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Japan Studies: Open Access Resources

Guide overview

Open access (OA) refers to materials that are freely accessible online and easily discoverable in an Internet search. Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, and monographs.

Resource Categories

Journals (General)

  • Directory of Open Access Journals
    A community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high-quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • JSTOR Open Content
    Providing access to thousands of free journal articles and open access book chapters.
  • The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
    A peer-reviewed online publication providing critical analysis of the forces shaping the Asia-Pacific and the world. 
  • Asian Studies
    Published by Japan Association for Asian Studies
  • Ebisu. Etudes japonaises
    Ebisu. Etudes japonaises is a peer-reviewed journal founded in 1993 at the Maison Franco-Japonaise (Umifre 19 MAEDI-CNRS). 
    (Note: published materials in French)
  • electronic journal of contemporary Japanese studies
    An international peer-reviewed journal that publishes on all issues related to contemporary Japanese society, economy, politics, literature, theatre, cinema, and culture.
  • J-Stage
    An electronic journal platform for science and technology information in Japan. Also contains journals in humanities and social sciences.
    (Note: restricted access on some journals)
  • The Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies
    Official academic journal of the Waseda Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies, Waseda University,.
  • Journal of Social Science 社会科学研究
    Published by the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo
    (Note: published materials in Japanese; open-access available since 2004 volumes)
  • Social Science Japan
    The English-language newsletter of the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo.

Journal (Early Modern Japan)

Journals (Literature and Linguistics)

Journal (Religion)

  • Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
    The journal began in 1960 as Contemporary Religions in Japan, which was changed to the JJRS in 1974. Published by the Nanzan Institute since 1981.


  • East Asian Image Collection
    Documenting the history of imperial Japan (1868-1945), its Asian empire (1895-1945), and occupied Japan (1947-52). Images of Taiwan, Japan, China, Korea, Manchuria, and Indonesia are included. Images unique to this collection include the Warners’ unpublished slides and negatives, made from snapshots taken during their years of US State Department service in Asia (1932-1952). Rare materials include prewar picture postcards, high-quality commercial prints, and colonial-era picture books. From the Digital Scholarship Services, Lafayette College.
  • Emery D. Middleton Collection: Photos During the Allied Occupation of Japan
    Consisting of over 600 black & white photos, along with several historical postcards and documents. Mainly photos and postcards took during his service as an officer in the Allied Occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1947. From the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Images of Okinawa after World War II
    154 slide photos were taken by Dr. Kupfer right after WWII and 27 photos were taken by Irene Beran in 1956. 57 images were digitized from photos taken by USCAR. From the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Japanese Commercial Graphic Design 1920s
    50 graphic designs published by Shotenkai 商店界, published in 1928. From the University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Japanese Old Photographs In Bakumatsu-Meiji Period 幕末・明治期日本古写真コレクション
    “Japanese Old Photographs of the Bakumatsu-Meiji Periods” at the Nagasaki University Library is the largest collection of old photographs, approximately 7,000, taken all over Japan from the Bakumatsu through to the Meiji period. From Nagasaki University Library Collection.
  • Cultural Japan
    This site aims to collect information related to Japanese culture published in museums, libraries, etc. around the world, and to provide them with a common and reusable format. Discover digital resources on Japanese Culture from all over the world. More than a million items are collected for this platform to inspire novel applications.


  • Japanese Historical Map Collection
    Containing about 2,300 early maps of Japan and the World. Represented in this online collection are a selection of maps and books from the collection. From the University of California-Berkeley, East Asian Library.
  • Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era

    Focusing on privately published and travel-related maps and guides published in Japan during the Tokugawa/Edo period. A number of prominent Japanese ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artists are represented, among whom are: Hishikawa Moronobu, Miyagawa Chôshun, Shiba Kôkan, Kuwagata Keisai (Shôshin), Katsushika Hokusai, Ando Hiroshige, and Hashimoto Sadahide. From the University of British Columbia Library's Rare Books and Special Collections.