This is a guide for researchers who are looking for East Asian visual materials such as paintings, prints, photos, maps, posters and slides.
- ARTstorARTstor is a cross-disciplinary image database. It offers collections of approximately 300,000 art images and descriptive information covering art, architecture and archeology.
- "Looking Inward, Looking Outward"-Japanese Representations of Self and OtherAn online exhibition of a representative sample of the remarkable items contained in the Japanese collection of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at the Brigham Young University. The physical exhibit, held August 2004-January 2005, was organized around one theme that runs through the collection: Japanese perceptions of themselves and the outside world, and the changes in those perceptions over time.
- ARC景観型写真ポータルデータベースA Landscape Photo Portal Database by Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.
- ARC研究資源ポータルデータベース（マルチメディア対応）This is a Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center (ARC) ARC research resource portal database. It includes collections from ARC and other institutions. It includes books, sculpture, costumes, etc.
- The Arthur Tress Collection of Japanese Illustrated BooksAcclaimed photographer Arthur Tress (b. 1940) began collecting Japanese illustrated books in 1965 when he was visiting Kyoto. Tress built the collection “on an artist’s shoestring budget,” as he says, and “pour l’amour de l’art.” Over more than fifty years he amassed an extensive and important collection of over 1200 titles dating from the late 17th century through the 1930s.
- Bakemono (Ghost) Scroll 化物之繪The variety and abundance of bakemono 化物, or yōkai 妖怪 (supernatural creatures and phenomena), in Japanese culture is astounding. For more than a millennium creepy creatures and ghastly ghosts have haunted and entertained the imagination of the Japanese, some familiar, widespread, and longstanding, and some new, localized, and mutable. BYU’s Bakemono no e 化物之繪 (Illustrations of Supernatural Creatures), also titled Bakemonozukushie 化物尽繪 (Illustrated Index of Supernatural Creatures), is perhaps the oldest extant version of this type of index handscroll.
- Connecting the Pacific with a Visual Archive: A Linked Postcard DatabaseBeginning in 2015, the Center for Integrated Area Studies (now the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies) at Kyoto University and Lafayette College embarked on a project to link open-access postcard databases. The following year, Harvard-Yenching Library joined the project. Participants from each institution traversed the Pacific to advance international and inter-institutional collaborative research.
- Costume Museum 風俗博物館The Customs Museum opened in 1974 as a museum exhibiting actual Japanese customs and costumes from ancient times to modern times.
- Cultural JapanA website collecting information related to Japanese culture published in museums, libraries, etc. around the world, and providing them with a common and reusable format.
- Database of Visual Images in Modern Japanese Popular Magazines 近代日本大衆雑誌図像データベースA collection of images from Kasho Museum collection. It features the front and back covers, table of contents and frontispieces of Modern Japanese popular magazines published during late Meiji (1868-1912) to early Showa (1926-1989).
- Digital BodleianThe collection from the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford college libraries include some images of rare books, manuscripts, and other treasures from East Asia.
- Dream WorldsModern Japanese Prints and Paintings from the Robert O. Muller Collection. By the Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.
- Early Japanese Books Portal Database ARC古典籍ポータルデータベースA database by ARC Ritsumeikan University. You can search ARC collections and other collections published on the web. Many of the books are ehon (picture books) and can be viewed directly through the website.
- Emakimono 絵巻物データベースA database of images of emakimono (picture scrolls) archived at Nichibunken, developed by International Research Center for Japanese Studies.
- Fujii Eikan Bunko Database 藤井永観文庫研究資源データベースIncludes lots of calligraphy works.
- The Gertrude Bass Warner Collection of Japanese Votive Slips (nōsatsu), 1850s to 1930sThe University of Oregon Libraries holds the only known collection of Japanese shrine and temple votive slips (nōsatsu) in North America.
- Glass photographic plates of the murals at the Kondō Hall of Hōryūji Temple法隆寺金堂壁画写真ガラス原板
The glass photographic plates were taken in 1935 by Benridō, a firm from Kyoto specializing in artistic printing. This effort was part of a larger project helmed by the Ministry of Education aimed at preserving the National Treasure of Hōryūji Temple and its cultural properties, large numbers of which are also designated National Treasures.
- Ground Zero 1945: Pictures by Atomic Bomb SurvivorsThese drawings and paintings by Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb were created more than a quarter century after the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. They are provided by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
- Guns, Scrolls, and Swords: Samurai Identities in Early Modern JapanAn online exhibition by the Brigham Young University. In this exhibit, you will see aspects of samurai identity in a number of forms — the weapons they once wielded in battle and later fetishized as relics of a glorious history; the books they wrote and scrolls they painted in order to perpetuate their knowledge and memorialize their past; and the images of samurai heroes that were re–appropriated as nationalist icons of imperial Japan in the early twentieth century.
