Category: Japanese libraries

Exploring Shashi (社史, Company Histories)

Nissin Food Product Shashi Outer Packaging

Shashi (社史, Company Histories) are the chronological accounts of a company or corporation, usually written in the form of a book. Their contents typically include information about a specific company’s  history, including its foundation, expansion, and changes of administration corresponding to historical shifts in politics and economics. They can also reflect many other aspects of a company’s history, such as the biographies of its administrative members, interviews with workers, exhibitions of historical documents, and special topics about technological improvements.

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Searching for Japanese books by subject

The Ohio State University Libraries uses the Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) to support subject searches with controlled vocabulary — in addition to the convenient keyword search. Other research libraries also use LCSH, so the subject headings can also be used in Worldcat or to search in other research library catalogs. Spending some time becoming familiar with subject headings can be helpful in conducting research. An easy way to do this is to look at the “full record” when you find a book — then click on the subject headings to find other books on the same subject (or click on the call number to find books classified in the same call number range — another kind of subject index!)

Japanese library catalogs also use subject headings. At the National Diet Library(NDL)try the advanced search . There is a guide to NDL’s subject headings.

An older edition of NDL’s subject headings is available in print:
Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan kenmei hyōmokuhyō
Z695 .K68 1991

A few years ago we kept subject bibliographies in the EAS Reference collection. For specific research purposes the printed books may still be helpful —