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Japanese History: Newspapers: Home / The Japan Times Archives

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English Newspapers from Japan

Newspaper Databases in the UI Libraries

* "San Francisco Examiner" and "Seattle Post-Intelligencer" are available from mutiple sources. Each source may cover very limited or specific time period. Some sources may only allow you to browse the newspaper. To find those newspaper titles,  use SmartSearch or InfoHawk.

* Also refer to this News and Newspapers guide for more newspaper titles.

Tips for the Japan Times Archives

  • The Japan Times Archives coverage is from March 22, 1897 to December 31, 2017 as of August 7, 2018. Recent issues are accessible via
  • The UI Libraries is sharing this database with other libraries. Please log out when you finish using it.
  • Chrome is the recommended browser for the Japan Times Archives.
  • Exact Match Search: Default keyword search performs a partial-match search in the Japan Times Archives. For example, suppose you are looking for a person whose name is Abe Ken. If you simply type Abe Ken as your keywords, your search results will include other people such as  Watanabe Ken and Tanabe Kenichiro whose names contain the text string Abe Ken.

If you only want to find Abe Ken, use quotation marks to do a phrase search and add spaces to indicate both the beginning and end of a word as follows: “△Abe△Ken△” (△ means a 1-byte-space).

To perform exact match search for "Obama," use "△Obama△. "

  • Article Viewer: Section that contains your search keyword(s) or phrase will be indicated in red square.
  • Article Viewer: Previous or next page icons at the top of the screen is to move up and down on your search result list. It is not to flip a page within an issue. To browse an entire issue of the Japan Times, use "On" option for Publication Date search.

  <- Previous or Next Page icons

  • Article Viewer: To maximize the screen size to read your article, click on Hide the page information icon at the upper left corner of the article image.

  • Article Viewer: The Japan Times Archives doesn't have Save and E-mail functions.
  • Printing your article: You cannot enlarge the article for printing if you use the database's print function. Stay in the article viewer to enlarge the article and try some screen shot tools for printing.
  • Citation: Do not forget to write down the citation information whether you are using the database's print function or screen shot tool. It won't be included automatically. History Department's Teaching and Writing Center provides Style and Citation guide here.  Citation Formats guide from the UI Libraries is also available for your reference.

Updated: 8/7/2018

When Searching the Japan Times Archives

  • No additional descriptor or subject heading is assigned to individual articles in the Japan Times. You can only use the words and phrases actually used in the newspaper articles for your keyword searches.

If you are researching a historical event, you may need to think carefully of using the event names and such from your textbook as your search keyword. For example, the massive earthquake and tsunami occurred in Japan on March 11, 2011 was not officially named "Higashi Nihon Daishinsai (The Great East Japan Earthquake)" until April 1st by the Japanese government and how mass media and people called the disaster varied until then.

Also think about the possible abbreviations and spelling variations which might be used for newspaper articles. For example, if you are researching the February 26th Incident Restricted Resource, there are several possible spelling variations like below. Try as many variants as possible to make your search more thorough. Also try phrase search technique and check if it makes any difference for your searches. Add quotation marks (") around your search phrase.

  • "February 26th Incident": 6 hits
  • February 26th Incident: 9 hits
  • "February 26 Incident": 10 hits
  • "Feb 26 Incident": 7 hits
  • "2 26 incident": 2 hits
  • niniroku: 3 hits

If your keyword includes punctuation marks such as period, comma, or hyphen, the Japan Times Archives search engine may not like it. Try your keyword again without them.

  • "2-26 Incident": No result
  • "2 26 incident": 2 hits
  • The Japan Times Archives is a full-text searchable database. However, its OCR quality may make your keyword searches fail sometimes. (OCR enhancement is scheduled during the summer of 2016.) So try the Publication Date options on search screen in addition to your keyword searches to check the few entire issues of the Japan Times following the event you are researching. Let's use the February 26th Incident as our example again.

Try Between option for Publication Date search. Browse some issues to find when the incident was first reported. The incident did not make the front page until February 28th.

One article caption on the front page contains the phrase "Feb. 26 incident," but my keyword search did not find it. So browse some issues entirely to compliment your keyword searches on the Japan Times Archives.


  • Your article may be extended to multiple pages like the example below. When all the segments do not include your keyword, you need to do another search to browse the entire issue. Check the publication date of the retrieved segment and go back to the search screen. Use the "On" option for the Publication Date.



Articles You Will Find in the Japan Times Archives

Information in this section is taken from the Japan Times Archives flyers (see the bottom of this box) and PR websites.

In the Japan Times Archives, you will find information about historical events and news on ....

(Browse search by publication date is recommended for the most of topics below.)

  • The Great Kanto Earthquake (September 1, 1923):

Extras: Use "On" option in Publication Date box and select September 4, 1923. Then choose "Extras" as your issue option in Option box. To check "Extras," first click on "All" to deselect it.

Type-written issues: The Great Kanto Earthquake damaged the Japan Times company building. They kept issuing type-written bulletins at Imperial Hotel and you will see the note on the front page. September 7, 1923 issue was reporting the recovery efforts in Tokyo one week after the Earthquake.  

  • Suppliment issue "Message from Japan to America" (October 1, 1924): The supplement issue was published with voices from various quarters. On December 20th, another supplement issue titled "A Message from Americans in Japan" was published.
  • Interview with Richard Sorge (December 6, 1934): "Hobnobbing with the Foreign Correspondents"series featured Russian intelligent officer, Richard Sorge. This article was published 7 years before he was exposed as a Soviet espionage agent along with several others (Sorge Insident ).
  • Steel and Iron Number (September 3, 1935): One of the special supplements on Japanese industrial developments published during this period.
  • Column by Japonicus (Starting from March 9, 1944): Prof. Kenzo Takayanagi of the University of Tokyo started wring a column under the pseudonym of Japonicus irregularly from March 9, 1944. It was planted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who did not want the prolongation of the war.
  • "Unscrambling Babel" (February 27, 1947): An article on Tokyo war crimes trial appeared in supplement magazine.
  • "A-bomb Decision" (February 20, 1947): Condensed version of the Harper's Magazine interview with Henry Stimson was publised in February 1947.

Also read this article on Japan Times website for more interesting topics found in the Japan Times Archives.

Japan Times History

The Japan Times celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2014. March 22, 2007 supplement issue features images of front pages that reported historical events and incidents and includes an article about its history.

<Chart taken from the Japan Times Archives flyer>

Japanese and Korean Studies Librarian

Tsuyoshi Harada's picture
Tsuyoshi Harada
100 Main Library