- Historical Figure Image 歴史人物画像データベースA database of images of primarily classical characters up to the Meiji period from illustrated biographies contained in classical Japanese works.
- HOLLIS ImagesHOLLIS Images is the Harvard Library's dedicated image catalog. It includes content from archives, museums, libraries, and other collections throughout Harvard University. It focuses on artistic and cultural materials.
- Japanese American National MuseumThe over 150,000 objects that comprise the JANM permanent collection chronicle the Japanese American experience in its entirety from early immigration to the present. Artifacts related to early immigration to the United States at the turn of the 20th century, early life in Japanese American communities, and the World War II incarceration experience and military service are strengths of the collection.
- Japanese Buddhist Art in European CollectionsJBAE - Japanese Buddhist Art in European Collections, is a database jointly built by a team of the Research Center of International Japanese Studies of the Hosei University and the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies of the University of Zurich.
- Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji PeriodCollection of more than 7000 digitized photographs of 19th century Japan.
- Japanese SugorokuSugoroku refers to a kind of Japanese board game.
- Japanese Woodblock Prints ARC所蔵・寄託品 浮世絵データベースJapanese Woodblock Prints held by Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.
- Japanese Woodblock Print Search (Ukiyo-e Search)Ukiyo-e Search provides an incredible resource: The ability to both search for Japanese woodblock prints by simply taking a picture of an existing print AND the ability to see similar prints across multiple collections of prints. Below is an example print, click to see it in action.
- Japan SearchIncludes some art and visual materials
- Kokugakuin University Library Nara Ehon and Emakimono 国学院大学図書館デジタルライブラリー：奈良絵本・絵巻物A collection of Nara Ehon and Emakimono.
- Lennox and Catherine Tierney Photograph CollectionLennox Tierney is Professor Emeritus at the University of Utah’s Department of Art and Art History and is one of the most influential figures in Japanese art, architecture, and cultural history. From the 1940's when Tierney served in the U.S. Navy as the Arts and Monuments Commissioner under General Douglas MacArthur until nearly the present day, Lennox Tierney has captured Japanese culture heritage in photographs.
- Les Nara ehon de la BnFNara ehon at the French National Library.
- Magic Lantern Slides CollectionMore than 1000 slides depicting Japan and other regions.
- Mainichi Photo BankMore than 100,000 digitized photos from the Mainichi newspaper.
- The Meiji and Taisho Eras in PhotographsA collection of photographs in publications held by the National Diet library.
- MIT Visualizing CulturesThis collection contains visual sources of Japan in the modern world and early-modern China.
- Nara Ehon and Emaki Collection 慶應義塾大学奈良絵本・絵巻コレクションA digital collection by Keio University. Nara ehon are illustrated manuscripts produced from the late Muromachi to early Edo period. The illustrations typically used bright colors, such as a vermillion and green, with gold and silver leaf and distemper. The content consists mainly of short stories written from the Muromachi to early Edo period which belong to the genre of Otogi zoshi, including Urashima Taro.
- National Museum of Asian Art: Japanese CollectionFrom his first Asian art purchase—a painted Japanese fan—Charles Lang Freer was inspired by the beauty of Japanese paintings and ceramics and of Buddhist paintings, metalwork, and sculpture. More than two thousand Japanese works were included in his gift to the nation. From this foundation, the Freer Gallery’s collection has grown in size and scope to include calligraphy, lacquer, prints, and printed books. Japanese art in the Sackler Gallery has focused on graphic arts, ceramics, lacquers, and photographs, including modern and contemporary works. In total, the Freer and Sackler’s Japanese art collections comprise more than fifteen thousand objects spanning four millennia.
- New Naraehon Database 新奈良絵本データベースA database of original text images of Naraehon (19 picture books) held by NIJL.
- One Hundred Poets 百人一首Originating from the personal collection of Professor Joshua Mostow of the UBC Department of Asian Studies, the digital collection consists at present of 74 books and 20 different card sets relating to the poetry anthology Hyakunin Isshu 百人一首 (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each, hereafter HNIS), edited by the famous poet and scholar, Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) in the 1230s. It is unquestionably the most famous poetry anthology in the Japanese tradition.
- Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance (PRDLA)The Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance, also known as PRRLA, focuses on cooperative ventures among academic libraries located around the Pacific Rim to improve access to scholarly research materials. The collections include books, archives, photos, videos, etc. Each collection can be viewed through individual institution website.
- Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg CollectionAn online exhibition by Harvard Art Museum. A virtual tour of this exhibition is also available on Google Arts & Culture.
- Petzold Scrolls Collection424 scrolls held by Harvard-Yenching Library are viewable.
- The Tekagami-jō 手鑑帖 ProjectA comprehensive web presentation of the Tekagami-jo calligraphy album (手鑑帖) in the Yale Association of Japan Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
- Tekagami and Kyōgire: University of Oregon Japanese Calligraphy CollectionThis exhibition introduces two gems of UO’s collection of Japanese calligraphy: the album of calligraphy known as tekagami in the collection of the Knight Library Special Collections and UO Archives (SCUA), containing a total of 319 examples; and thirty-six individually mounted calligraphy fragments in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA). Together, the collection showcases some of the most beautiful and representative examples of Japanese calligraphy with a dizzying array of paper decoration, ranging in dates from the eighth to seventeenth centuries, and content from copied sacred scriptures, poetry slips, and narrative stories to personal letters.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Library 東京都立図書館As of March 2018, the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library has more than 2.06 million books, over 6,000 titles of magazines and journals, in addition to various audio-visual materials, and rare materials (including Ukiyo-e and architectural drawings of Edo Castle).
- Travel Through Time: JapanAn exhibit of the travel-related ephemera collected by the East Asia Library at Stanford spanning the Edo through Taisho periods.
- UHM Bell Historical Postcard CollectionBell Historical Postcard Collection at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa consists of 344 postcards, bromides, and prints that were created before WWII. Most of the postcards were created in Japan along with some made in Hawai'i, China, and Taiwan (Formosa).
- UHM Kumaichi Hiraoka Postcard CollectionThe Kumaichi Hiraoka Postcard Collection at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was donated by his granddaughter, Nancy R. Hiraoka, in 2017 to the Japan Collection of the UHM Asia Collection Department. It consists of over 1,000 postcards that were created before 1945. This project digitized over 800 postcards and envelopes, which were all produced in Japan.
- UMN Hashika-e, Measles PostersIllustrated woodblock prints that serve as a pictorial guide to combat measles outbreak and disease. Visual account of Japanese medicine in the late Edo-Period (1603-1868)
- University of Michigan: Japan's Constitution Photo AlbumThis album commemorates the enactment of Japan's constitution in English. It was produced by The Society for the Popularization for the Constitution.
- University of Michigan: Japan's Constitution SlidesThe "Proclamation of Human Rights" (Jinken Sengen, 人権宣言) is a set of "lantern slides" (gentō, 幻灯) produced by the Constitution Popularization Society (Kenpō Fukyūkai, 憲法普及会) in an effort to promote the new Constitution of Japan promulgated on November 3, 1946 and enacted on May 3, 1947 after World War II.
- War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942-1945The War Relocation Authority (WRA) records represent the official documentation of the United States agency created to assume jurisdiction over the Japanese and Japanese Americans evacuated from California, Oregon, and Washington by the Western Defense Command, the Fourth Army, and the Wartime Civilian Control Administration (WCCA) during January/February of 1942. During its existence from March 1942 to 1946, the WRA controlled the administration of the relocation centers, administered an extensive resettlement program, and oversaw the details of the registration and segregation programs. Included in their records are administrative files, official publications, reports and surveys, legal papers, correspondence, and photographs and scrapbooks.
- World Digital LibraryCreated by UNESCO and the Library of Congress, the World Digital Library provides free online access to world cultural treasures. Includes manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings from a variety of countries.
- The World of the Japanese Illustrated BookThe Pulverer Collection, acquired in its entirety by the Freer Gallery of Art in 2007, includes numerous rare and pristine examples of Japanese illustrated books produced in the Edo period and beyond. The holdings of more than 900 titles encompass almost 2,200 volumes that range in date from the early seventeenth century to the 1970s. Today the Pulverer Collection is regarded as one of the most outstanding and comprehensive collections of Japanese illustrated books outside Japan.
- Yōkai Senjafuda 妖怪千社札This digital exhibition is a collaboration between the University of Oregon Libraries and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, It focuses on tiny slips of paper—senjafuda 千社札—that depict Japanese ghosts and monsters—yōkai 妖怪.
- 奈良地域関連資料 画像データベースA collection of images of shrines and shrine collections across Nara area.
- ARC地図ポータルデータベースPortal Database of Map of Japan Relations by Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.
