Before You Begin Your Research
Before you begin your research, you might want to check the following points for basics:
- JapanKnowledge: What is the general understanding of the topic of your research? JapanKnowledge provides access to basic Japanese reference sources including encyclopedias and dictionaries (e.g., 日本大百科全書, 日本国語大辞典, 國史大辭典, Encyclopedia of Japan, etc.) as well as 東洋文庫 and 新編日本古典文学全集 series.
- Risāchi nabi リサーチ・ナビ: Are there useful research guides for specific topics or specific types of materials? The National Diet Library of Japan provides many research guides covering a wide range of subjects and special materials.
- Whoplus: Contains biographical information of 330,000 prominent figures active in Japan and e-version of several biographical reference dictionaries covering 280,000 people, including Jinbutsu refarensu jiten 人物レファレンス事典, Umi o koeta Nihon jinmei jiten 海を越えた日本人名事典, Jiten kindai Nihon no senkusha 事典近代日本の先駆者, Tsuitō kiji sakuin 追悼記事索引1991-2005, Bijutsu sakuhin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 美術作品レファレンス事典:人物・肖像篇, Shashin refarensu jiten: jinbutsu, shōzōga hen 写真レファレンス事典人物・肖像篇.
- Directory of Japanese Studies in the United States and Canada: This website displays the information collected from the Survey of Japan Specialists and Japanese Studies Institutions in North America in 2011-2012 sponsored by the Japan Foundation.The survey was conducted through the University of Hawaii under the direction of Professor Patricia Steinhoff of the University of Hawaii and Professor Julian Dierkes of the University of British Columbia.
- J-Global: Who does the research in the academia and what research resources are available in Japan on your topic? J-Global maintained by the Japan Science and Technology Agency provides information on research institutes, researchers, research projects, etc.
- Academic Society Home Village: What academic societies exist in a specific field? The National Institute of Informatics compiles links to homepages of academic societies in Japan.
Citation Management Tools
Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!
- Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.
- RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
- EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central.
It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.
Searching Japanese Materials
Japanese language materials at UC Berkeley Library can be searched either using original Japanese scripts (ひらがな, カタカナ, 漢字) or the modified Hepburn Romanization (transliteration) system. The modified Hepburn Romanization system is slightly different from the official Romanzation system (訓令式) currently used by Japanese goverments. The following links offer information about the modified Hepburn Romanization system:
Japanese Romanization Table: A table of Japanese alphabets (ひらがな) and equivalent Romanized letters.
LC (Library of Congress) and ALA (American Library Association) Romanization Table for Japanese:
Detailed explanation of the guidelines that many American libraries follow when romanizing Japanese materials
Note that when searching OskiCat, if you use Japanese scripts, you might miss some records, because some records do not have information in Japanse.
When searching using Romanization, space after each word, including prepositional word. Example: "Nihon kokka no keisei."