Text Initiative (JHTI) is a rapidly expanding database made up of historical texts dating back more than 1200 years. The original version of every paragraph in every text is cross-tagged with its English translation, making it possible for any researcher to see, on the same screen, both the original and English translation of any word or phrase appearing in any JHTI text. It also includes research aids.
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.
Aozora bunko is a digital library of modern Japanese literature in the public domain, from the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods. It provides ruby-glossed copies of works in plain text and HTML format, both searchable and browsable by work title and author name. Each work's entry also contains brief bibliographic information and, in some cases, a summary of related information from Wikipedia.
Tōhoku University holds a collection of documents related to Natsume Sōseki. Although there are no digital copies available on this site, it allows searching and browsing of the archive and gives full metadata for each item, which can then be viewed in the university library.
A full text searchable version of the Man'yōshū. We also have access to full text searching through JapanKnowledge+, which additionally provides page images and annotations, but this database has additional search limit options whereas JK+ just allows keyword searching.
In-depth information about Japanese kanbun writing and various works that use kanbun, including metadata, sample images, and transcriptions.
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.
The Kindai Shoshi - Kindai Gazō Database includes bibliographic information and scanned, high-quality copies of a number of Meiji-period works, including texts, images, and advertisements, all held by the National Institute of Japanese Literature. They are adding new works as time goes on and eventually plan to include all works featured in their reprint book facsimile series.
A database of seals stamped in books by collectors. The advanced search function is extremely detailed and allows you to search by size, color, title, author, etc. It provides high-quality digital images of the seals and notes which institution holds the book that was scanned.
International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken)