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Research Guides


The best way to search for specific Japanese language books in UW Libraries Search is to use the romanized title or author name. The romanization method used is the modified Hepburn (see romanization table). Some tips to keep in mind when using romanization:

Long vowels: macrons and double vowels are generally not used when searching. For example:

大江健三郎 [おおえ けんざぶろう] will appear as Ōe Kenzaburo but should be searched as oe kenzaburo (without the macron or double vowel)

ローマ字 [ ローマじ] will appear as rōmaji but should be searched as romaji (without the macron or double vowel)

Double consonants: generally double consonants should be searched that way so that 国会 [こっかい]  should be searched as kokkai with the exception of chi (チ), cha (チャ), chu (チュ), cho (チョ) where a "t" should take the place of the the first "c". For example:

密着 [みっちゃく] should be searched as mitchaku

日中 [にっちゅう] should be searched as nitchu

Syllabic nasal - : the modified version of Hepburn romanization uses "n" rather than the "m" used in traditional Hepburn. However there is inconsistency so it is best to search for both spellings. For example:

新聞  [ しんぶん] should be searched as shinbun as well as shimbun

Word spacing: generally spaces should be placed between nouns, particles and verbs. For example:

女の旅 [おんなのたび]  should be searched as onna no tabi

Detailed instruction can be found at Library of Congress's romanization guide.



Borrow Books from Japan

If you cannot find a Japanese language book in UW WorldCat and need a book only available in a Japanese university library then follow these steps:

  1. Search CiNii to see if a Japanese university library has the book you need.
  2. See if the library with the book you need is a GIF participant (part of the Global Interlibrary Loan Framework)
  3. Fill in the Interlibrary Loan request form noting that it is ok to "Order from an international library if needed" and write down the name of the Japanese university library that owns the book in the Notes section of the form.

Be aware that it may take 6-8 weeks to get a book from Japan.