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The University of Iowa Libraries


Japanese History: Age of Samurai: Home

Age of Samura guide

This guide includes mainly materials available in English.

Smart Search

The University of Iowa Libraries
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Reference resources

Updated: 9/4/2015

Books on Course Reserves


Museum Collections and Other Online Resources in English

Samurai Movies

Heian Period: 794-1185

Replicas of Japanese Picture Scrolls in the UI Libraries

We have several replicas of Japanese picture scrolls in our library. Most of them are minuature replicas. All the scrolls are accompanied by explanatory booklet in Japanese and English.

To find more scrolls, try seaching for "Emakimono shirīzu" or try Benridō and scroll(s) as your keywords. Benridō is a company in Kyoto who makes most of these replica scrolls in our collection.

If you'd like to know how to handle real Japanese scrolls, check out this online tutorial from the Freer and Sackler Gallery on YouTube: Safe Handling Practices for Japanese Handscrolls

24-volume set of "Nihon emakimono zenshū (Art Oversize-2 FOLIO ND1053 .N5)" can be also useful to look at more narrative painting scrolls. Text chiefly in Japanese, but summary and legends also in English.

Updated: 6/8/2016

Kamakura Period: around 1185 -1333

Muromachi Period: 1336-1573

Azuchi Momoyama Period: 1573-1603

Edo or Tokugawa Period: 1603-1868

The End of Edo Japan

Finding DVDs in the Main Library

We have a rich DVD collection in the Main Media Collection. It is a closed stack collection. You cannot go into the room and browse the collection to find what you want. You need to use either InfoHawk or SmartSearch to decide what can be useful and/or locate what you need. When you find something useful, write down its call number and bring it to the Service Desk on the first floor. Our staff will get it for you.

There are different ways to search DVDs in InfoHawk. No one search will find you everything. So try a few different searches, change your search terms, check the full records for more ideas for new searches, etc.

If you know the movie or DVD title, try Title beginning with... or  Keyword in title search on Basic Search screen. If you are looking for a film by a specific director or actor, use Author beginning with... search. We normally include 3-5 main actors and actresses of the film in our catalog records.

Let's try using Advanced Search screen. You can combine your search terms more easily and use language limit, media format limit, etc. on Advanced Search screen.

One example is to use Japan and History as Subject keywords, and limit language to English and format to Video - DVD only. Try other Subjects such as Samurai, Documentary films, etc. Also try different search types such as Keyword anywhere and Title keywords with language and format limits.


There are Japanese DVDs with English subtitles in our collection. Our catalog records for those DVDs normally include Language Note like the following:

  • In English or Japanese with optional English subtitles.
  • Japanese dialogue; English subtitles.
  • In Japanese, with optional subtitles in English.

You can use the Language Note information for your search. Let's try phrase search technique here. Use quotation marks around your phrases like "English subtitles" and "subtitles in English." Using this technique will eliminate DVDs with Language Note such as English dialogue with Japanese subtitles, In English with optional subtitles in Chinese and Japanese, etc. These DVDs can be found in your result list if you use English and subtitles simply as your keywords. However, you may miss DVDs actually with English subtitles if the Language Note is using a different phrasing (eg:English, French or Japanese soundtracks; optional English or French subtitles.).

There may be streaming videos available for your topic. To include streaming videos in your search, use Video - All for your format limit.

Click on Display full record link for more details about the DVD. Don't forget to check Syst.details Note for system standard and region code as well. We acquire DVDs and Blu-rays from different countries. Some of them may not play on your DVD player at home. The Libraries have region free DVD players, PAL DVD Players, VHS players, Blu-ray players, etc. on the first floor.

Updated: 9/18/2015

Subject Guide

Janalyn Moss
The University of Iowa Libraries
100 Main Library
Iowa City, IA 52242