Skip to Main Content

Japanese Art: Subject Headings

Included in this LibGuide is information about finding articles, books and web resources on Japanese art.

General Search Strategies

Searching in the OPAL catalog for your topic:  

SUBJECT AND KEYWORD searches are not the same. The catalog uses controlled vocabularies for subjects. Keywords are natural language. If you find an appropriate book using a keyword find similar books by searching the same subject headings.

A CONTROLLED VOCABULARY like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) helps ensure the same topics are described using a formalized terminology. The terms are based on broad and narrow topics. Other controlled vocabularies include: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), or LC subject headings for children's literature.

SEARCH TIPS  on the catalog page explain combining words for the most efficient way to find what you need. Or, look at the help link to decide how to search.

MARKING RECORDS enables you to save to a list then print or email a selected group of items.

A BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD  in the online catalog will give important information including the title, author, publisher, publication date, subject headings and the Dewey decimal call number. 

THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM is a classification scheme used to organize books. Other libraries may use the Library of Congress Classification System. 

Search Term Suggestions

Search Term Suggestions


  • Art, Japanese
  • Art, Japanese - Edo period, 1600-1868
  • Art, Japanese - Kamakura - Momoyama periods, 1185-1600
  • Art, Japanese - Meiji period, 1868-1912
  • Art, Japanese - 20th century 

 For a Narrower Search USE

  • Buddhist art - Japan
  • Calligraphy, Japanese
  • Geishas in art
  • "Haiga"  or haiku painting
  • Ink painting, Japanese
  • "Inro" or porcelain miniatures
  • Japanese brush painting
  • Japanese pottery
  • Manga art
  • Neksuke
  • "Surimono" poetry and prints
  • "Ukiyo-e, "pictures of the floating, or sorrowful, world"
  • Women artists, Japan
  • Women painters, Japan
  • Woodblock print design
  • Zen calligraphy
  • Zen painting