- Atlas of Mutual Heritage: JapanA database of information, maps, drawings, prints and paintings of locations related to the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) and the Dutch West India Company (West-Indische Compagnie, WIC). It contains 86 images of Japanese maps.
- Big Ten Academic Alliance GeoportalThe Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal provides discoverability and facilitates access to geospatial resources. The resources in the portal are selected and curated by librarians and geospatial specialists at ten research institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The resources include GIS datasets, web services, and digitized historical maps. Learn more about the research institutions involved and the sources of the geospatial records.
- Early Japanese Imperial Maps of China and Korea: A DatabaseThe Library of Congress houses hundreds of original hand-drawn survey maps of the Chinese continent and the Korean Peninsula created by Japanese Army officers in the 1880s. This database provides images of these maps.
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- GIS Maps 国土地理院地図（電子国土Web）The current map of Japan. 地形図、写真、標高、地形分類、災害情報など、日本の国土の様子を発信するウェブ地図です。地形図や写真の3D表示も可能。
- Harvard Digital Maps CollectionThis is a map collection from Harvard University. Most of the maps have free online access. It covers the maps of China, Japan, Korea, & Vietnam
- Japanese Historical MapsA collection of Japanese historical maps from the UC Berkeley digital collections.
- Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa EraUBC's one of the world's largest collections of maps and guidebooks of the Japanese Tokugawa period
- Manchester Digital Collection: Japanese MapsThis collection draws on cartographic materials from the University of Manchester Library Japanese Collection and the Maps Collection. It holds roughly 60 items: mostly maps, charts and atlases, and a limited number of material classified as chishi, or topography (encyclopaedias, guidebooks, prints, surveys) that include maps or are otherwise related to cartography.
- Maps of Japan from the Collection of Sir Hugh and Lady CortazziA database by Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.
- Marega Collection マレガ文庫The Marega Collection, preserved on the fourth floor of the Don Bosco Library, at Università Pontificia Salesiana (Rome), assembles the printed and manuscript materials collected by the Italian Salesian missionary Mario Marega (1902-1978), during his stay in Japan (from the 1930s to the 1970s). The collection includes about 2000 ukiyo-e prints, about 1000 wahon volumes, as well as several maps, dated from the Edo and Meiji periods.
- National Archives of Japan Digital Archive Maps CollectionMaps from the National Archives of Japan Digital Archive.
- NDL Digital Collections: MapsA collection from the National Diet Library. 41 maps available to the public.
- NDL Map GuideThis page provides information on how to find map materials held by the National Diet Library Tokyo Library.
- Old Maps OnlineOldMapsOnline developed out of a love of history and heritage of old maps. The project began as a collaboration between Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland and The Great Britain Historical GIS Project based at the University of Portsmouth, UK.
- Rare Books and Maps On Japan in European LanguageA database of books and maps by International Research Center for Japanese Studies, featuring Japan related entries written in European Languages mostly published in or before 1854.
- UC Berkeley Japanese Historical MapsThis Japanese Historical Maps Collection is a selection of the Japanese collections at the UC Berkeley East Asian Library.
- 日文研所蔵の地図資料画像The International Research Center for Japanese Studies has a rich digital collection of modern Japanese urban maps. They have recently made it open to public.
- 東洋文庫画像データベース 中華帝国図等A collection of western maps mostly on China acquired by the Toyo Bunko in 1917. It also includes some maps on Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and Asia.
- Gaihozu: Japanese Imperial mapsStanford University Libraries holds a large collection of Japanese military and imperial maps, referred to as gaihozu, or "maps of outer lands." These maps were produced starting in the early Meiji (1868-1912) era and the end of World War II by the Land Survey Department of the General Staff Headquarters, the former Japanese Army.
- Gaihozu: Maps of the Areas outside the Japanese Territory Prepared by Former Japanese ArmyCreated by Tohoku University, this website provides graphical data and bibliographical information of “Gaihozu.”
- Gaihozu Collection of Ochanomizu University お茶の水女子大学外邦図コレクションGaihozu are maps of areas outside the Japanese territory, such as China, Manchuria, Southeast Asia, and Pacific Ocean islands, which were prepared and reproduced by the General Staff Office of the former Japanese Army from the Meiji Era until the end of World War II. The gaihozu collection of Ochanomizu University consists of approximately 13,000 pieces, making it the largest of its kind among universities in Japan.
- Gaihozu Guide by NDLA Gaihozu guide by the National Diet Library.
- Gaihozu Guide by University of WashingtonThis guide includes a list of institutions Holding Gaihozu and Gaihozu resources.
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2023 2:05 PM