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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?

Manga: A Critical Guide

A wide-ranging introductory guide for readers making their first steps into the world of manga, this book helps readers explore the full range of Japanese comic styles, forms and traditions from its earliest texts to the internationally popular comics of the 21st century.

Humor in Asian Cultures

Using examples from Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Chinese cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the contributors explore the different cultural rules for creating and sharing humour.

Introducing Japanese Popular Culture

A comprehensive textbook offering an up-to-date overview of a wide variety of media forms. It uses particular case studies as a way into examining the broader themes in Japanese culture and provides a thorough analysis of the historical and contemporary trends that have shaped artistic production, as well as politics, society, and economics.

Making Audiences

Explores the century-old relationships between Japanese media and social subjects, analyzing the connections between cinema audiences and five significant discursive terms: minshu (the people), kokumin (the national populace), toa minzoku (the East Asian race), taishu (the masses), and shimin (citizens). Fujiki narrates the history of Japan's transmedia ecology, illuminating cinema's enmeshment with other forms of media, from vaudeville to the internet, so that cinema audiences emerge as simultaneously shaped by and shaping social history.

The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary

A revised, expanded edition of the best-selling Japanese-English character dictionary - now with all the current Joyo and Jinmei Kanji

History of Japanese Art After 1945

A compilation of essays that surveys the development of art in Japan since WWII. The original Japanese work, which has become essential reading for those with an interest in modern and contemporary Japanese art and is a foundational resource for students and researchers, spans a period of 150 years, from the 1850s to the 2010s. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific period and written by a specialist.

Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan

Covering a significant breadth of material, the book presents comprehensive findings that use a variety of research methods--public opinion surveys, in-depth interviews, a life history, and participant observation--and, in doing so, look beyond Japan's perennially low rankings in gender equality indices to demonstrate the diversity underneath, questioning some of the stereotypical assumptions about women in Japan.


Traces the samurai throughout history, exploring their roles in watershed events such as Japan's invasions of Korea at the close of the sixteenth century and the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. Coming alive in these accounts are the samurai, both famed and ordinary, who shaped Japanese history.