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見出しアイコンDatabases Open for Public

(If you wish to use images for a publication, television broadcast, or other such purpose, please see the “Application for Special Use Privileges” page.)

Western Books on Japan
Overseas Images of Japan, Early Photographs
Ukiyo-e, Emakimono, Art
Pictorial and Biographical Works
Records and Accounts
Waka, Renga, Haikai
Performing Arts

見出しアイコンOther Search Engines / Databases

見出しアイコンDatabases Open for Public

(If you wish to use images for a publication, television broadcast, or other such purpose, please see the “Application for Special Use Privileges” page.)

Western Books on Japan

Digitization of a three-volume, indexed catalogue of pre-1900 published works in Western languages in the Nichibunken collection that contain material about Japan.

Database of high-resolution images of Chirimen-bon (Japanese folktales written in other languages, printed on Japanese washi paper made for export in the Meiji and Taishō eras), held at Nichibunken.

Images of all pages of the rare books in Nichibunken’s collection, primarily books in foreign languages published before the opening of the country in the 1850s. The database also contains the text data of these works including bibliographic information, tables of contents, and the captions of illustrations.

Overseas Images of Japan, Early Photographs
Early Photographs
5,431 items

Hand-colored photographs (with source information) of Japan from the late Edo period and the beginning of the Meiji era in the Nichibunken collection.

Nichibunken’s collection of photographs, illustrations, and other images (with source information) extracted from Japan-related publications from around the world.

Bibliographic information on Yōkai and mysterious phenomena reported in folklore studies and other fields research.

Collections of Namazu-e (catfish prints) owned by Nichibunken. Namazu-e are color prints depicting the myth of giant catfish living underground as the cause of earthquakes.

Database of images of a wide variety of strange phenomena and Yōkai depicted in paintings.

Ukiyo-e, Emakimono, Art

Database of images of postcards collected by Nichibunken showing the works shown at art exhibitions in Japan.

Database of metadata and images such as the front and back covers, tables of contents, and frontispieces of modern Japanese popular magazines archived in the Kasho Museum. The images accessible on the database are only those for which the copyright has expired and those for which the copyright owner has given permission for use.

Ehon (Ukiyo-e Shunga)
about 470 items(915 pieces)

Database of basic bibliographic data and digitized high resolution images of Edo period Ehon (erotic ukiyo-e books) in the Nichibunken collection.

Database of high-resolution digital images of Emakimono (picture scrolls) held at Nichibunken.

Full image data of the Shōō-ban Genji monogatari, a 1654 version of the illustrated Tale of Genji (texts: 54 volumes, commentaries: 6 volumes) in the collection of the Library of Congress in the United States.

Contains images of and original source information on works of Japanese art (paintings, woodblock prints, netsuke, ceramics, lacquerware, sculpture, metalwork, etc.) in the collections of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, the Ferenc Hopp Museum of East Asian Arts in Hungary, as well as other museums in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Images of the Nara Ehon (“Nara picture books”) in the Library of Congress Collection in the United States, along with commentaries.

Images of Ukiyo-e prints in the Library of Congress Collection in the United States, along with commentaries on the prints.

Pictorial and Biographical Works

A database of illustrated encyclopedias published in early modern Japan. Includes Kinmōzui (1666) and other “Kinmōzui”-type encylopedias as well as books with pictorial and diagramed information. Although described as “early modern,” this database covers the period up to and including the early Meiji era.

High resolution images of all pages of the ezōshi, or illustrated story books from the Edo period, in the Nichibunken collection.

Images, complete text, and index to the Heian Jinbutsu Shi who’s who (collection of Nichibunken) published between 1768 and 1867.

Database of digitized high-resolution images of Edo-period and Meiji-era meisho zue illustrated guidebooks of famous places in Kyoto held at Nichibunken. The database has been constructed to help researchers study the lifestyles and customs of old Kyoto through such guidebooks.

Paintings on silk by Nakajima Sōyō and explanatory texts by Kyoto scholar Ema Tsutomu from Miyako nenjū gyōji gajō (1928; owned by Nichibunken), a picture album depicting annual festivals and customs of Kyoto.

Images of rectangular poem cards (Tanzaku) with verses brushed by the figures who appear in the Heian Jinbutsu Shi (held at Nichibunken), text versions of the verses and source data.


This database collects maps drawn by Mori Kōan, a draftsman and map-maker active in the mid-Edo period. It allows viewing of some of the images published in the Zōho kaitei Mori Kōan no egaita chizu (Maps Drawn by Mori Kōan), published in the Nichibunken Japanese Studies Series (No. 54).

Images of old maps in the Nichibunken collection —mainly urban maps made in early modern Japan— are available in digital form.

Database of images of the bird’s-eye view maps made by Yoshida Hatsusaburō (1884–1955) and other artists of his time.


To make the Kojiruien more easily and widely available to Japan specialists in and outside Japan, this database has an easy-to-use search function, based on the 51-volume edition of the Kojiruien (bound in Western-book format) published in the Taishō era (1912–1926).

