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Japanese Studies Primary Sources: Overview

Japanese University Institutional Repositories

Institutional Repositories

The Japanese government has sponsored an institutional repository program of scholarly production using D-Space.  Each university has developed their own site, organizing the material into communities; a range of materials may be included including journals published by different departments, theses and dissertations, research reports, preprints, books, educational materials, and original documents. Browsable by institution and community, searchable within instittuion.  The materials are searchable through google.

Primary Sources

Archival Collections

Archival collections in the US and Japan often put finding aids online allowing the scholar to assess the value of trip to use them. This page indexes only a few of the many collections available.

Government Documents

Includes Kanpō, the daily gazette of new laws, regulations, government appointments; white papers issued annually by government ministries; and public opinion polls.  Many of these materials can be found at least partially online.  See also statistics issued by the government for data as well as the Japanese Government Portal Site for e-government for other sources.


Includes journals published in prewar Japan, newspapers published in Japan and its colonies, collections of business, colonial, government and personal documents, Diet Records, US Consular records and records from the Allied Occupation of Japan.


Both print and online resources, in English and Japanese.

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Rubenstein Library has a strong 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 items in such collections as the Stereographic card collection, 1860-1928, and the postcard collection. It also has the Papers of General Robert L. Eichelberger (1886-1961), who commanded all ground occupation troops in Japan (1945-1948), and materials related to Japanese advertising in the Hartman Center.   There are also smaller collections such as Japanese wartime propaganda publications, and the Masaki Motoi collection linked above.  Holdings can be searched through their finding aids. A print guide to manuscript collections which include material on East Asia provides an overview.

East Asia: A Selected Bibliography of Sources in the Special Collections Library of Duke University. Compiled by Kirsten Fischer. Durham N.C.: The Library, 1993.

Visual Resources

Images are a primary source, but are placed in a separate folder to highlight them.

Librarian for Japanese Studies

Matthew Hayes
235 Bostock, Perkins Library