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Introduction to Japanese Collection

The research guide for Japanese Collection is now available. 

Understanding Modified Hepburn System

Japanese language materials in East Asia Collection are cataloged using the Modified Hepburn System. The standard dictionary for this system is: Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary (PL679.K4, located in the Japanese Reference Book shelves in the East Asia Collection's Reading Room). Since catalog does not have capability to display vernacular characters, user must use a query in romanized (transliterated) form. When entering a query, diacritics, such as macron for long vowel (-) and alif for syllabic nasal (') [e.g. Man'y sh] should not be included since catalog will ignore them. Also, catalog is not case sensitive, so capitalization of proper noun, etc. is unnecessary.

When dealing with romanization in Japanese language, one must be aware of problems of word division. For example, the book "日本にとってアメリカとは何か" will be "Nihon ni totte Amerika towa nani ka" in transliteration. Since titles are arranged by word alphabetically in catalog, a title rendered into different forms will appear in two places in the alphabetical sequence.

e.g. Dai hyakka jiten vs Daihyakka jiten 大百科事典

e.g. Otogi-zoshi vs Otogi soshi 御伽草子

e.g. Nihon shi 日本史 vs Keizaishi 経済史 (*Generally the word after proper noun is separated.)

Thus, it is sometimes necessary to try various ways of dividing words in catalog searching.

Search on Catalog

  1. Keyword: Search by words and dates in titles, subject headings and other parts of the catalog record.
    Ex: Sensō:戦争; Sekinin:責任; 21-seiki:21世紀.
  2. Name/Author: Search by persons or organizations as author, editor or subject.
    Ex: Yosa Buson:与謝蕪村; Minakami Tsutomu: 水上勉.
  3. Call Number: Search by call numbers.
    Ex: DS889.16 (Japanese history - Allied Occupation period,1945-1952 日本占領期史)

Finding Japanese Periodicals

  1. Use a periodical index:
    • Go to UM Libraries' home page;
    • Click on Database;
    • Click "M"; then, click "MagazinePlus" (*Japanese periodicals database);
    • Click IME icon at right bottom for "Japanese"; then, change to "Zenkaku Hiragana (全角ひらがな)".
  2. Type in keyword/name of author/source(*All the keywords must be in Japanese vernacular characters.)
    • Keyword: Sensō 戦争 Sekinin 責任 Kenpō 憲法 ;
    • Author: Ide, Magoroku 井出孫六
    • Article: Dōtokuteki songen towa nani ka 道徳的尊厳とは何か
    • Source: Sekai (世界), No. 591 (Feb. 1994) p. 172-175
  3. Use catalog to see if UM Libraries owns the periodical:
    • Go to UM Libraries' home page;
    • Click on Catalog;
    • Click "Journal" on left top;
    • Search by title on the journal name, "SEKAI".
  4. Identify your title on the screen display.

    Click on the title of the journal "SEKAI" to see the full record. You will find call number for SEKAI : AP95.J3S4

  5. Find the shelf location of your periodical.

    EASIA JPNSTK: This periodical is located at Japanese compact shelves in East Asia Collection on the 4th floor in McKeldin Library.

Language-Specific Internet Resources

  1. Japanese Studies Internet Resources :
    • Japanese-Language Journals in EAC
    • Selected Electronic Resources
      1. BookPlus ( Inclusive coverage of over 1,610,000 books published in Japan from 1926 to the present, includes contents note and summaries since 1986, updated weekly)
      2. Magazine Plus (Includes the indexes of the ZASSHI KIJI SAKUIN (edited by the National Diet Library of Japan) and of the JANAEU INDEKKUSU. Indexes over 8,500 journals, faculty papers and annual reports of academic institutions published in Japan. Areas covered include medicine, science, humanities, popular culture, business, and social sciences. Inclusive coverage from 1975 to the present; updated weekly)
      3. Sakka Shippitsusha Jinbutsu Fairu (Japanese Writer's Who's Who, inclusive coverage of over 90,000 Japanese writers data from 1868 to present, updated monthly)
      4. University of Massachusetts-Online Resources for Japanese Studies ( This web page was created by Sharon Domier, Japanese Librarian of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst )
  2. East Asian Studies Internet Resources: