トップ調べ方案内出版・ジャーナリズム・図書館情報学出版>How to Look for and Find Book Reviews in the Japanese Language

How to Look for and Find Book Reviews in the Japanese Language

Book reviews are short essays in which a reviewer critiques a book. When looking for book reviews, one should know the book's title, author, and year of publication.

Numbers shown in brackets 【 】 indicate the NDL call number for an item. Materials available in each special materials room are assigned abbreviations after their call numbers.
 Humanities: Humanities Room, Tokyo Main Library
 Newspaper: Newspaper Reading Room, Tokyo Main Library
 Kansai: General Collections Room, Kansai-kan
 Children's: Researchers' Reading Room, International Library of Children's Literature

[Range] indicates the range of years for which reviews have been indexed for the book in question.

Contents

1. Searching with Book Review Indexes
1-1. Indexes on the Web
1-2. Booklet Indexes
2. Searching with Article Indexes
2-1. Journal Article Indexes
2-2. Newspaper Article Indexes
3. Getting a General Overview of Posted Book Review Content
3-1. Newspaper Websites
3-2. Bookstore Websites
3-3. Publisher PR Magazines
3-4. Specialist Journals
3-5. Omnibus Reviews
3-6. Meiji-Taisho Period Literary Books

 

1. Searching with Book Review Indexes

Book review indexes can be used to find reviews of a particular book and to ascertain in what newspaper or magazine a review was published.

1-1. Indexes on the Web

  • Shohyo ni Notta Hon外部サイトへのリンク (Hanmoto.com)
    (http://www.hanmoto.com/shohyo/)
    [Range] December 2010-present 
    Comprises information on book reviews (publication date, reviewer, etc.) from 90 newspapers and magazines, including "The Asahi Shinbun", "The Yomiuri Shinbun", "The Nihon Keizai Shinbun", "The Mainichi Shinbun", "The Sankei Shinbun", "The Tokyo Shinbun" and "The Chunichi Shinbun".
  • Shohyo Nabi外部サイトへのリンク (Dokushojin)
    (https://dokushojinnavi.wordpress.com/)
    Users can view or download the 'Nikkanshi no shohyo annai' (Guide to daily newspaper book reviews) printed in the "Shukan dokushojin"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Dokushojin  weekly  【Z86-17】 Newspaper, Kansai *Kansai holds only issues of the last 12 months) with reviews from the last two months or so.
  • Shohyo Kensaku外部サイトへのリンク (Tosho Shinbun)
    (http://toshoshimbun.jp/books_newspaper/search.php)
    Users can search by keywords for book reviews and look up article titles and publication dates from the "Tosho shinbun" (The book review press)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Tosho Shinbun  weekly  【Z86-73】 Newspaper, Kansai *Kansai holds only issues of the last 6 months) starting with issue number 2843, dated October 27, 2007. A subscription is required, however, to browse book reviews online.

1-2. Booklet Indexes

  • "Shuppan Nenkan" (Publishers yearbook) (Shuppan Nyusu annual  【UP3-L23国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク and others】 Humanities, Kansai, Children's *Children's holds editions from 2010-present)
    [Range] 2001-present
    Their 'Shinbun/Zasshi shohyo risuto' (List of book reviews appearing in newspapers and periodicals) has been published since the 2002 edition (which covers the year 2001). This is a yearly accumulation of the book review index published in "Shuppan Nyusu" (Shuppan Nyusu  issued every ten days  【Z21-164国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク】 Humanities, Kansai, Children's *Children's holds issues from 2012-present).
  • Kindai Shoshi Konwakai, ed., "Shohyo no shoshi: bukku rebyu sakuin" (Bibliography of book reviews: index of book reviews) vol.1 (humanities, society, and nature volume), vol.2 (literature, fine arts, and children volume) for 1955-1962 and each year from 2011 to present (Kanazawa Bunpokaku  2012-   Bunpo bunken ruiju  【UP54-J21国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク and others】 Humanities, Kansai, Children's *please note that Kansai and Children's do not have all editions)
    [Range] 1955-1962, 2011-present
    [Note] In Nippon Decimal Classification 9th Revised Edition order. Searchable by author and reviewer names
  • "Shohyo nenpo. Bungaku geijutsu jido hen" (Book review annual. Literature, fine arts, and children's volume)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Shohyo Nenpo Kankokai  1972-2001  【Z45-140 and others】 Humanities)
    [Range] 1971-2000
  • "Shohyo nenpo. Jinbun shakai shizen hen" (Book review annual. The humanities, society, and nature volume)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Shohyo Nenpo Kankokai  1971-2001  【Z45-142 and others】 Humanities)
    [Range] 1970-2000
  • "Tosho shinbun" (The book review press)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク separate volume (1) kaisetsu/kiji, shippitsusha, shohyo sakuin (commentaries/articles, writers, and index of reviews), volume (2)-(4) kiji, shippitsusha, shohyo sakuin (commentaries/articles, writers, and index of reviews) (Fuji Shuppan  1989-1992  【Z99-204】 Humanities, Newspaper)
    [Range] 1949-1988
  • "Nihon dokusho shinbun" (Japan reading newspaper)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク kaisetsu/kiji, shippitsusha, shohyo sakuin (commentaries/articles, writers, and index of reviews volume) (reduced-size edition  Nihon Shuppan Kyokai  1987  【Z99-765】 Humanities, Newspaper)
    [Range] 1937-1960
  • "Nihon shohyo kaidai sakuin geppo"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Japan monthly book review bibliography) (Uchida Rokakuho  1959-1960  【Z21-161】)
    [Range] 1959

 

2. Searching with Article Indexes

2-1. Journal Article Indexes

Please refer to the Comprehensive Journal Article (in Japanese) Search Tools (in the Humanities and General Subject Fields) search guide in Japanese. The following databases, in particular, have the feature of enabling display of book review articles only.

