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Subject guide

Japan Studies: Gender and Women's Studies

Overview of reference works, journals and website for research in Gender and Women’s studies of Japan

Reference books on Gender and Women’s studies of Japan can be found in the reading room of the Asian library, in e-book format in the online catalogue, or at other library locations such as the Social and Behavioral Sciences Library or the Law Library. Books from other library locations can be requested for pick-up at your preferred library location. Books from the reading room of other library locations can only be consulted on-site at that location.

Below follows a selection of reference works, handbooks and studies that can serve as an introduction.

Reading Room Asian Library

  • Dictionary of Women’s History in Japan (2008) 日本女性史大辞典: covers over 3000 entries related to Japanese women’s history.
  • Iwanami Dictionary of Women’s studies (2002) 岩波 女性学事典: this dictionary includes information on terminology and people related to women’s studies and feminism.
  • Dictionary of Gender in Japanese (2009) 日本語ジェンダー辞典: an extensive dictionary based on Onna to otoko no Nihongo jiten (2003).
  • Dictionary of  Japanese women’s daily life in Japan (1992) 日本女性生活辞典: a collection of reprinted dictionaries and handbooks on women’s daily life before the early Taisho period. (8 vol.)
  • All information on books on Women and Ladies’ problems (2011 – 2014) 女性・婦人問題の本全情報: catalogue of books published on women’s and ladies’ issues in between 2007 - 2014. The books are classified by subject.
  • Illustrated dictionary of women’s daily life in the Edo Period (1994-2005) 江戸時代女性生活絵図大事典
  • Bibliography of Hetero and Homosexuality 異性装・同性愛書誌目錄: a bibliography with an overview of articles on LGBTQ social history in Japan up to 2004.

Online Catalogue

From other UBL-locations

For general article search, please refer to the tab ‘articles’ in this subject guide. The following databases and search engines are of especial interest for students and researchers of Gender and Women’s Studies of Japan. Keep in mind that these resources do not provide full-text access. They are designed to help the user locate existing source material.

Information Center for Women’s Education – Literature Search Engine 文献情報データベース (Japanese and English): search engine designed to locate books, journals and articles on women’s issues in Japanese. Powered by the Information Center for Women’s Education, National Education Center of Japan, this search engine searches through CiNii, Jairo and NDL in one search query. You can select to look for books, local government publications, Japanese periodical articles, newspaper article index, journals or audiovisual.  While this database is an important resource for finding Japanese language publications, it also lists an impressive amount of publications indexed in English, and to a lesser extent in German, Korean and French.

Proquest Sociological Abstracts (English)
Sociological Abstracts cover the international literature of sociology, social work, and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. It provides abstracting and indexing of articles and book reviews drawn from thousands of serials publications, plus books, book chapters, dissertations, conference papers, and working papers.

Web of Science - Social Science Citation Index (English)
The Social Science Citation Index is one of the largest curated citation indexes for the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. The Social Science Citation Index contains citations from 3200+ journals, starting from 1900. Because of the increasing number of new journals and new Open Access publication forms, Clarivate has added the Emerging Sources Citation Index (starting from 2005).

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences 2nd edition. (English)
Revised and updated second edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, first published in 2001. The Encyclopedia offers a broad and deep source of social and behavioral sciences reference material. It comprises over 3,900 articles, commissioned by 71 Section Editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes. 

The library provides access to a limited selection of magazines related to gender and women’s studies in Japan. You can find them either in the reading room or online.

Reading Room Asian Library

  • U.S.-Japan women's journal - English supplement : a Journal for the International Exchange Gender Studies * (on order - including back number issues from 2012 onwards)
  • Nonno - ノンノ: popular young women’s magazine. The UBL subscribed to this magazine starting 2017.
  • Fujin Koron- 婦人公論: popular ladies’ magazine. The UBL has issues dating from 1927, with a consistent subscription from 1964 onwards.


The following websites and resources are a selection. For organizational purposes, they are divided in the categories ‘Women’, ‘Gender’ and ‘LGBTQ’.


