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Japanese Historical Periodicals at the Library of Congress

This research guide contains lists of Japanese-language periodicals available in the Asian Reading Room, with a focus on titles published from around 1890 through 1952.


Covers of four Japanese magazines from the 1930s to 1950s featuring stylized fonts and colorful drawings of people.
Covers from issues of historical Japanese periodicals. Clockwise from upper left: Shinema ōkoku, August 1930; Teatoro, October 1946; Himawari, February 1950; Iminchi jijō. January 1945. Library of Congress Asian Division.

This is a guide to Japanese historical periodicals that are available for use in the Asian Reading Room at the Library of Congress. It focuses primarily on those titles that began prior to the end of World War II and the subsequent US-led Occupation of Japan (1945-1952), but which have ceased publication since that time.

All catalogued Japanese periodicals in the Library's collections are discoverable through the online catalog. However, due to the overwhelming number of titles, it is often helpful for researchers to see at a glance what type of materials are available before searching in greater detail. With this goal in mind, the guide is organized geographically and thematically to assist users in identifying materials relevant to their research.

Links to periodical titles found within this guide retrieve fuller bibliographic information from the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Check the "Item Availability" section at the bottom of any catalog record to view holdings information, which indicates which issues of that title are available at the Library of Congress. For some titles, this may include long runs of decades or more; for others, only one or two issues may be available. If you encounter a title that does not include these details, please contact Japanese reference staff through Ask a Librarian to confirm holdings.

Scope and Background

The guide is extensive, but not exhaustive, in coverage and is best used as a springboard for more in-depth searching through the online catalog. There, users can explore all catalogued Japanese periodical titles, including those that began publication after 1952 and thus fall outside the scope of this guide.

A large portion of these historical periodicals originated from the body of materials captured by the Allied Forces during the Occupation of Japan (1945-52) that made their way to the Washington Document Center before ultimately arriving at the Library of Congress. For more information on the historical background of this process, please see the introduction of the guide to South Manchuria Railway Company Publications.

This guide is the product of work by the Asian Division's Japanese reference staff, building on major contributions from Quade Robinson, who completed an initial draft of the guide as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow during the summer of 2020. Compilation of this guide has also benefited from earlier inventory and descriptive work on historical periodicals completed by Chelsea Hudson as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow during the summer of 2018.

Additional resources

In addition to this guide, the following resources provide more information about Japanese historical periodicals at the Library of Congress.

About the Asian Division

The Asian Reading Room provides public access to more than 4 million items in approximately 200 languages and dialects from across Asia, including Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, Vietnamese, and many others. In the reading room, researchers can use the Asian Division’s collections of printed materials, microform, and databases and confer with reference librarians to answer research questions about the countries of East, South, and Southeast Asia.