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Inside the Okinawa Collection

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Collection Areas

Our acquisition activities have initially focused on these subjects: history of the Ryukyu Kingdom and Okinawa Prefecture; migration from Okinawa to North and South America; war memories and the Battle of Okinawa; contemporary Okinawan politics, economics, and social movements; the U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands and the reversion of Okinawa to Japan; U.S military bases on Okinawa; and issues related to the Senkaku Islands.

We are now beginning to develop our collection in the following areas: Okinawan language, literature, and culture; philosophical and religious traditions; anthropological research; textbooks and other educational materials; and gender issues.  The collection also contains sources on Ryukyu dyeing and weaving textile traditions which were revitalized in Okinawa Prefecture during the post-war period.

Print materials encompass standard reference works, circulating monographs, multi-author anthologies, monographic series, periodicals, and unpublished documents. Electronic materials include online databases of major Japanese and local Okinawan newspapers and DVDs.

The Okinawa Collection builds on the Japan Economic Institute (JEI) library which Gelman Library acquired in 2000.  The JEI materials as well as those in the Japan Resource Center contain many sources on topics relevant to Okinawa.  They include Japanese political and diplomatic history; post-World War II politics and economics; debates about the Japanese Constitution; U.S.-Japan economic and security relations; the evolution of Japanese security policy; historical memory and the politics of reconciliation; territorial disputes; and East Asian regionalism and economic integration.  

The Okinawa Collection/Japan Resource Center supports curricular needs and student research for undergraduate and graduate courses in Japanese and Asian studies as well as assists advanced scholarship and policy analysis related to Okinawa.  

Databases & Online Resources

Databases accessible onsite

A rich array of databases and other online resources are available to the students, instructors, and researchers at GW. These include the following:

Asahi Shimbun Onrain Kiji Detabesu Kikuzo II Visual / 朝日新聞オンラインデータベース 聞蔵

One of the largest newspaper article databases in Japan, with over eight million articles from over 130 years of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. The database also includes Who's Who and Historical Photo Archives. Searchable both in English and Japanese.

Mainichi Shimbun Maisaku / 毎日新聞 毎索

Provides access to 6 million articles from the Mainichi Shimbun and precursor titles from 1872. Searchable mainly in Japanese.

Nikkei Telecom 21 / 日経テレコム21

Major Japanese newspaper database focusing on business and economics from 1876 to the present; content is in Japanese and English; includes a wide variety of newspapers, statistics and corporate information. Searchable both in English and Japanese.

Okinawa Times / 沖縄タイムス

Provides access to the full-text of the Okinawa Times and its archive. Searchable in Japanese.

Ryukyu Shimpo / 琉球新報

One of the largest and oldest newspapers in Okinawa. Searchable in Japanese. Coverage: January 4, 1998 up to current. Searchable in Japanese.

Yomiuri Online Yomidas Rekishikan / 読売新聞オンライン ヨミダス歴史館

Full-text of the Yomiuri Shimbun from 1874 to present, the Daily Yomiuri & its English equivalent, and a biographical dictionary of modern Japanese figures. Full-text searching is available from Sept. 1986 to present. Searchable both in English and Japanese.

Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS) / 機密解除文書参照システム

Provides access to declassified U.S. government documents drawn from Presidential libraries. Accessible only by GW ID holders. Searchable mainly in English.

To access the onsite accessible databases, please go to GW Gelman Library A-Z Databases pages.

Open Access Academic Online Resources & Archives

National Security Archive (GW) / 米国国家安全保障アーカイブ

An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.

National Diet Library Digital Collections / 国会図書館デジタルコレクション

This database include resources and collections of periodicals (includes those for children), rare books and old materials which were created before the end of Edo period, doctoral dissertations, official gazettes and so on.

Okinawa Prefectural Archives / 沖縄県立公文書館

The archives contain official US and the Ryukyus documents; public gazettes published by Government of the Ryukyu Islands and the Okinawa Prefectural Government; films and photographs (including aerial photos) during and after the WWII produced by the US military forces, the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands (USCAR) and the Government of the Ryukyu Islands (GRI). 

University of the Ryukyus started in 2010 to collect and store online Okinawa-related research from 15 institutions and store online. Research includes journal articles, dissertation, and books.

Note: New content was added until March 2021, and existing content will be closed to the public in March 2022.

University of Maryland Gordon W. Prange Collection / メリーランド大学ゴードンW. プランゲ文庫

Gordon W. Prange Collection holds the largest comprehensive archive of Japanese print publications issued between 1945 and 1949. Gordon Prange, who taught at the University of Maryland and worked as a Chief Historian under General Douglas MacArthur, brought back Japanese magazines, newspapers, posters and more which were censored by the Allied Forces.

University of the Ryukyus Library Ryukyu/Okinawa Special Collection Digital Archives / 琉球・沖縄関係貴重資料デジタルアーカイブ      

Encompasses six major collections by such important Okinawan authors and scholars as Iha Fuyu and Nakahara Zenchu.

Recent Acquisitions

Please browse our newest addition to the Okinawa Collection on Recent Acquisitions Homepage.