Searching Japanese language web sites
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   Example: "seppuku and women"
- When search results come up, click on Search Tools > All Results >Translated foreign pages
- Your search will be run through foreign language sites; results will be translated from Japanese
- "Translated" (from Japanese) pages will appear as links
- Some of the translations are a little "clunky" but they do provide additional material
All Items by Source Type

Background & Context Sources

Art and Architecture of Japan
Print Location: Art N7350.P3 1981
OBIS record
Buddhist Art and Architecture
Print Location: Art Library N8193.A4F57 1993 c.1-2
OBIS record
Evolution of Buddhist Architecture in Japan
Print Location: Art 722.1So65E
OBIS record
Guide (a.k.a. A Reader's Guide to the Arts of Japan)
Print Location: Art  N7350.M26 1993  c.1-c.5
Bibliographic essays discuss important English titles important for beginners.  This e-book edition also functions as a searchable database. A Reader's Guide to the Arts of Japan is available in print at the end of Mason’s History of Japanese art.
Heibonsha Survey of Japanese Art.
Print Location: Art Image Collection-East Asian Section (Call numbers vary)
An important English language survey providing an introduction to the arts of Japan. Volumes include extensive illustrations and diagrams. Each volume covers a medium and/or period.
OBIS record
History of Far Eastern Art
Print Location: Art N7336.L43 1994
OBIS record
History of Japanese Art
Print Location: Art N7350.M26 1993 c.1-5
OBIS record
Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Bibliography of Writings from 1822-1992 Entirely or Partly in English Text
Print Location: Art Ref Z5947.3.J3 G73 1993
A very useful resource, covering a wide range of material. Categories include such areas as subjects depicted in prints, types of prints, print artists, collectors and collections, and the influence of Japanese art and printmaking on Western art.
OBIS record
The Japan Netherlands Exchange in the Edo Period Some full text available Resource contains images
"The year 2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the opening of trade between Japan and the Netherlands in 1609. The National Diet Library (NDL) and the National Library of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) take this opportunity to make digital exhibitions which introduce selected materials from each collection, about the history of the exchanges between Japan and the Netherlands."
Understanding Far Eastern Art: A Complete Guide to the Arts of China Japan and Korea: Ceramics, Sculpture, Painting, Prints, Lacquer, Textiles and Metalwork
Print Location: Art N7337.H97 1987
OBIS record
What is Japanese Architecture?
Print Location: Art NA1553.N5713 1985 Resource contains images
OBIS record


History and Practice of Japanese Printmaking: a Selectively Annotated Bibliography of English Language Materials
Print Location: Art Ref Z5947.3.J3A27 1984
This annotated bibliography provides short descriptions of works written in English on topics including history, traditional and Modern printing techniques, subject matter, artists, and types of Japanese prints. In addition, the author has cited sources covering print identifying symbols and seals, collections and exhibitions, and connoisseurship. Finally, this source provides citations that address the cross-cultural influences of Japanese prints. Arranged in thirteen categories by period, subject, and type. Also includes a glossary of terms, and a subject and author index.
OBIS record

Biographical Sources

Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Art
Print Location: Art Ref. N7358.B55 1981
The biographical entries in this dictionary are arranged by media since the art form is discussed as well as its practitioners, so the index must be used to find all references to an artist. Complemented by maps, an extensive bibliography, black and white plates and charts of artistic lineages and families, this title includes contemporary art and covers all media. Some entries list museums owning the artist's work. The index lists artists' names written in Japanese characters and a bibliography in the back lists a few titles about each artist.
OBIS record
Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer
Print Location: Art Ref. N7358.R6
Geared toward the western reader, this rather concise biographical dictionary covers artists who died before 1972. Artists are listed alphabetically by western names, but entries do provide their corresponding characters and alternate names. The entries also include a list of museum collections that house works by the artist, in addition to short bibliographies. Finally, there is a brief glossary, an index of alternate names and a character index.
OBIS record
Index of Japanese Painters
Print Location: Art ND1058 .T65 1958
OBIS record
Japanese Women Artists, 1600-1900
Print Location: Art N7353.5.F57 1988 c.1-2
Catalog of an exhibition held at the Spencer Museum of Art, Apr. 2-May 22, 1988 and the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Sept. 21-Oct. 23, 1988.
OBIS record


Art Full Text (1984 to date) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Indexes 350 art magazines and journals covering pre-historical to contemporary art. Some full text from 1995-date. Indexes the Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin
Art Index Retrospective (1929-1984) Restricted Resource
Indexes 350 art magazines and journals covering 
pre-history to contemporary art. 

