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Japanese Digital Resources: General

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


This guide provides links to a wide variety of digital resources, including digital archives, search engines, book and article citation databases, portals, and news, related to Japanese studies. The majority of resources are appropriate for advanced research rather than undergraduate study, and are largely in Japanese. By and large, they are also freely available.

Resources are categorized by field, and general reference sources, digital archives, and search engines are also included. This guide could not have been created without the help of the Penn Japanese studies community -- thanks to all!

This landing page contains resources relating to reference, finding books and articles, open-access journals, search engines, language and dictionaries, general maps, and general digital archives.


These general reference sites include guides to Japanese research as well as reference works pertaining to general research and various time periods.


These sites contain historical maps of Japan as well as Asia more broadly.

Digital Archives

These general digital archives cover a range of time periods and genres of works, including history, art history, and literature. They generally contain high-quality scanned page images of books, academic articles, magazines, and other artifacts, or multimedia content such as video lectures.


These online catalogs (OPACs) provide information about the holdings of specific libraries and archives in Japan, ranging from general to specialized.

Books and Articles via Penn

These are some basic Penn-based for finding book and article citations. There is also a Penn research guide available that gives a wide variety of resources for finding such information.

For purchase requests, you can either email Rebecca or go to this page, where you can enter bibliographic information, especially for books not relating to Japan directly. Emailing Rebecca for Japan-related and Japanese-language books will be more efficient, however!

Open-Access Journals

There are many Japanese open-access journals available through CiNii and JAIRO. English-language journals are more rare and are listed here.

Subject Guide

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Rebecca Mendelson
527 Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center

Search Engines

These are Japan-specific resource and general interest search engines.


These links deal with general and specialized reference sites, tools, and research for Japanese language, including historical language aspects. For historical kana and kanji usage, see the Kuzushiji page.


These are various software and web-based English-Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries, some of which are free and others are available through a Penn subscription (with PennKey login).

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