2-2. Newspaper Article Indexes

Users can search the full texts of newspapers such as "The Asahi Shinbun" (*searchable range: Meiji period-present), "The Yomiuri Shinbun" (*Meiji period-present), "The Nihon Keizai Shinbun" (*October 1981-present), "The Mainichi Shinbun" (*1987-present), "The Sankei Shinbun" (*September 7, 1992-present), "The Chunichi Shinbun" (*April 2010-present), and "The Tokyo Shinbun" (*April 2010-present) with the databases subscribed to by the NDL, but searching for old book reviews with the materials below affords a greater degree of certainty. 

 

3. Getting a General Overview of Posted Book Review Content

3-1. Newspaper Websites

The following websites are major newspaper book review sites. 

3-2. Bookstore Websites

*Example*
Shohyo Kukan (Kinokuniya Booklog)外部サイトへのリンク (Books Kinokuniya) (http://booklog.kinokuniya.co.jp/)

3-3. Publisher PR Magazines

Publisher PR magazines include book reviews of their own publications and author self-critiques (book reviews by authors themselves). One can use the publication year of a book as a clue to acquire an overview. Examples of PR magazines by major publishing companies are listed below in Japanese alphabetical order. 

  • "Tosho"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Iwanami Shoten  November 1949-present  monthly  【Z21-184】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Hon no tabibito"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Kadokawa Shoten  [November 1995]-present  monthly  【Z21-B367】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from September 2000-present) *Issues in the collection of the NDL range from 1996-present. 
  • "Hon"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Kodansha  February 1976-present  monthly  【Z21-805】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Seishun to dokusho"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Shueisha  [1967]-present  monthly  【Z21-398】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present) *Issues in the collection of the NDL range from 1973-present.
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Hon no mado"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Shogakukan  early spring 1978-present  monthly  【Z21-1337】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Nami"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Shinchosha  January 1967-present  monthly  【Z21-124】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Sobun" (Sobunsha  August 1962-autumn 2016  monthly  【Z21-91国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク, Z72-D273国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-2010)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Chikuma"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Chikuma Shobo  May 1965-present  monthly  【Z21-235】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "UP"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai  November 1972-present  monthly  【Z21-392】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Hon no hanashi"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Bungei Shunju  July 1995-October 2011  monthly  【Z21-B300】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from September 2000-present)
    Currently, this has relocated to the web site Hon no hanashi WEB外部サイトへのリンク (Bungei Shunju) (http://hon.bunshun.jp/)
  • "Misuzu"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Misuzu Shobo  September 1959-present  monthly  【Z21-66】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from May 2001-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Mirai"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Miraisha  quarterly  【Z21-353】 Kansai *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present) *Issues in the NDL range from April 1967-present. 
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)
  • "Shosai no mado"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Yuhikaku  June 1953-present  bi-monthly  【Z21-183】 Kansai, Children's *Kansai holds issues from 2001-present, Children's holds issues from March 2014-present)
    (Issues up to the year 2000 are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections: available within the NDL only)

3-4. Specialist Journals

One can also gain an overview by surveying related specialist journals.  

3-5. Omnibus Reviews

In some instances book reviews are recompiled and published as a book. Some recent examples are listed below.

  • Kyodo Tsushin Bunkabu, ed., "Shohyo taizen" (A collection of book reviews)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Sanseido  2015  【US61-L110】 Humanities, Kansai)
    [Range] March 1998-March 2014
    Textual compilation of approximately 5,000 book reviews originally distributed by Kyodo Tsushin (Kyodo News Service). In transmission date order. Includes indexes (book title, author and editor, translator and translation supervisor, photographer, etc., reviewer, publisher, keyword).

Some examples of prewar book review collections are listed below.

  • "Shoko"国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク 9 vols. (Reprinted edition  Ryokuin Shobo  1992  Nihon shokuminchi bunka undo shiryo (Japanese colonial culture movement documents): 1  【Z21-B207】 Kansai)
    [Range] 1930-1938
    Various newspaper book reviews have been summarized and reprinted in the 'Book review list/Book review survey' column. There is no index, so users must get a general overview from the publication year.

Though omnibus reviews are assumed to have begun around the time of Jun Tosaka's "Dokushoho" (Principles of reading)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Mikasa Shobo  1938  【特501-202】) (National Diet Library Digital Collections), there are few books with which one can search cross-sectionally the book review contents collected in the omnibuses. Searchable in the National Diet Library Digital Collections if the table of contents data has been registered.

3-6. Meiji-Taisho Period Literary Books

In the Meiji-Taisho period, some books were reprinted with book reviews at the back of the book. Unfortunately, however, there are few such examples in the NDL based on the legal deposit system.

*Example*
Otowasei, "Ruiran no toyo: seiji shosetsu" (The perilous predicament of the Orient)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (5th edition  Matataro Ohashi  1899  【71-395x】) (National Diet Library Digital Collections: available at the NDL and at partner libraries).
Approximately 40 or so book reviews have been printed at the back of the book (between the epilogue and the colophon).

Sometimes when an author published multiple books through the same publisher, reprints of book reviews for previous books would be appended to the back of the latest book. 

*Example*
Yosaburo Takekoshi, "Nisen gohyakunen shi" (A history of 2,500 years)国立国会図書館の所蔵情報へのリンク (Revised and enlarged edition  Niyusha  1916  【73-86ヘ】) (National Diet Library Digital Collections

  • 国立国会図書館
  • NDL-OPAC 国立国会図書館蔵書検索・申込システム
  • 国立国会図書館サーチ
  • 国立国会図書館デジタルコレクション
  • ひなぎく
  • レファレンス協同データベース
  • 本の万華鏡