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EALC 203: Ukiyo-e (HC/BMC): Develop your literature review

East Asian Languages and Cultures 203: Ukiyo-e: The Art of Japanese Prints (Schoneveld) Spring 2018

What this section can do for you

This tab includes further information on handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries and bibliographies. 

  • Handbooks are subject area tools and provide facts, terms, concepts, movements, etc. 
  • Subject dictionaries focus on word definitions in a specific subject area. 
  • Encyclopedias provide basic and general background information on a topic or subject. 
  • Bibliographies are sources that contain detailed information about where to find further information on a specific topic or subject. Sometimes these look like the bibliographies you might compile at the end of a term paper. Sometimes they are books or online resources with a list of resources. Other times they act like annotated bibliographies, with short essays or statements describing the resource and why it might be useful to a researcher. Bibliographies differ from handbooks because they go into further depth on a topic.  They may include critical essays where the author identifies the core literature of a field of study. It illustrates what is available in a given field, while a literature review often opens up questions for new inquiries. 

Background Information: Handbooks, Encyclopedias, Dictionaries

Here is a selected list of handbooks you may find useful. Handbooks provide readers with a summary overview of a topic and include carefully selected bibliographies.  Be sure to look at the lists for further reading provided by the authors of the entries--they will be especially useful for you as you deepen your research. 

  • Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints: This 2 volume set offers informed essays on themes, artists, and connections with art, photography, and cultural history.

  • Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan: although published in 1986, this 9 volume encyclopedia is an excellent place to begin one's research. 

  • Oxford Art Online Includes full-text articles on every aspect of the visual arts from prehistory through the present. Contains images and provides links to related sites.  See in particular this detailed section: Japan: Prints and Books

  • Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society This books is a good place to start if you need background information on Japanese cultural specifics. It includes bibliographic information and and index. 

  • Companion to Asian Art and Architecture The most relevant chapter is "Revisiting Asian Art" (p. 3) which has an excellent introduction to the ways of seeing Asian art and how to appropriately analyze Asian art in a historical context. 

  • A companion to Japanese history This is an excellent resource on the history of Japan in short, digestible sections. Each chapter includes notes, bibliographical information, and a section on further reading. It also includes trends in the field. 

  • Historical Dictionary of Japan to 1945 This historical dictionary provides short, concise entries to further develop your research. It is especially helpful because it provides the terms in Japanese as well as in English. 

 

Oxford Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are a particularly useful kind of article when doing research. They address the issues involved in a particular question and the debates among scholars. They map out the intellectual terrain succinctly and give you the major landmarks in terms of key authors and significant titles.

The Oxford Bibliographies Online provide literature reviews for a variety of fields including Asian Studies (they specify the following subject areas: Chinese Studies, Buddhism, International Relations, etc. You can take a look at their subjects and complete a few searches to find what you are interested in).  The essays take the form of an annotated bibliography.  It gives you the benefit of expert advice when identifying what to read for your research.