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Japanese Studies Reference Tools: Geographical Information

Readings for Place Names

Japanese Names: A Comprehensive Index by Characters and Readings
Call Number: EAC: CS3000 .O53 1972
Includes both personal and place names. Arranged by Chinese characters with an index by readings. Lacks links to physical maps to confirm readings for particular locations.
New Index Gazetteer of Japan/ Shin Nihon chimei sakuin / 新日本地名索引
Call Number: EA Ref: DS805 .K33 1993.
Based on current 1:25,000 maps. Includes over 1 million place names. Volume One is arranged by reading (gojuon); Volumes Two and Three are arranged by Chinese characters.


Kadokawa Nihon chimei jiten
角川日本地名辞典 47 v.
EA Ref: DS805 .K27 1978
Arranged by prefecture; gojuon order within prefecture.  Each volume is divided into four parts: general introduction, dictionary of place names, a geographical arrangement of cities, and other supplementary information.  No comphrensive index.

Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei  (Heibonsha) Parallels above title but available online.

Kodai chimei daijiten 2 v.
古代地名大辞典, 本編, 索引・資料編
EA Ref: DS805 .K62 1999
Updates the Kadokawa Nihon chimei jiten with new research.  Covers the period to 1185.

Land Japonica
EA Ref: DS805 .N536 1996
An illustrated dictionary of Japanese place names. Each entry includes historical, geographical, industrial information as well as information on railroad stations, documents, famous temples and products. Includes some maps, photographs and illustrations. Index includes information on rail lines, ports, elevated highways, national parks and cultural treasures (by prefecture). There is also an index of hard-to-read names by number of strokes.

Notable Resources

"Cartography in Japan"
by Unno Kazutaka
in The History of Cartography
PL: GA201 .H53 1987 vol. 2
Material presented covers the period from ancient times to the early Meiji years. Includes 75 maps.

Nihon shuyō chizu shusei : Meiji kara gendai made
Nihon Kokusai Chizu Gakkai hen.
EAC: GA1241.A12 N53 1995
This collection illustrates the range of maps published since early Meiji. It also provides an extensive listing of maps published in Japan, arranged by publisher, date and format, a bibliography, definitions of map terms and symbols and a chronology of Japanese cartography dating back to 1600.

Guide to Local History

Chihōshi jiten
EA Ref: DS833 .C46 1997
Arranged by region and topic, it provides information on the phenomena and scholarship relating to it. Each article is signed and provides a brief bibliography. Covers places from early history to the present (e.g. Hanshin earthquake, 1995). Numerous appendices include information on rail lines, a map of provinces and prefectures, a conversion table for dates, the numbers for 1:20,000 maps, and 50 pages of maps from the Nara period to 1945. Includes indexes for events, people and place names.

Contemporary Japanese Atlases

The National Atlas of Japan
Call Number: Perkins Ref: G2355 .K63 1990
Includes maps related to climate, population, industry, and other themes.
Nihon bunken chizu chimei sōran/ 日本分県地図地名総覧
Call Number: EA Ref: G2355 .J56 2003
2003 is in East Asian Reference, and the 1993, 1975, and 1966 editions can be found in the East Asian stacks.
Nihon gengo chizu / 日本言語地図
Call Number: EAC Oversize: G2356 .E3 K6 1966
A linguistic atlas of Japan.

Historical Atlases

Atlases published by Kashiwa Shobo
Publisher of several notable historical and regional atlases. Duke holds volumes covering Meiji/ Taishō/ Shōwa periods, as well as regional atlases for Korea, China/Manchuria and specific areas within Japan. The link contains information for 13 atlases.
Nihon rekishi chizu = The historical atlas of Japan / 日本歴史地図 = The historical atlas of Japan
Call Number: EA Ref: G2356.S1 N5 1982
Two volumes covering historical maps, illustrations and comments on ancient Japan. Arranged by themes within time periods. An index of kanji strokes is included.
Nihon toshi sensai chizu : Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan shozō / 日本都市戦災地図 : 国立国会図書館所蔵
Call Number: EA Ref Folio: D767.2 .N54 1983
World War, 1933-1945--Japan--Maps. War damage to buildings--Japan--Maps. Cities and towns--Japan--Maps.
Nihon zushi taikei / 日本図誌大系
Call Number: EA Ref: G2356 .B5 N5 1972
12 volumes covering surveys, maps, local history and description. Time period ranges from Meiji to the late 1970's.
Old Maps in Japan - Osaka: Sōgensha, 1973
Call Number: UNC Chapel Hill Library, Call No. G2355 .N3313, located in the Maps Collection.
Older maps primarily from the Nanba Matsutaro (macron) collection, one of the largest in Japan. Arranged under the 68 provinces and then in chronological order, with names of their owners.
(Not held at Duke)