Resource: Bibliography of Japanese History

Today I’ll briefly introduce a resource which I was sadly unaware until recently. Peter Kornicki, a Japan specialist and professor of East Asian Studies at Cambridge University who has done extensive work on the history of the book in Japan, has compiled an extensive bibliography of research books and articles related to Japanese history up to 1912. He maintains a webpage ( organizing these materials by both time period and subject. One can find Pre-Heian, Heian, and Medieval lists as well as time periods like Tokugawa or Meiji divided into political, social, and economic histories.

Particularly extensive topics such as foreign relations get their own sections divided into 1200-1800 and 1800-1900, which include subdirectories for contacts with Asia, Europe, and the Christian Century in the former and more country-specific contact in the latter. Broad bibliographies and general works and the names and websites (when applicable) for many journals are also recorded.

Kornicki endeavors to be exhaustive in his list, continually soliciting new additions from readers and keeping the list as updated as possible. Students and researchers of Japanese Studies should not view this bibliography as an end-all summary of information on what’s out there, but it certainly is a fabulous place to start and will likely introduce a number of works in English (and other languages) of which one might be previously unaware. Also, to our benefit, there is now a search option on the page. This bibliography provides an excellent way for readers to assess the sheer volume of materials that have been produced on Japan and seek resources old and new on a variety of subjects related to Japan’s history (and the numerous subjects encompassed therein!). Be sure to bookmark it; I know I’ll be returning to it more than once as I continue my studies.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of graduate life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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