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Visiting Libraries in Japan
Letter of Introduction (紹介状)
Generally, national libraries, museums, and archives are open to the public. However, many national and private school libraries are only for internal partons. Some of those libraries request that you bring a letter of introduction (紹介状) from the affliated institution to access to libraries. When you plan to visit a library, please check its access polity. If the library requests a letter of introduction, the Japan Resource Center librarian can provide one for you.
Links to Special Libraries
Libraries and Archives in Japan
American Center Reference Service, U.S. Embassy
Provides specialized, accurate, and authoritative information about government, economy, society, and culture.
Diplomatic Record Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan / 外交史料館
The archives has kept, classified, and preserved records of the Foreign Ministry.
International House of Japan / 国際文化会館図書室
The collection focuses on Japanese studies in English, especially on social sciences and humanities.
National Archives of Japan Library / 国立公文書館
Preserves Japanese government's documents and records received by the Prime Minister from various government's ministries and agencies.
National Diet Library / 国立国会図書館
The only national library of Japan. It assists Diet members, the Executive and Judicial branches of the government, and the general public. It is the only depository library in Japan, acquiring all materials published in Japan. The website includes the online version of the Japanese National Bibliography Weekly List (in Japanese) and online bibliographic information of forthcoming Books on Japan (in Western Languages).
National Diet Library Digital Archive Portal （PORTA） / 国立国会図書館デジタルアーカイブポータル（PORTA）
National Diet Library Digital Archive Portal (PORTA) is a system which allows comprehensive search in digital archives in Japan. Registration (free) is required.
National Institute for Defense Studies Military Archives / 防衛研究所図書館史料室
Collects historical documents related to the Imperial Army and Navy, to conduct research on, and compile the Japan's military history.
Tokyo National Museum
Books, periodicals, exhibition catalogs, archaeological reports (Japanese, Chinese and European) and photographs are available.
United Nations University Research
The United Nations University is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, post-graduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The library is open to the public.
Collections of National Diet Library
National Diet Libary has a great many significant collections. The Internet enables us to search and browse these collections without going there.
Modern Japanese political history materials / 憲政資料
Collections of private papers in and after the latter half of the 19th century. They comprise mainly diaries, letters, and drafts, once owned by political leaders, i.e. Cabinet Ministers, Diet Members, senior civil and military officers and others. Each collection bears its former owner's name.
(Finding Aids - Former Owner's Index (Japanese Only))
Materials on the Allied Occupation of Japan / 日本占領関係資料
Collection of records of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Government, private papers and Japanese publications in microfilm concerning mainly the Allied Occupation of Japan in the post WWII period.
Materials on Japanese Emigration / 日系移民関係資料
Collection of books and periodicals published in the North, Central and South American countries, private papers in original and in microfilm, and government documents in microfilm related to Japanese emigration. The NDL has been microfilming documents which are in the custody of archives in those countries since 1985.