Indexes the Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin
ARTstor Restricted Resource Resource contains images
Over 1 million images selected to support research and reaching in art history from pre-historical to contemporary media.
Bibliography of Asian Studies (1971 to date) Restricted Resource
Indexes English language articles on all aspects of  East, Southeast, and South Asian culture.  
JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journal archive for the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;  most journals 2-5 years out-of-date
OhioLINK Library Catalog
OhioLINK Library Catalog is a combined catalog of over 7.8 million books and other library materials from many of Ohio?s universities, colleges, community colleges and the State Library of Ohio. OhioLINK?s design allows you to transfer a search from your local library catalog to the OhioLINK combined catalog with the touch of a button. The OhioLINK catalog provides immediate access to the library holdings of the whole system, including current availability status. Requested books and other materials are delivered to your library within a few days. Catalog entries for electronic books and journals link directly to those resources.

Dictionaries & Thesauri

A Dictionary of Japanese Art Terms, Bilingual / Wa-Ei Taisho Nihon Bijutsu Yogo Jiten
Print Location: Art Ref. N 7350 .W23 1990
- Japanese to English
- Arranged by Japanese characters
- Useful "Index of Romanized Japanese Terms" in the back


Dictionary of Chinese and Japanese Art
Print Location: Art Ref. N7340.M8175 1981
Iconography, biography, schools, styles, and techniques
OBIS record
Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists
Print Location: Art Ref. N6538.A83 H35 2007
* 75 artists
* cultural connections to the US and one or more East Asian countries
OBIS record

Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of The World
Print Location: Art Ref. NA 208.E53 1997 vols.1-3
o  Worldwide survey of vernacular architecture
o   Covers vernacular, indigenous, tribal, folk, peasant, & traditional architecture
o   Line drawings, photographs & some architectural plans 

Grove Art Online Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Most comprehensive art encyclopedia available in English; Excellent bibliographies.  One of four encyclopedias in Oxford Art Online.
note: Part of Oxford Art Online, a suite of four art encyclopedias
Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975
Print Location: Art Ref. NE1323.M46 1992
Supplementary to their previous book, Modern Japanese Prints: The Early Years (NE 1323 .M47 1990), this guide provides a deepened discussion of printmakers ranging from Meiji artists, who were still active at the turn of the century, to those born during or soon after World War II. Chapters include: short biographies of artists (listed in English with their corresponding characters), listings of art schools, organizations and exhibitions, publishers, carvers, and printers.  In addition, this book also contains an index to artists' alternate names, a chronology of important events, and a glossary of terms.
Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print: Including an Illustrated Dictionary of Ukiyo-e
Print Location: Art NE1310.L319 1978
A good place to begin research this illustrated dictionary of Ukiyo-e includes a useful index of actor's identifying crests, signatures of artists, and publisher's seals. Chapters are arranged by period beginning in 1660 through 1880's. This book also offers many color images, in addition to an index to artists' alternate names. Though this book appears comprehensive on the surface, it should be noted that the author's assertions tend to be highly opinionated, and thus, further research is advised.
OBIS record
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Print Location: Main Ref. DS805.J263 1993 vols. 1-2 Resource contains images
With over 4,000 illustrations this is a particularly good and up-to-date source for background information on Japan and basic information about it art and architecture.  An abridged and updated version of Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan
OBIS record
New Kabuki Encyclopedia: a Revised Adaptation of Kabuki Jiten
Print Location: Art Ref. & Main Ref. PN2924.5.K3 L44 1997
OBIS record
Nihon Bijutsushi Jiten
Print Location: Art Ref N7350 .N475 1987
The standard dictionary of Japanese art. Includes media, artists and movements. Numerous black and white illustrations and diagrams and a color fold-out timeline. In Japanese.
OBIS record

Handbooks & Guides

Art Radar Asia: Contemporary art trends and news from Asia ...
ArtRadarAsia is a great source, with its broad range of topics covering all of the Asian art world. It’s an excellent resource for finding a paper topic or an overview of a movement or a specific area of Asia.


