Japanese Studies Research Guide: Find Books

Reference and research resources in Japanese

About the Japanese Studies Collection

The Collection's strength lies in the humanities and the social sciences with substantial holdings in literature, history, philosophy and religion, especially Buddhism, fine and performing arts, business and economics, and East Asian studies. The Library's Japanese language holdings, as of June 30, 2020, include 374,335 volumes; 3,544 serials titles; 40,635 microform items;  1,233 DVDs; 519 film and videocassettes; 504 audios; and 940 cartographic/graphic materials. These resources are supported by a collection of secondary materials in Western languages. We also subscribe to over 20 electronic databases and have roughly 5,500 Japanese e-books.

Updated: 9/10/2021

Getting Japanese Books

  1. Go to CLIO (Columbia Library Information Online) to see if it is available in one of the Columbia libraries. CLIO also includes holdings in shared offsite storage with the New York Public Library, Princeton University and Harvard University. Offsite items can be put on course reserve.
  2. If a book is not at Columbia or the Columbia copy is checked out, try Borrow Direct. Among 13 Borrow Direct Libraries, 9 libraries have a Japanese Studies Librarian. Loan period is sixteen (16) weeks and not renewable. Check the additional details  at https://library.columbia.edu/services/request/borrow-direct.html.


  1. If the Borrow Direct libraries do not have an available copy, try ILL to request a copy.

Check "Search Tips" for useful techniques, for example, phrase, truncation, and NOT searches.

Examine how your search query and after-search limits appear on the result screen. "Is" can be changed to "Is not" to exclude certain materials in CLIO. 

Updated: 9/28/2022


Columbia's online public catalog was transformed into a discovery tool and contains records for almost all materials, including books, periodicals, microforms, and databases, and beyond.  Most of Japanese language materials are cataloged both in Japanese language as well as transliteration of Japanese in romanization in the modified Hepburn System employed by the Library of Congress.  It is more effective to search by romanization rather than Japanese. Pay attention to word divisions when searching.  Please refer to CLIO search tips here. Check also other CLIO Search Tips sections.

Ebooks may be listed not only under Catalog section, but also under Articles + section. To include Articles + in your search, switch to Quick Search mode.

Updated: 9/28/2022

To find what books have been published in a year, consult the following print titles:

Updated: 6/29/2021



     Updated: 6/28/2022

Institutional Repositories

Indexes to Works in Collections and Series

Updated: 12/5/2019

Early Japanese Books (古典籍)

Updated: 12/4/2019

Kotenseki Databases

Finding Translations

Japanese Studies Librarian

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Chiaki Sakai
Room 307 Butler Library
(212) 854-1506

C.V. Starr East Asian Library