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ASIA 315 - Japan from Feudal to Modern State

Japanese Studies Resources

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

Truncation
allows you to search for terms that could have more than one ending.

map* = map OR maps OR mapping

Wildcard
allows you to substitute 0 or more letters in a word.

colo*r = colour OR color

Quotation Marks
in many databases allows you to search for words together as a phrase

"travel literature"


A full guide on truncation and wildcard use within library databases is available here.

Language Issues

Romanization
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 Example:
kaguya? = "kaguya hime" | "kaguyahime".

Wildcard Example:
na?ba = "nanba" | "namba"

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