Buddhism by Louis Frédéric
Print Location: Art Ref N8193 .L6813 1995
introduction to Buddhist iconography and symbolism
OBIS record
Elements of Buddhist Iconography
Print Location: Art 709.54C78E
OBIS record
Encyclopedia of Buddhist Deities, Demigods, Godlings, Saints, and Demons With Special Focus on Iconographic Attributes
Print Location: Art Ref. BQ130.B88 1994 vols. 1-2
Details Buddhism's complex supernatural world
Tables for identifying deities by their attributes (vol. 2)
OBIS record
Image of the Buddha
Print Location: Art N8193.2.A4I45 1978
Thorough discussion of Buddha images in Asian art.
OBIS record
Legend in Japanese Art: A Description of Historical Episodes, Legendary Characters, Folk-lore, Myths, Religious Symbolism, Illustrated in the Arts of Old Japan
Print Location: Art Ref. N7350.J75
Standard iconographic dictionary although it contains some errors

Mudra; A Study of Symbolic Gestures in Japanese Buddhist Sculpture
Print Location: Art 730.952SA87M
OBIS record
Subjects Portrayed in Japanese Colour-Prints or A Guide to Japanese Prints and their Subject Matter
Print Location: Art Ref NE1321.8.S74 1979b
o Standard research tool for Japanese iconography
o Prints grouped into four categories 1. Landscapes, 2. Figure-studies, 3. Actor-portraits and theatrical subjects, 4. Historical subjects, legends and stories

Symbols of Japan: Thematic Motifs in Art and Design
Print Location: Art Ref. N7350 .B233 2001
This title provides valuable historical and theoretical information on the inception and usage of many metaphoric, metonymic, and tag-like symbols and motifs in the “fine” and “applied” arts of Japan. Because the book intends to unearth specified visual symbolism, the rubric of “fine” arts has been limited to include only painting, sculpture, ceramics, and woodblock printing. Applied arts refers to conventional household objects, religious implements, weapons and metalwork, theatrical and traditional dress and accessories, and other common decorative arts. Brief entries cover symbols arranged alphabetically within broad thematic chapters; use the index to locate specific concepts within or across chapters. Black and white and color illustrations are included generously throughout. A glossary of Key Individuals and Terms and selected bibliographies complete the work. See the Materials and Collateral Subjects bibliography for more specialized East Asian iconography titles.
OBIS record


Art in Japanese Esoteric Buddhism
Print Location: Art Library & Art Image Collection N7353.3 .S2713
OBIS record
Catalogue of Japanese Art in the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts
Print Location: Art Image Collection N7353.5 .H67 1995
OBIS record

Catalogue of Japanese Art in the Naprstek Museum
Print Location: Art Image Collection N7353.5 .N368 1994
OBIS record
Catalogue of Japanese Art in the National Gallery, Prague
Print Location: Art Image Collection N7353.5 .N376 1994
OBIS record
Catalogue of Japanese Art in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Print Location: Art Image Collection N7352.G88 1993
OBIS record
Catalogue of Japanese Art in the State Hermitage Museum
Print Location: Art Image Collection N7352.G87 1993
OBIS record
Index of Ukiyo-e in Western Collections
Print Location: Art Image Collection NE1321.8 .K3513 1996
OBIS record
Major Themes in Japanese Art
Print Location: Art Image Collection N7350.Y6313
OBIS record
Mary Ainsworth Collection of Japanese Artists' Books Resource contains images
Mary A. Ainsworth first traveled to Japan in 1905. Over the next 25 years, she steadily acquired a collection of Japanese prints and books of impressive breadth and depth.  Ainsworth bequeathed her collection to Oberlin College in 1950. 
Masterworks of Asian Art. Cleveland Museum of Art
Print Location: N 7262 .C59 1998
Print Location: Art N7262 .C59 1998 c.1-2
* A collection known as "
one of the most distinguished in the West, representing the highest level of Chinese artistic accomplishment."
OBIS record
Nihon Bijutsu Zenshu
Print Location: Art Image Collection-East Asian Section (Call numbers vary)
OBIS record

