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Japanese Studies: Japanese Images

Free Electronic resources for the Study of Japan

Online calendars

Nengo Calc
This site provides online and offline tools for the conversion of Japanese dates into Western equivalents. Based on Tsuchihashi's "Chronological Tables" and Zoellner's recent work. 

Academia Sinica Calendar
A useful calendar conversion tool for Chinese dates.

Understanding Japanese Calendrical Systems

A note about calendrical systems in modern Japan:

Years can be written in Japanese using two different formats:

1. Japanese imperial era names (nengō年号)

2. Western calendar years (properly called Gregorian calendar years; e.g., 2005).

Japanese imperial era names refer to the name of the Emperor followed by the year in kanji (Chinese characters) or Arabic numerals and the kanji for "year" (nen). For example, 2005 is Heisei 17, and can be written in Japanese as 平成17年 or 平成十七年.

The Western calendar was introduced in Japan in 1873, but not all publications use it. Click here for a useful Japanese Year converter.

Images on the Internet

Visual resources for Japan
80+ freely accessible websites sortable by format, subject and/or historical period. Formats include architecture, calligraphy, ceramics, folk arts, maps, painting, photography, postcards, posters, prints, scrolls, sculpture.  Relevant subjects include colonialism and warfare.

 Taiwan Governor's Office Taiwan Government General Headquarters
 East Asia Image Collection, Gerald & Rella Warner Taiwan Postcard Collection, Lafayette College Libraries,

Materials in Special Collections

Manuscript materials in David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library 
Maps and photographs can be found in Duke's collection of reports from missionaries, early British diplomats to Japan, the East India company papers, diaries and letters from merchants and seamen as well as in such collections as the Stereographic card collection, 1860-1928, the postcard collection and the Hartman Center advertising collection.  Holdings can be searched through their finding aids.

Of particular interest: 1930s & World War II era images
This picture file contains visual materials on Japan, including Hsinking, which is a Japanese publication documenting the construction of Hsinking during the first five years of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria (Manchukuo) from 1932-1937, and the Japan Today Series, a collection of photographs of daily life in Japan in 1941. Contact the Rubenstein Library for information on viewing the picture file.

Librarian for Japanese Studies

Matthew Hayes
235 Bostock, Perkins Library

Useful links

Japanese University Library Digitization Projects
These are indexed at Ryukyu University.
Japanese Museums
Images of items in their collections.
Historical Maps
Digitized historical maps.