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East Asia Library Guides: Japan

Japanese Studies Resources: Online Visual Resources [Back to Table of Contents]

Selected Japanese visual resources available online

Mainichi Photo bank

Contains about 450,000 photographs taken after Meiji Restorations in Japan. Database provides free simple key word search and view of collection. For each photo, caption s which includes size of the photo as well as the location and date of photograph taken . For use of publication, one must contact Mainich Shinbun for purchase.

Yomiuri Shashinkan

This site is very similar to the Mainichi Photo bank. The search engine also provide s a function to search for a particular dates.

Database of Ukiyo-e held at the Library of Congress ( http://memory.loc.gov/pp/jpdhtml/jpdback.html#ukiyo ; http://www.nichibun.ac.jp/graphicversion/dbase/ukiyoe-e.html )

Includes Japanese prints and paintings from the 17 th to the 19 th century held by the Library of Congress. This database contains images and texts of about 2 , 500 items. To search the collection, go to the bottom of page to “New Search” or database provided by Nichibunken.

The Ohara Institute

Has about 2 , 700 posters from the pre-1945 period and 1 , 400 posters from the post-1945 period. Poster exhibitions show a collection of images and give an English translation of the poster text in the "Slide Show" format. Below are the subcategories for the posters.

Japanese Image Resources at Duke

Provides extensive bibliographical information on Japanese visual materials available in print format.

Japanese Historical Maps - University of California, Berkeley

Has more than 200 images from about 100 early maps of Japan. Maps in the online collection - include especially rare woodblock print maps of the city of Edo (now Tokyo) - from the library's Japanese Historical Map Collection.

Nichibunken Databases

Lists various databases for visual resources such as early photographs, illustrations of modern folklore and Japanese picture scrolls.  Below are some examples of the databases with brief descriptions provided by Nichibunken. - Some databases require registration.

Database of Foreign Images of Japan

Nichibunken's collection of photographs, illustrations, and other visual images of Japan or Japan-related subjects from around the world.

Database of Early Photographs

Hand-colored photographs of Japan and accompanying text dating from the end of the Edo Period through the beginning of the Meiji Period.

Database of Japanese Art in Overseas Collections

Images and textual information on Japanese art such as paintings, prints, ceramics, lacquerware, etc. , in foreign collections.

Space in Historical Perspective

Contains information found in maps, primarily maps of early modern (mid-16th-mid-19th centuries) cities. Visual image data supplements information from maps in the collection of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies.

'Zuroku Bei-O kairan jikki'

'Zuroku Bei-O kairan jikki‘ (“Illustrated true account of the observations of the ambassadors plenipotentiary of America and Europe”) is a collection of illustrations and descriptive passages related to those illustrations from Tokumei zenken taishi Bei-O kairan jikki ( A true account of the observations of the ambassadors plenipotentiary of America and Europe) written by Kume Kunitake and , published in 1878.

Miyako nenju gyoji gajo (Picture Album of Annual Festivals in the Miyako)

The Miyako nenju gyoji gajo (Showa 3, 1928) in the Nichibunken library collection is made available for electronic viewing. It is a two-volume album of hand painted pictures on silk by NAKAJIMA Soyo, depicting the annual festivals and customs of Kyoto at the beginning of the Showa period. These paintings are accompanied by explanatory texts written by the folklorist and Kyoto scholar EMA Tsutomu.

Emakimono (Picture Scrolls)

Database of images of Emakimono (picture scrolls) held at the Nichibunken Library. Bibliographical information is also available.

Database of illustrations of Modern Folklore

Database of images of esoshi(illustrated books that were popular during the Edo period) in the Nichibunken Library.

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