WINET (Women's Information Network)/女性情勢問題ポータル
Women’s Information Portal ‘Winet’ is a portal site for women’s information reporting the current status of women and women’s issues for promoting a gender-equal society. This website hosts a number of useful databases and search engines:

Josei Kanren Shiryō 女性関連資料
This collection from Nara Women's University features early modern books related to women, provided as scanned page images along with a transcription in plain text.

National Women’s Education Center
The National Women’s Education Center of Japan (NWEC) was established in 1977 as the only national center for women’s education in Japan. For nearly 40 years since its establishment, NWEC has been promoting a gender-equal society through education and learning assistance, by way of organizing training and exchange programs for leaders and related persons in women’s education, conducting research and surveys on gender equality, women’s education, and home education, and enhancing its capacity to collect and provide information.

WAN (Women’s Action Network)
The WAN is a non-profit organization founded to support women in a wide-ranging array of activities across Japan. The organization hosts lectures and events, and disseminates up-to-date news about women’s rights issues in Japan and internationally. WAN maintains a historical archive of feminist magazines as well as video recordings of feminist lectures, but also makes posts about popular content such as films, art exhibitions, manga and anime related to women’s rights.

FEW (For Empowering Women)
For Empowering Women (FEW) in Japan is a Tokyo-based non-profit business and social networking organization. While originally founded by two foreign female entrepreneurs, FEW membership is open to women of all nationalities, with numbers varying between 130 and 150 at any given time. Members comprise professionals including marketers, journalists, entertainment specialists, attorneys and bankers to freelance photographers, translators and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries, and also include women at the start of their careers such as students and interns.

FEW has a resource section that offers access to English-language information for women living in Japan on Japan-based Women’s Organizations to support women in areas such as Business & Social Networking, Pregnancy & Mother’s Support, Women’s Rights & Gender Equality and Help Lines.

Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Centre
The AJWRC works to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women, toward democratic Japanese society based on respect for human rights and gender equality, and toward a sustainable global society. The focus on information sharing and networking, education and training and advocacy and campaign.

The Working Women Network
Working Women’s Network (WWN) is a non-governmental organization working for the improvement of the status of working women. It was started by a group of women supporting the gender wage discrimination cases of women working for Sumitomo manufacturing companies.


Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office - 内閣府男女共同参画局
While the interface is available in both English and Japanese, be mindful of the fact that the English website features little to no data or reports. You can find these in the Japanese version of the site. Below follow some highlight of information you can find here:

The Japan Association of Gender and Law ジェンダー法律会

Ochanomizu Institute for Gender Studies
This website offers an important overview of research groups, foundations, institutions, libraries, departments and other organizations related to Gender and Women’s studies, both in Japan and Worldwide.

Gender Research Library 
The Gender Research Library (GRL) at Nagoya University was founded in 2017 for the purpose of the general advance in the gender research. GRL is the first university library in Japan that specializes in feminism and gender research. In addition to collecting books, magazines, journals, brochures and other historical materials, this library serves as a research center for researchers, students and the general public. The library offers no sources or references online, but can be an interesting place to visit for research.

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer)

Japan : Sex and gender : LGBTQ
Web Archiving Project on LGBTQ in Japan by the National Library of Australia. The project indexes websites with information about LGBT communities in Japan.

Heart Net - 虹色LGBT特設サイト (NHK)
Heart Net is a platform by the NHK featuring scholarly and popular articles, video material and information on LGBT issues in Japan.

Stonewall Japan
Stonewall Japan is a community organization providing support for, and enhancing the lives of English-speaking Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and other sexual and gender minority people (LGBTQIA+) in Japan. The sites offers the following resources:

  • Asexuality in Japan: community pages, activists, work by asexual authors (Japanese and English) blogs and more.
  • LGBT University Groups in Japan: links to social media handles and websites for universities in Japan, divided by province.
  • Mental Health Resources for LGBTQ in Japan.
  • Sexual Health Resources for LGBTQ in Japan, including information on testing, HIV and vocabulary for doctor visits.
  • Transgender Life in Japan.
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