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Japanese language information resources

Consult these resources to better enjoy studying the Japanese language.

If you need help, please contact Ivana Niseteo, Liaison Librarian for English, French, French Programs (FASS), Humanities, Linguistics, and World Literature at 778.782.6838 or or Ask a librarian.

Japanese books

If you want to find books in Japanese, search the SFU Library Catalogue.

  • Read real Japanese fiction: short stories by contemporary writers [print]
  • Exploring Japanese Literature: read Mishima, Tanizaki and Kawabata in the original [print]
  • My homestay family -- an easy read book [print]
  • A to Zen: a book of Japanese culture -- Introduces Japanese words from A to Z [print]

Public libraries, such as the Vancouver Public Library, usually have a larger selection of easy books, such as books for young readers.

Movies in Japanese at the Library

Videos and DVDs (feature and documentary films) in Japanese with English subtitles.

  • Twenty-five Films by Akira Kurosawa [DVD]
  • Akira [DVD]
  • Dodesukaden [DVD]
  • The hidden fortress [DVD]
  • Howl's Moving Castle [DVD]
  • Ikiru = To live [DVD]
  • The pillow book [DVD]
  • Porco Rosso [DVD]
  • Princess Mononoke [DVD]
  • Rash¯omon [DVD]
  • Seven samurai [DVD]
  • Shinj¯u ten no Amijima = Double suicide [DVD]
  • Spirited away [DVD]
  • Tsubaki Sanj¯ur¯o = Sanjuro [DVD]
  • T¯oky¯o monogatari = Tokyo story [DVD]
  • Ugetsu [DVD]
  • YojimboYojimbo [DVD]
  • Yume = Dreams [DVD]
  • Ghost in the shell. English dubbed version [DVD]
  • Metropolis [DVD]
  • Obachan's Garden [DVD or online]
  • Sleeping tigers: the Asahi baseball story [DVD or online]



  • News on Japan - Daily news on Japan - business news, economy, society, politics, technology (In English)
  • Japan Times - (in English)

Japanese Language Reference

Japanese Language Textbooks for English Speakers

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Denshi Jisho - An online English - Japanese dictionary; also available in multiple mobile versions (see site for more details).
  • Kanji Dictionary - From 1006 Kanji characters. Each character is presented by a grade, stroke count, stroke order, phonetic reading and native Japanese reading. You can also listen to the pronunciation.
  • Tuttle Compact Japanese Dictionary [print]
  • Kodansha's Japanese Furigana Dictionary [print]


  • Kanji alive - From the University of Chicago. Searchable, web-based tool to help students read and write Japanese kanji. Does not require any Japanese fonts. See User's guide.
  • Japanese writing system - From Omniglot. An excellent guide to world writing systems
  • Comparison between hiragana and katakana
  • Chinese calligraphy: from pictograph to ideogram, the history of 214 essential Chinese/Japanese characters [print]
  • Remembering the Kanji: a complete course on how not to forget the meaning and writing of Japanese characters [print]


The following files need Media Player - Download for free.

  • Lessons with sound files - Listen to the pronunciation of basic Japanese vocabulary: animals, numbers, weather, family, etc. (From
  • Hiragana - A table of hiragana characters with sound. Click on a hiragana character to hear a corresponding Japanese syllable sound.
  • Hiragana - characters with corresponding sounds.
  • Katakana - characters with corresponding sounds. By Jouji Miwa.
  • Kanji Dictionary - From Listen to the pronunciation of 1006 Kanji characters.
  • Table of Roman letters - Japanese syllables with sounds. By Jouji Miwa.


To find Japanese grammar books in the SFU library, browse search the Catalogue by Subject 'Japanese language--Grammar'.

  • Essential Japanese: an introduction to the standard colloquial language [print]
  • Teach yourself Japanese [print]
  • Japanese - Master the Basics [print]

Japanese language courses

Japanese fonts

Language games, quizzes, chat rooms

Cuisine & Travel

History & Culture