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ASIA 212 - Writing about Japan

Welcome

Welcome! This guide is to support the ASIA 212 students in their work on their research projects. 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

People
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

Romanization

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. 

Truncation

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

Wildcard

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.