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Unpacking Japanese Studies Library Resources

A course guide for East Asia 537 Methods and Materials Used in Conducting Research in Japanese Studies and other Japanese Studies graduate students.

Classic Catalog and WorldCat

Use the Classic Catalog to search for materials (print or digital) held by or available through Washington University Libraries. Word(s), Title and Author searches accept search words in Japanese characters or Romanized Japanese.

* Note that libraries in North America use a specific, standardized set of rules for Romanizing Japanese (based on the modified Hepburn system). See the Romanization tab of this box for more information.

Use WorldCat.org to search for books held at libraries participating in WorldCat. Most of the WorldCat libraries are academic/research libraries in the U.S. and Canada. (Some libraries from Europe and Asia also participate). See the next tab (Understanding WorldCat search results) and the ILL page of this guide for more instructions on requesting materials not held at Washington University Libraries.

* Note that libraries in North America use a specific, standardized set of rules for Romanizing Japanese (based on the modified Hepburn system). See the Romanization tab of this box for more information.

Switching to Advanced Search gives you more options.

A WorldCat record page displays which libraries own the item. If you are searching from on-campus locations (or set your location appropriately) and the Washington University Libraries have a copy of the item, the local holding is always shown on top. If there is no local holding, you can still borrow the item from other libraries through interlibrary loan (ILL). (See the ILL page for more information and instructions).

To always display this set of useful ILL links on WorldCat record pages, use the proxied link.

Below are Japanese Romanization tables adopted from http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/japanese.pdf. Follow the link above for the full set of Romanization and word division rules.

Some notable differences between library Romanization and "everyday" Romanization:

  • Katakana words are always transliterized as Japanese. (Never revert to the original Western spelling. e.g. 「ミズーリ」 is "Mizuri," 「データベース」 is "detabesu").
  • Long vowels are represented by macrons (a horizontal line on a character) in catalogs, but can be ignored for searching. They are NEVER represented by additional characters. (e.g. 「佐藤」 is "Sato[macron]," and same as "Sato" for searching purposes. It is never "Satou," or "Satoh"). 
  • 「を」 is always "o," NOT "wo."
  • 「は」 pronounced as 「わ」 (e.g. as in 『私はこう考える』) is "wa," never "ha."
  • 「日本」 is Romanized as "Nihon," (not "Nippon"), UNLESS the word is part of an entity name that prefers itself be called "Nippon" something. (e.g.  「日本ハム」 is "Nippon hamu" because it is a corporate name).
  • 「-学」 and 「-史」 are not to be separated from the rest of the word. So 「社会学」 is "shakaigaku," (NOT "shakai gaku"), and 「東洋史」 is "Toyoshi," NOT "Toyo shi."

 

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