National Archives of Japan

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Q & A

Getting Started

  • How can I use the Digital Archive?
  • You can search catalogs of NAJ holdings on the internet. And also you can view and download digitized images of materials, electronic records on this system.
  • Can I see all of the NAJ holdings as digitized images?
  • You can see a part of the NAJ Holdings.
  • What are "Shiryogun" fonds or series?
  • They are description information arranged by hierarchy of government ministries or agencies.
  • What is "Bosatsu"?
  • It is a file into which a number of documents are bound.
  • What is "Kenmei/ Saimoku"?
  • It means a document item comprising a number of pages.

Search Functions

  • How do I search?
  • Go to the "Digital Archive" top page and enter a keyword into the box.
    You can also use a "layered search," which enables searching by tracking by the government ministry or agency hierarchy.
    In the case of many results being found, you can also use various "refine search" options to add further search conditions.
  • What kinds of phrase should I enter into a keyword box to get good results?
  • Any phrase or keyword, such as file/item title or the name of the creating department can be used. We also recommended using a part of a phrase included in complete title, especially in the case of searching by law title, etc.
  • What are the advantages of a "layered search"?
  • It enables searching without clear information of descriptions, because, in "layered search," you can search by tracking the hierarchy by government ministry or agency. And furthermore, you may be able to get the overall map of NAJ holdings or record groups.
  • Do you have English or other languages description translated from Japanese?
  • There are some materials written in English, French, Chinese, etc., in NAJ holdings, and there is also some English in our description. So when you search these materials, you can find them by using that language in the description. If you wish to search Japanese materials then you should check language system for Japanese in your PC, and enter Japanese phrases into the keyword box.
  • How do I search by NAJ Call No.?
  • On the "Digital Archive" top page, enter the "Call No." into the keyword box.
    (1) Governmental Documents
    In the case of "Constitution of Japan," Call No. is "御30168100," you should enter "御30168100" into the keyword box.
    (2) Former Cabinet Library's materials
    For examples, "Azumakagami," which is an Important Cultural Property, can be found by enter following Call No. "特103-0001" into the keyword box.
  • There are some old-style Japanese characters in the description I want to search for. Can I search using such old-style Japanese characters?
  • Yes, you can search using old-style kanji that are recognized by computers (up to about JIS level 2 Japanese Kanji).
  • Can I search the Former Cabinet Library Collection by a person's name?
  • Yes, you can search by the name of the author or editor.
  • What is a "Cross-file Search"?
  • It is a horizontal search, which can search horizontally through the multiple databases of multiple institutes of our system.
  • Can I search the JACAR database from the NAJ Digital Archive?
  • You can search the JACAR descriptions through our system with "Cross-file Search," and also, see some digital images which are provided by JACAR in the case of NAJ holdings.

Search Results

  • Too many search results are blocking my search. How do I d refine my search?
  • You can refine your search results by adding a keyword or you can use another search function such as "layered search."
  • Can I sort my search results?
  • There is a sort function on the search results page to sort by "title," "fonds/series," "origination," "date,"or "Call No." But this function does not work in cases of over 5000 search results.
  • I found materials that have the same titles as a result of my search. Are they the same materials?
  • These are different materials because they each have different created dates, former holders, or editorial versions.

Printing Application forms

  • How can I use original materials?
  • You can apply to use original materials. You must fill out an application form and submit to us.
  • How do I make an application?
  • In your search results page on the "Digital Archive," there are check boxes on the right side of the catalog infomation. You can check these and print out the list of materials that you want to apply to use.

About Images of Materials

  • How do I use a viewer?
  • Please see the following page.
  • I found some "browse" icons in my search results. What does this mean?
  • The "browse" icon means that you can use a digitized image of the material from the "Digital Archive."
  • Can I save a digitized image from the "Digital Archive"?
  • You can download and save to your computer from the "Digital Archive." You can also use the download function by pressing the icon to "download images."
  • How do I download high definition images?
  • There is download function to get high definition digital images in a JPEG2000 format.
  • I cannot view the digitized images. Could you tell me any reasons?
  • You must install software which enables you to view JPEG2000 format on your Windows computer.

About Plug-ins

  • Could you tell me how to install Adobe Reader to open PDF document?
  • See following the page of Adobe Systems Inc. for installation of Adobe Reader.