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Resources: Japanese Literature

This page introduces open-access resources related to Japanese literature.

Aozora Bunko logo

‘Aozora Bunko’ Open-Access Digital Library

Aozora Bunko is a digital repository with an expansive collection of Japanese fiction and non-fiction, comprised largely of titles no longer under copyright. Titles include classic works of Japanese literature, and can be freely viewed and downloaded from the site. The majority of titles are in Japanese, although English-language translations of some works are available. Website in Japanese only.

Aozora Bunko

Bungo Search logo

‘Bungo Search’ Reading Time Search Platform

Bungo Search is a platform that allows users to search the collection of Aozora Bunko in terms of estimated reading time. The site offers search parameters of 5 mins, 10 mins, 30 mins, 60 mins and 1 hour plus. Website in Japanese only.

Bungo Search

Japanese Literature in Translation Database

Produced by the Japan Foundation, this online database catalogues translations of Japanese literature primarily from the postwar era onward, and can be searched in either Japanese or English.

Japanese Literature in Translation Database

Japanese Text Initiative

Hosted by the University of Virginia Library, this project makes a wide range of poetry, prose and drama texts available in a searchable digital format. Includes canonical texts dating from the Nara period (8th century) to modern times.

Japanese Text Initiative
See the Pre-Modern text list
See the Modern text list

Oxford Corpus of Old Japanese

This website features digitised versions of a small number of classical Japanese texts, including the Man’yōshū poetry anthology. Japanese script and romanised transliterations are provided for each text.

Oxford Corpus of Old Japanese

Worth Sharing

Worth Sharing is a series of five English-language catalogues showcasing contemporary works of Japanese literature. The catalogues were published annually by the Japan Foundation from 2012 to 2017 for the purpose of recommending new Japanese literature titles for translation, and were intended as companion pieces to the translated publications grant program. While the project has since been discontinued, the existing catalogues nonetheless provide a gateway to Japanese literature beyond what exists in translation today.

Worth Sharing webpage

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