OMuRAA (Online Museum Resources on Asian Art) Resource contains images
- Easy access to the "wealth of visual materials"  available on museum and educational institution web sites
- Catalogs resources i
n "student-friendly" ways
- Includes collections databases, digital image libraries, archived websites of special exhibitions, online presentations of focused collections, and websites for teaching with and about art                        [from the website]

Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections
Print Location: Collection N7353.5.U345 1988 vols. 1-10
OBIS record

Ukiyo-e Shuka
Print Location: Art Image Collection NE1321.8 .U446 vols. 1-9 c.2
OBIS record

Library Catalogs

Freer Gallery of Art Library
- One of the finest Asian libraries in the United States    
- Catalog lists all books acquired after 1987 and approximately 1/3 of those acquired before1987

Ingalls Library, Cleveland Museum of Art
- One of the best Art Libraries in the country
- Non-circulating
- Strong collection covering East Asian Art

Museums & Galleries

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, NY Resource contains images
Objects and related material from the permanent collection
Large number of high quality digital images
Tokyo National Museum Resource contains images
Japan's national museum digital collections include the
TNM Collection: ca. 600 outstanding works including paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, decorative arts, and archaeology. Works can be scrolled in lists by type or on current display, or searched by artist or region 
E-Museum: High definition images of important objects owned by four national museums: Tokyo National Museum, Kyoto National Museum, Nara National Museum and Kyushu National Museum.

Primary Sources

Alphabetical list of Classical Japanese Works: Translations, Studies, Electronic Texts
PMJS is an interdisciplinary forum for those doing research into earlier periods of Japanese art, culture, history, religion and literature. Founded in Sept. 1999 as the "premodern Japanese studies mailing list," it is now known by its acronym. A major project of PMJS is a bibliography of translations from classical Japanese. The PMJS website also offers a classified and searchable index of Monumenta Nipponica. (Monumenta Nipponica, a quarterly journal on Japanese culture and society, was founded in 1938, making it one of the oldest English-language academic journals in the field of Asian studies.)
From postwar to postmodern: art in Japan 1945-1989: primary documents
Print Location: N 7355.4 .F76 2012
 "Brings together critical historical documents, many of which are translated into English for the first time, in Japanese arts from the end of World War II through the next four and a half decades."--P. 14
note: Closed Reserve Spring 2013
Meiji Japan (1877-1925) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Drawings, diaries, correspondence, examples of Japanese pottery, zoology, ethnography, and documentation of everyday life in Meiji Japan.
From the archive of Edward Sylvester Morse (1838-1925) one of the first Americans to live in Japan.
OBIS record
National Diet Library of Japan Digital Collections Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains audio
Rich collections of Japan's national library digitized and available for download. For the visual arts see in particular
Rare books and old materials: Japanese items created before the end of the Edo period (1868), Chinese items created before the end of the Qing dynasty, including Nishiki-e (colored woodblock prints), E-zu (old maps and plans)
Books: 350,000 fully digitized, published before 1969.  See esp. Fine Arts

Timelines & Chronologies

Chronological Table of Japanese Art
Print Location: Art N7350 .Y298 1981
A chronology of major political, social and cultural events in Japan from the introduction of Buddhism to the 20th century. Significant developments in art history are noted as well.
OBIS record
Chronology of Japan's Fine Arts
Includes historical movements in Japan's fine arts (architecture, painting, and sculpture).
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