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Open Access Resources Home

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Library Resources

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Steve Witt

International & Area Studies Library
Associate Professor
University Library
Center for Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

311 Main Library

Digitized image of Horai no Makimono Scroll Credit: Digital Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Welcome to the Guide to Open-Access Resources!

This page is the home to lists of open-access resources of a variety of topics that are listed in the tabs above. Please use them to conduct your research or simply to get to know more about Japan. Some of them are available only in Japanese, but others are in English, as well.

Japanese Culture

Studio Ghibli Wallpapers
It offers wallpapers that you can use for web based meetings that include online classroom. If you like Studio Ghibli and their films or characters, use them for your zoom virtual background!

Cultural Japan
This webpage provides digital resources for an overview of Japanese culture including ones that are traditional such as Kabuki and literature but also ones that are contemporary. This is a great resource to know more about Japanese cultures in general. More than a million items are collected for this platform to inspire novel applicaitons. Available in English.

Modern Japan
This webpage, provided by the same organization as to the one listed above, gives good insights on contemporary Japan, or Japan of today. It introduces various subjects including pop music, films, and politics. Available in English.

Library Reference and Bibliography

NCC Japan
The National Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) provides a number of research guides and information on doing Japanese library research, both in Japan and elsewhere.

Collaborative Reference Database レファレンス協同データベース
This is rather more an academic and scholarly resource that provides databases and archives from the National Diet Library with answers to reference inquiries on a variety of topics.

NDL Research Navi
This is an amazing webpage full of reference sources on topics ranging from humanities and economics to politics, science, and education.

NDL Dissertations
This article describes how to find and use dissertations in Japan, particularly at the National Diet Library, but also using CiNii Dissertations.

Guide to Research Access in Japanese Museums, Libraries, and Archives
NCC’s comprehensive guide to doing research in Japan, covering a large number and variety of institutions there.

Basic Dictionary and Encyclopedia

Kotobank コトバンク
Kotobank is a free service that searches across many dictionaries and encyclopedias, good for looking up definitions, basic biographical and historical information, literature, people, places, and events.

Wikipedia ウィキペディア
The Japanese Wikipedia (ウィキペディア日本語版, Wikipedia Nihongo-ban, literally “Wikipedia: Japanese-language version” is the Japanese-language edition of Wikipedia, a free, open-content encyclopedia

Academic Societies and Networks

Gakkai Meikan 学会名鑑
A directory of detailed information on academic societies in Japan maintained by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. Largely focused on science and social sciences include literature and linguistics societies.