Kojiruien Full Text
20,350 pages

Kojiruien is an exhaustive encyclopedia of Japanese culture of over 67,000 pages and more than 40,000 entries, launched as a national project by the Meiji government and published in the Meiji and Taishō eras. In collaboration with the National Institute of Japanese Literature and other organizations, Nichibunken has converted [been converting] the entire text of the Kojiruien into a database and been making it available in stages to the public.

Records and Accounts

Images of all the texts of the court rulings in civil cases from 1868 to 1890 (Meiji 1 to 23).

Database in Database in kundoku (“Japanese” or explanatory reading) of the full texts of diaries and other old records from the middle part of the Heian period.
Shōyūki (diary of Fujiwara no Sanesuke);
Gonki (diary of Fujiwara no Yukinari);
Midō Kanpakuki (diary of Fujiwara no Michinaga);
Sakeiki (diary of Minamoto no Tsuneyori);
Shunki (diary of Fujiwara no Sukefusa), etc.

Digitized full text and illustrations of the Kinsei Kijinden (parts 1 and 2, published in the 1790s),a collection of biographies of Edo-period figures(artists,poets,etc.).Chinese and kana characters in the old form have been replaced with present-day equivalents. Characters not in the JIS Code have been replaced with JIS Code characters having the same meaning and pronunciation.

Picture postcards of Korea published 1900-1940 (collection of Yamamoto Shunsuke, Kyoto; former researcher at the Koryo Museum of Art, Kyoto) are presented in digital format together with publication data and other details.

Database containing letters addressed to philosopher Inoue Tetsujirō (1856-1944) from prominent figures in academia and other members of intellectual elite over the six decades from 1882 to 1941.

Medieval Zen Texts
2,507 items

Digitalized text for Zen-related works of the medieval era. Currently it provides the full text of Gidō Shūshin's Kūge rōshi nichiyō kufūshū (Ryakushū,Besshō etc.), Kokan Shiren's Jūzenshi roku, Zoku zenshi roku, and Ryōsen Ryōzui's Kaizō oshō kinenroku.

Digital data of Japanese newspapers published outside of Japan. Nine newspapers published in San Francisco, Argentina, and Brazil are now available in digital format.

Waka, Renga, Haikai
25,652 items

The major haikai collections, including those of Bashō and Buson. This material, collected over many years by Seta Katsuhiro of the Nara National College of Technology, was donated to Nichibunken in support of Japanese studies.

197,228 items

Contains all Renga collections composed before the Eiroku era (up until the death of renga poet Sōyō in 1563) and the major works composed from the Eiroku era until the Bakumatsu period. This material, collected over many years by Professor Seta Katsuhiro of the Nara National College of Technology, has been donated to Nichibunken in support of Japanese studies.

Database of Renga-associated vocabulary, created by extracting, from the verses recorded in Nichibunken’s renga database, the lexical patterns that appear in the preceding stanza (maeku) and the linking stanza (tsukeku) that is added to it. Users of this database can search these lexical patterns either using the maeku/tsukeku or verse collection title. The database is linked a digitized version of “Rensō goi yōrei jiten” (Dictionary of Usage of Associated Vocabulary) included in Yamada Shōji and Iwai Shigeki, eds., Renga no hassō rensō goi yōrei jiten to sono nettowāku kaiseki,the Nichibunken Japanese Studies Series (No. 38)

190,423 items

Contains all twenty-one imperial anthologies, including Man’yōshū, and major private waka collections such as Fuboku wakashū. This material, collected by Seta Katsuhiro over many years, was donated to Nichibunken in support of Japanese studies.

Database of the Noma Collection, including sixteenth-century books on human anatomy, donated to Nichibunken by the Noma Research Archives for Science and Medicine (closed in 2003).

Mainly illustrations from the Sōda Archives of books and illustrations relating to histories of medicine and pharmacy collected by the late Sōda Hajime (1921-1996), an authority on the history of medicine.

Performing Arts
Rōkyoku (Naniwabushi) Digital Archive
Original sound recordings: 2,237, Label images: 5,534, Rōkyoku-related materials: 56.

The archive contains approximately 10,000 standard-playing (SP) records of Rōkyoku (Naniwabushi) songs released from 1903 to the mid-1960s. Database also includes original records, label images, posters, and other Rōkyoku-related materials. Only original sound recordings for which copyright protection has expired are freely available to the public.

見出しアイコンOther Search Engines / Databases

Database of scholars engaged in global Japanese studies located in and out of Japan.

Kigo Keyword Search
35,811 items

This database, which contains more than 35,000 kigo (seasonal words) entries, has been developed as a search tool for Nichibunken’s waka, renga, and haikai databases. It can be used separately to search for kigo words.

Bibliographic information on books and periodicals from around the world, held at Nichibunken, providing an almost complete picture of written materials and images in the Nichibunken collection.

NIMOU is a Database for Researchers and Institutions in Japanese Studies. Occasions for use: Search researchers to give lecture. Find participants/collaborators for an international research project. Find joint research team members. Look for project counterparts in other countries.

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