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Japanese Studies: Home

Guide to resources for the study of Japan and Japanese

Japanese Studies Introduction

This page provides general information about accessing Japan-related resources held in the HBLL (in both Japanese and English languages).  

For discipline specific research help, click on the relevant tab near the top of this page. These tabs will take you to sub-guides focused on the following topics: Reference Works (encyclopedias, dictionaries, research aids), and Pre-Modern and Modern Japanese History, (More tabs coming soon).   

To Find Books in Japanese:

If you know the author or title you want:

Look up the book in the library catalog using Kanji 漢字, or Kana かな, or Hepburn Romanization.

For detailed rules on Romanization consult the Japanese documentation at   

To browse the Asian Collection for Japanese books:

Check the Asian Collection Call Number Guide and visit the relevant section of the stacks.

Books in Japanese are located on Level 4. (There is a smaller reference section and a larger section consisting of the main stacks.)

Books in English are located in various parts of the library

See the map and call number guide at the bottom-right of this page for details.

Databases for Finding Scholarship on Japan

Each of the databases listed below provides access to different resources. For best search results you should try several of them. If you are new to database searching, click for some very helpful tips on how to conduct a successful database search.

Subject Resources

Rare Japanese Books in the BYU Library's Special Collections


Digital Resources from the Harry F. Bruning Collection

Bakemono no e:  Illustrated Scroll of Supernatural Creatures from Japan's Edo Period. High resolution digital scan of the entire fifteen-meter scroll depicting thirty-five different creatures. This item is part of the Harry F. Bruning Collection house in BYU's L. Tom Perry Special Collections.



Nagasaki HarborDigital Scans of Rare Japanese Books and Scrolls from the Harry F. Bruning Collection on Internet Archive 

(Original materials housed in the Japanese Rare Book Collection of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at BYU.)


Yomidas Rekishikan is a full text database of the Yomiuri shinbun 読売新聞, the largest newspaper in Japan, from the first issue in 1874 to present. All full text articles of Yomiuri shinbun from 1874 to 1989 are available from image database of shukusatsuban (reduced-size edition) and most of the articles are retrievable in full text except some articles with copyright issue from 1986 to present. The database also includes the English edition: the Daily Yomiuri (Sept. 1989- to the present), both searchable by article, keyword, subject category, and issue.



Current Library Exhibit

Discovery & Wonder: The Harry F. Bruning Collection of Japanese Rare Books and Manuscripts.

(OCT 2020–APR 2021)

A new exhibition on Level 1 in the Harold B. Lee Library (HBLL) is now open. (Directly across from the main atrium stairs. Go through  the doors marked Special Collections on Level 1 and look to the right.) 

This is a fabulous collection of unique items that anyone interested in Japanese history and culture would enjoy.

Asian Studies Librarian

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Tim Davis

Office: 4523 HBLL

I'm currently working from home. Please e-mail me if you need help with Asian-related research questions or if you are having trouble accessing library resources. I'm happy to help!

Get Help

Humanities Reference
Level 5
Hours: M-Th: 8am-9pm; 
F: 8am-6pm; Sat:10am-6pm


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Asian Collection Map • 4th Floor (Click to Enlarge)

Call Number Guide

Only a fraction of the library's books are available in digital format. Those who Browse the Stacks always discover additional research materials! Books on the same topics are shelved next to each other, so if you find one relevant book, you will likely find others next to it on the shelf. Don't limit yourself to digital copies only.

All books published in Asian languages are located on the 4th Floor in the Asian Collection. Do not confuse the small reference collection near the bronze statue as the whole collection, that is only the reference collection. There is a much larger collection of Japanese books and academic journals on the main Asian Collection (look for the overhead sign). See the map above for details.

English materials on Asian topics are located in different parts of the library as noted below.

PL 501–899 Japanese Language and Literature (5th Floor, North Stacks)

DS 800-899 Japanese History (1st Floor, Social Science Library)   

JZ 1745-47 Japanese Politics and Government (1st Floor, Central Stacks)

BQ Buddhism (2nd Floor, Religion & Family History Library)

ND Japanese Painting (5th Floor, North Stacks)

AC-AE Collections, Encyclopedias (1st Floor, Social Science Reference)

If you have trouble finding a book ask the Asian Studies Librarian or inquire at any library help desk.