Skip to Main Content

ASIA 445 - Japanese Crime Fiction

Library research guide for ASIA 445: Japanese Crime Fiction taught by Dr. Christina Yi (Winter Session 2022/23)

Research Help

Profile Photo
Tomoko Kitayama Yen
she, her, hers
Asian Library, Asian Centre
1871 West Mall
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2
Social: Twitter Page


Welcome! This guide is to support the ASIA 445 students in their work on their projects for this research intensive course on Japanese crime fiction. Check out also the regular Japanese Studies Resources guide for more complete listing of available resources. Also see the Asian Studies - English Language Resources guide for further English-language resources on Asia.

If you have any questions, please contact your librarian, Tomoko Kitayama Yen.

Having an urgent question after hours? Online chat reference service, staffed by B.C. academic librarians, is available at AskAway.

Effective Keywords for Effective Searching

Without the right keywords, we may miss important resources that are available to us. Try and think about possible terms before running your search, and keep in mind the following:

Place (e.g. Edo, Tokyo) 

Date Range
Think about the date you would like to focus. e.g. late-Edo, Tokugawa, 17th century, 18th century, the 1600s

Think about the identity of travellers. e.g. gender, status (elite, celebrity, townsman, 士農工商 (samurai-peasants-artisans-merchants))

Events / Related Issues
What other events or issues are related to the topic?

Search Techniques


Library of Congress Japanese Romanization Table
Libraries in North America follow these rules

訓令式 Romanization
Used in Japanese institutions.

Although Hepburn romanization in now standard, older materials sometimes have variant romanization. You may miss finding something if you use a different romanization in your search, so try using "OR" searches or the following.

Wildcards and Truncation

Wildcards and truncation may be used in order to catch romanization and spacing issues. 


Allows you to search for terms that could have more than one ending.
Truncation Example: kaguya? = "kaguya hime" OR "kaguyahime"


allows you to substitute 0 or more letters in a word.
Wildcard Example: Ra?po = "Rampo" OR "Ranpo"

Note: the question mark is used for the UBC Library catalogue, but other databases have other truncation/wildcard symbols (e.g. UBC Summon). See this wiki page for a more comprehensive guide.

Combining Concepts

Use Boolean Logic, which uses special terms called 'operators,' to make your keyword searching powerful.

  • Boolean OR: This operator serves to broaden a search by capturing synonyms or variant spellings of a term. If you want to find any of the terms in the search, use the Boolean operator OR.

Example: "kaguya hime" OR kaguyahime

  • Boolean AND: This operator operator narrows a search by capturing two or more ideas or concepts. If you want to find both of the following words in the search, use the Boolean operator AND.

Example: 社会主義 AND 日本

The following diagram describes how the Boolean operators, AND, OR and NOT, work in database searching.