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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Japanese Studies for EALC Grad Students: Photographs

Japanese studies research resources and library guide for graduate students in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Japanese Collection & Resources

For more information on Japanese Collection at UIUC and Japanese Studies resources, see Japanese Collection page.

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Metadata Database of Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period

Metadata Database of Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period (Nagasaki University)

長崎大学付属図書館 幕末・明治期日本古写真メタデータ・データベース

This database, containing about 6,000 photographs taken during Bakumatsu and Meiji period, allows search by photographer, keyword/category, location of the photograph, or album name.

Search in English

Mainichi Photo Bank

Mainichi Photo Bank 毎日フォトバンク

One of the largest digital photo database in Japan.  Contains 290,000 photographs and imges from Bakumatsu to current.  New images added frequently. 

Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures

Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures (NDL)  近代日本人の肖像 (国立国会図書館)

This database, provided by the National Diet Library,  "presents portrait photographs of approximately 350 statesmen, government officials, military officers, businessmen, scholars and artists, who had an impact on building modern Japanese society." - NDL website

Search in English available

Nihon Zanzo

Nihon Zanzo (The Open University of Japan Library)

日本残像 放送大学付属図書館 所蔵古写真展

This web gallery contains about 200 photographs taken during Bakumatsu and Meiji.  Photos are categorized by subjects, such as stores, entertainment, foreigners, women and craftsmen.

Civil Engineering Photo Archives

Japan Civil Engineering Photo Archives (Japan Society of Civil Engineers, JSCE Library)

土木学会デジタルアーカイブス (土木学会付属土木図書館)

Rare Civil Engineering Photographs (土木貴重写真コレクション) : contains 2,500 photographs of bridges, roads, railroads, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Postcard Collection (戦前土木絵葉書ライブラリー): During Meiji, Taisho and early Showa, postcards were created to commemorate the completion of many civil engineering structures. This collection contains 3,600 postcards from these era.

David Plath Japanese Fieldwork Collection

David Plath Japanese Fieldwork Collection

This digital collection contains photographs, illustrations and field notes of an anthropology professor David Plath's fieldwork on Japan in 1965.


David Plath Archives at University of Illinois 

Early Photographs

Database of Early Photographs --International Research Canter for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken)

古写真データベース (国際日本文化研究センター)

A database containing 5,400 "hand-colored photographs of Japan and accompanying text dating from the end of the Edo Period through the beginning of the Meiji Period." 

*Requires registration.

Foreign Images of Japan

Foreign Images of Japan  --International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken)

外像データベース (国際日本文化センター)

    "Nichibunken's collection of about 57,000 photographs, illustrations, and other visual images of Japan or Japan-related subjects from around the world."

    * Requires registration