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Research Guides

National Cinemas

Finding Books in UTCat - Japan

Search with Subject Headings in the Library Catalogue

  1. Go to UTL LibrarySearch Advanced Search
  2. Enter any of the Subject Heading found below exactly as it appears in the Search Box 
  3. Choose Subject from the Search Filters drop-down menu on the left
  4. Press Enter or click on the Magnifying Glass icon

For additional information on subject headings in LibrarySearch, visit How can I use subject headings to improve my searching?


Subject Headings 

  • motion pictures Japan
  • japan in motion pictures
  • motion picture industry japan
  • motion picture producers and directors japan
  • national characteristics japanese in motion pictures
  • aesthetics japanese
  • modernism (aesthetics) japan
  • mizoguchi kenji (kurosawa akira, etc)

Other Search Strategies

Individual directors (Search as above; use last name, first name)

  • e.g., Ozu Yasujiro, Nagisa Oshima
  • If a filmmaker's name includes accents (e.g., Nagisa Ōshima), be sure to launch a search with the accents and another search without the accents. 

Film titles  (Search as above; use quotation marks to search for exact phrases)

  • e.g., "Tokyo Story",  "Streets of Love and Hope"

If you have a common or generic title, launch a search for the filmmakers name and film title. 

  • e.g., Yasujiro AND "Tokyo Story"

Your search results may include entire books on your topic or just one chapter, be sure to click through and examine the book record for mention in the table of contents or review blurbs. 

Finding Journal Articles

Subject Specific Journals 

Interdisciplinary databases

Film-specific databases

These resources can help you find facts about specific films, directors, production companies and occasionally actors. 

  • The American Film Institute (AFI) Catalog covers the history of American cinema comprehensively from 1893 to 1975, with full or short records for films from 1976 to present. Use the AFI Catalog to find detailed production information about specific films (incl. release dates and other production-related information), as well as citations to contemporaneous reviews from newspapers (e.g., New York Times); trade & industry publications (Variety); popular magazines (Motion Picture Herald, Photoplay); and review publications (Monthly Film Bulletin), among others.
    Note: There are no direct links to online content from the AFI Catalog. See How to Find Journal Articles below, for instructions on how to use a citation to find a journal article.
  • Film Index International (British Film Institute). Coverage: 1900 - current. The directors selected for inclusion are a) those who have made a fiction film shown theatrically that is over 50 minutes in duration, released between 1928 and 1965, and b) those who have made a fiction film over 60 minutes in duration, post-1965.
    Note: There are no direct links to online content from Film Index International. See How to Find Journal Articles below, for instructions on how to use a citation to find a journal article.
  • International Index to Film Periodicals (1972+) Search by keyword, separating each word or phrase by AND
  • Film & Television Literature Index (1913-current)
  • Film Literature Index (1976-2001).

Newspaper Articles

Reference - Japan

The Oxford handbook of Japanese Cinema Ebook

What is Japanese cinema? : a history Ebook

Directory of world cinema Japan2 Ebook

Routledge handbook of Japanese culture and society. Ebook.

Japanese aesthetics and culture: a reader. Ebook.

Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film Enter japan in Search Box; perform a word search for "culture".

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers Overviews, bibliographies, filmographies on 37 Japanese directors.

Historical dictionary of Japanese cinema Print only; Robarts, Vic

Directory of World Cinema: Japan vol. 1; vol. 2 Ebook.

World Film Locations: Tokyo Ebook.

United States Occupation of Japan, 1945-1952 (Primary source)

  • SEE: Theater and Motion Pictures vol. 16, Files 1 and 2 in: History of the nonmilitary activities of the occupation of Japan / General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers [Tokyo : The Headquarters, 1951?] 55 v. : ill., maps.
    • Overview: Prepared in 1951 by the Civil Historical Section of General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), this series of 55 monographs covers the nonmilitary activities of the U.S. occupation of Japan, from the end of the war in the Pacific to the signing of the Japanese peace treaty in September 1951. They present the official version of the social, political, and economic transformation of Japan following World War II. These monographs discuss such topics as: trials of Class "B" and Class "C" war criminals; local government reform; purging of militaristic elements; constitutional revision; legal and judicial reform; freedom of the press; theater and motion pictures; treatment of foreign nationals; reparations; promotion of fair trade; religion national and local government finance; money and banking; and foreign trade.

Center for Japanese Studies: Motion Pictures Reprint Series, University of Michigan Library 

Document - Japan

Hiroshi Komatsu, “The Classical Cinema in Japan,” Oxford History of World Cinema [Ebook], pp. 413-422. ALSO AT: INNIS, ROBA, SMC, TRIN, VIC

Bibliographies - Japan

UofT Libraries - just a small selection:

Oxford Bibliographies Online:

Center for Japanese Studies-Publications (U. of Michigan) online, FT:

UC Berkeley Library - Bibliographies:

Please notes that these bibliographies were archived in August 2018 and accessed through Internet Archive's Wayback Machine


M. Downing Roberts (ed.). Perspectives on Oshima Nagisa. University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy. 2015. EBOOK. Alternate version.