Skip to Main Content
Go to Penn Libraries homepage   Go to Guides homepage

Resources for Japanese Language Learners: Films 映画

This guide introduces students learning Japanese, at undergrad and graduate levels, to resources at the library and online that will help them with their language study.

Japanese Films

Penn collects a number of films in Japanese - their formats include DVD, BLU RAY, and streaming video online. You can check out up to 4 videos at a time (not including streaming) for 6 weeks. To check out videos, write down the call number, go to the circulation desk on the first floor, and ask the staff for the DVD by call number.

BLU RAY videos are generally all-region or Region A/1, which covers both North America and Japan. Many DVDs, however, are from Japan and are thus Region 2, covering only Japan (not playable in North America). To play these, you need a region-free DVD player. You can use ours in the library on the fourth floor if you aren't able to use one at home. To connect to streaming video, just click the link in Franklin and enter your PennKey. You might need Microsoft Silverlight to view the film in your browser.

A note about subtitles: Because many of our films come from Japan, they don't have English subtitles. We're trying to get as many as possible that do, but it's a challenge! Check in the video's record to see if it has subtitles if that's important for you. A tip for those that don't have subtitles: turn on closed captioning while watching the film! It can help you understand the dialogue better AND learn more kanji.

Films at Penn

Collection of Japanese Films.

Getting Films from Other Libraries

If a video is checked out or not owned by Penn, and not available streaming, please use Inter-Library Loan to get it from another library. (You CANNOT request videos through E-ZBorrow or BorrowDirect.)

Just make sure you fill out as much information as possible, including the year, distributor, and title (and include a comment that it's a film and if you prefer DVD or BLU RAY). You can get this information from WorldCat if needed. Remember to ONLY USE ROMAJI. No Japanese hiragana or kanji!


Our videos can be found through our Franklin. Note that Franklin requires you to limit your search to "video" (see the sidebar on the left that shows formats) to see only films. To see films in Japanese, limit your search to "Japanese" under the language facet on the left hand sidebar.

Unfortunately, Franklin cannot just show you films with English subtitles. You'll have to click through each record to see a note of whether there are subtitles available, and the region code of the DVD/BLU-RAY (generally Japanese DVDs are Region 2).

Penn Libraries Home Franklin Home
(215) 898-7555