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Okinawan Studies: Searching Tips

This guide to introduce you to resources on Okinawa and Ryukyu.

Romanization and Word Division / ローマ字と分かち書き

Finding Books and Articles:


OneSearch Mānoa looks like, and works like, a search engine you are familiar with. You will see a query box (empty box), and type some keyword(s) you can think of to find the information you are looking for:

Here is a link to the more detailed “how to” page that teaches you how to use OneSearch Mānoa.

Finding resources with a title written in Japanese

Two things need to keep in mind:

  1. Romanization
  2. Word division

1. Romanization

All of the Library’s records are transliterated into Roman characters (alphabets). For instance, ハワイ大学 is written as Hawai daigaku.

The Library’s records use a specific Romanization style called “Hepburn system.”

ち is chi, not ti

ふ is fu, not hu.


あなたの手紙 is written as anata e no tegami (not anata he no tegami)

2. Word Division

Japanese language doesn’t have space between kanjis.

Therefore, Okinawa bungaku sen = 沖縄文学選

There is no white space 沖 and 縄.

The word division is called “wakachigaki / 分かち書き” in Japanese, and this is critical when you find materials in Romaji (English alphabets).

You do not need to know all of word division rules. However, knowing the word division helps you locate the specific titles without getting a “no record found” result.

Caveat: The materials written in Japan and recently added to the Library’s Collection can be searched in Japanese writing. However, I would strongly recommend to search the library resources with a title or an author’s name in Romaji, especially when you did not find any results in search.

Please read below to understand how to search materials in Japanese.

If you would like to increase the precision in searching materials written in Japanese, please read this PDF file that the Library of Congress has created.

Okinawa Studies Librarian

Sachiko Iwabuchi 岩渕祥子's picture
Sachiko Iwabuchi 岩渕祥子
Asia Collection Department
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
Room 402
sachiko.iwabuchi [at]
(808) 956-2311
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