This is the guide for having fun in Tokyo

by cicerone-e
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2005年 04月 15日 ( 1 )

The Toyo Bunko is located right next to Rikugien. The Toyo Bunko is the largest library as well as the research institute of Asian history and culture in Asian region.

The Toyo Bunko was established in 1917, and the classical building itself is also very nice. This library was opened when former third president of the Mitsubishi enterprise group, Mr. Hisaya Iwasaki purchased the book stocks of Australian Mr. George Ernest Morrion (1862-1920), a former political advisor to the Office of the President of the Republic of China.

Mr. Morison had an enormous collection of documents about China written in European languages. I guess he must have been a hard worker !
After the name of Japanese era was changed from Taisho to Showa, a branch division of National Diet Library was built right next to the Toyo Bunko.
There are total 88,000 books mainly from Morrison collection. The books are written in various languages, including Tibetan, Thai, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, etc.. You can also see valuable historical data such as the correspondence between Lafcadio Hearn and Chamberlain, and Marco Polo's Description of the World.
This place is like a goldmine for the historians specialized in Asian history.

In the general rule, the library requires a letter of introduction to see the books, but if you show your ID, you will be allowed to view the books. You can also easily search documents from the online search system through internet.

Even for those of you who are not Asian history experts, I recommend you to go there to enjoy deep Asian world!!

The Toyo Bunko
address:2-28-21 Hon Komagome, Bunkyo-ku
access:8 min walk from Komagome Station on JR Yamanote Line or Subway Nanboku Line
open:9AM-4:30PM(12PM-12:30PM Lunch break, request for documents close at 4PM)
close:Sat, Sun, National Holiday
Admission : Free
by cicerone-e | 2005-04-15 12:30 | walking