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Japanese Studies

An introduction to Japanese Studies resources available from UMSL Libraries.

Japanese Studies. Image of a bridge over a river surrounded by cherry trees.

Header image: Koganeibashi no sekishō (1938) by Hiroshige Andō


Welcome! This guide offers an introduction to Japanese Studies resources at UMSL Libraries and on the web. You will find help with:

  • Background information
  • Searching Discover@UMSL for scholarly books & articles
  • Choosing & navigating library databases
  • Introductory information for special topics
  • Citing sources

...and more.


Please contact the arts & humanities librarian. We also welcome purchase suggestions from UMSL affiliates for Japanese Studies materials.

Quick Resources

What's New?

Japanese Horror Culture

Encompassing a range of genres and media including cinema, manga, video games, and anime, this book investigates and analyzes Japanese horror in relation with trauma studies (including the figure of Godzilla), the non-human (via grotesque bodies), and hybridity with Western narratives (including the linkages with Hollywood), thus illuminating overlooked aspects of this cultural phenomenon.

Transpacific Convergences

Drawing from a fascinating multilingual archive including the films themselves, movie industry trade press, Japanese American newspapers, oral histories, and more, this book reveals the experiences of Japanese Americans at the cinema and traces an alternative network of film production, exhibition, and spectatorship.


Collectively referred to by the word tsuchi, earthy materials such as soil and clay are prolific in Japanese contemporary art. Highlighting works of photography, ceramics, and installation art, Bert Winther-Tamaki explores the many aesthetic manifestations of tsuchi and their connection to the country's turbulent environmental history, investigating how Japanese artists have continually sought a passionate and redemptive engagement with earth.

Reframing Disability in Manga

Analyzes popular Japanese manga published from the 1990s to the present that portray the everyday lives of adults and children with disabilities in an ableist society. It focuses on five representative conditions currently classified as shōgai (disabilities) in Japan - deafness, blindness, paraplegia, autism, and gender identity disorder - and explores the complexities and sociocultural issues surrounding each.

Magazines and the Making of Mass Culture in Japan

Provides a detailed yet approachable analysis of the mechanisms central to the birth of mass culture in Japan by tracing the creation, production, and circulation of two critically important family magazines: Kingu (King) and Ie no hikari (Light of the Home). These magazines served to embed new instruments of mass communication and socialization within Japanese society and created mechanisms to facilitate the dissemination of hegemonic forms of discourse in the first half of the twentieth century.

Designing Modern Japan

A revealing look at Japanese design, weaving together the stories of people who shaped Japan's design industries with social history, economic conditions, and geopolitics.