*Japanese Studies General Guide: Finding Book Reviews

Provides a starting point for Japan Studies, including resources to find books, articles, newspapers, and web resources.


A book review is an article which describes and evaluates a book. Some reviews are short, simply introducing the bibliographic information and the summary of the content. Some reviews are more scholarly and critical, analyzing the content in the scholarly context in which the book was produced. The review may include the author’s scholarly background and perspective, important arguments which shaped the research, and/or the impact of the book on the scholarly knowledge. Good book reviews thus help readers understand the arguments of the author and the value of the book.

Book reviews are published in newspapers, popular magazines, scholarly journals, and book review periodicals. Reviews may become available soon after the concerned book was published, but some reviews may appear a few years after the publication. This guide lists sources (both online and print) to find good reviews.

To find book reviews, you must have: 1) author's full name, 2) complete title of the book, and 3) year of publication (this is very important if you are looking for book reviews from print resources).

Important Databases

The databases listed here include both book reviews and articles. While searching, you may need to limit the search results to find reviews. Suggested search strategy is provided under the name of the database, but there may be other effective way to find book reviews!


Book Review Websites

This box lists websites for book reviews.

Major Review Periodicals

This box lists major review index periodicals available at KU. When looking for reviews on old publications, you may need to consult with these sources.