On-line Japanese history resources

While looking for a supplement to the anemic textbook offerings on Tokugawa Japan (none of the stuff is out of copyright, probably, which is why it’s not in the document set), I came across this great collection of links to history resources. (via Early Modern Resources) I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (quick document readings for world history students) but it’s a likely source for something especially visual materials.

Update (1/23/06): I didn’t think I’d find much in the David Rumsey Map collection, because it seemed to be heavily European maps, and I was right: a few interesting maps of Japan produced by Europeans, but not much compared to the wealth of material for Western historians. Then, as I was about to give up, I noticed the link to the Japan collection Yes, the UC Berkeley East Asian Library collection of historical Japanese maps (and a few other images) has been digitized and is available under Creative Commons license. There’s a lot of mid-to-late Tokugawa and Meiji era stuff, in particular: right up my alley.

Here’s a good illustration of the image quality and flexibility of the service: the very center of a 1710 map of the world:


  1. The problem is that I’m looking for short cultural/political documents for one reading in a World History course. I’ll probably just photocopy some haiku or something.

    I’ll have to go back and look at Totman again before I teach my Tokugawa-Meiji class again, though; doing it without a survey text didn’t work all that well last time.

  2. How does one get in contact with you-all?
    I have some questions about source materials that are off topic of your posts, but you don’t post e-mails.
    Am I missing something?

  3. Hello, I stumbled across your site and though I might try a question. Can anyone help find Histroriocal books on taiko. Drums and other percussion instruments. Ancient as well as tokogawa. Any help would be appriciated. domo

  4. Dear Sir/Madam
    I’m a student in the Lebanese University,History Department.I’m a scholar in the Japanese history which I was interested in , even in my early educational years.,Japan is a remarkable nation in its culture.My M.A thesis is about “The Political History of Japan Between the Two World Wars”,my toter is Dr. Masoud Daher.I’m looking for your help in documents,maps and resources,such as the treaties with the U.S.A and Japanese constitutions(for exampl

  5. Hello Habib,

    Nice to hear from you. You might also consider subscribing to the H-Japan list (see the links to the right). They might be able to help you with some specific question if you have them. In the meantime, we welcome your comments on postings here at Frog in a Well.

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