Searching Japanese Language Materials

1. The Library of Congress romanization rules, based on the modified Hepburn system, must be used for accurate and complete search results. See http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/japanese.pdf.

2. A romanized search generates more accurate and comprehensive results than a search in Japanese characters. The LC romanization rules are based on the actual pronunciation. For example, the romanization of “吾輩は猫である” is “wagahai wa neko de aru”; there is no distinction between “お” and “を”, both are romanized as “o”, e.g. “風土記を読む” “fudoki o yomu”.

3. Pay attention to word divisions, e.g. “日本史” is written as “nihon shi” not as “nihonshi”, but you write “nihongo” not “nihon go”.

4. Pay attention to long vowels, e.g. “神道” is romanized as “shintō” not “shintou”.

5. In CLIO searches diacritics are ignored (though they do display in the bibliographic records), so you simply type “shinto”. Likewise, to search for “中島健一” “nakajima ken’ichi” simply type “nakajima kenichi”.

6. For more detailed instructions and suggestions check the Japanese Studies homepage at http://library.columbia.edu/locations/eastasian/japanese.html or ask the Japanese Studies Librarian, Sachie Noguchi (sn2160@columbia.edu)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *