The aim of the bibliography, which has been compiled at the Institute, is to collect, as comprehensively as possible, all texts in German about Japan published since the 1980s that are relevant for the humanities in the broader sense of the term. Included are not only studies on culture, society and economics, but also translations of Japanese literature, literary texts relating to Japan, as well as popular scientific books and guides, such as travel guides, instructions on Japanese leisure art forms such as origami or ikebana, and works on different types of martial arts. Purely science-oriented and technological topics are excluded. The bibliography contains individual books, series, periodicals, monographs, collected editions, academic writings, and exhibition catalogs. It also includes scholarly articles in journals and collections, though as a rule it does not include newspaper articles. In addition to complete bibliographical details, the individual records also contain keywords related to both subject and persons. There are extensive numbers of such keywords, which means a publication is not linked to only one relevant subject area but to several, thus enabling interdisciplinary searches. The Institute has published print versions of the bibliography in the series Materials for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia. In the print series, individual publications follow the "Regeln für die alphabetische Katalogisierung in wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken" (RAK-WB), being listed alphabetically by author (or by subject title in the case of edited publications), date of publication and title. Additional indexes to the main index, such as a detailed keyword index, an index of persons, and a name index listing all persons responsible for individual publications, make it possible to search for publications according to subject and person.
Since the ever increasing number of publications on Japan can no longer be monitored with any reasonable effort, the systematic collecting of bibliographical data was not extended past 1999. Results up to 1997 have been published in five volumes; an online version allows access to the entire collection of data.
The long desired plan of making the bibliography available online began to be realized in 2016 in a co-operation with the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities (ACDH). The online database was officially launched in 2019.
Susanne Formanek, Peter Getreuer, 1989
Verzeichnis des deutschsprachigen Japan-Schrifttums, 1980–1987. (MKGA 1.) Wien: VÖAW, 1989 (order online). (194 S.)
Peter Getreuer, 1991
Verzeichnis des deutschsprachigen Japan-Schrifttums 1988–1989: Nebst Ergänzungen zu den Jahren 1980–1987. (MKGA 2.) Wien: VÖAW, 1991 (order online). (194 S.)
Karina Kleiber, 1995
Verzeichnis des deutschsprachigen Japan-Schrifttums 1990–1991: Nebst Ergänzungen zu den Jahren 1980–1989. (MKGA 3.) Wien: VÖAW, 1995 (order online). (194 S.)
Gabriele Pauer, 1999
Verzeichnis des deutschsprachigen Japan-Schrifttums 1992–1993: Nebst Ergänzungen zu den Jahren 1980–1991. (MKGA 4.) Wien: VÖAW, 1999 (order online). (28 S.)