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Toyo Bunko's collection is open to the public for the purpose of researching the history and culture of Asian regions.

Library Calendar



*Please be sure to confirm the library's opening days before making reservations for materials or other requests.




Library Department Head


Takata Tokio was born in 1949. He is a Professor Emeritus at Kyoto University. His academic intersts are in philology and Dunhuang studies.In 1987 he was awarded the Tōhō Gakkai Prize (Oriental Society Prize) and in 1988 the Dr. Kyosuke Kindaichi Memorial Award. His major publications include History of the Chinese Language from Dunhuang Documents (敦煌資料による中国語史の研究) 1988 and Personal Seals of Naitō Konan (内藤湖南自用印譜) 2023. He has been the Librarian of Toyo Bunko since 2022.

A Message from the Head of the Library

In November 2024 Toyo Bunko will mark the centennial of its founding. The library traces its origins to the bold decision by Iwasaki Hisaya, third president of the Mitsubishi enterprises, to purchase the 24,000-volume library of Western Books on China that had been collected by the London Times’ special correspondent in Beijing, George Ernest Morrison. Building on the Morrison collection, Toyo Bunko has developed as a specialized research library on Asia. While the collection began with books on China, today its geographical scope covers all of Asia—from Japan to India, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Western Asia. The library’s collection has expanded through the purchase of important books and materials as well as through gifts from collectors and scholars, today holding more than one million volumes. Among the rare books in the collection are five items that have been designated as National Treasures, including a Heian-era hand copy of the Chinese sixth-century collection of poetry, the Wenxuan jizhu, and seven titles that have been designated as Important Cultural Properties.

While it is possible to search the Toyo Bunko holdings online, our current system was created some years ago and it operates at a very slow speed. As part of the Centennial project, we are in a transitional stage to a new TB-OPAC. When the transition is completed in 2028, it will also be possible to search the Toyo Bunko collection through the Japanese universal search system, CiNii Books/Research on the website maintained by the NII (National Institute for Informatics).
The Toyo Bunko Library also has a reading room that is open to scholars as well as members of the public.* We welcome requests for copying of materials for research, as well as for reproduction in printed materials. Digitization projects that are part of the Centennial celebration projects will make images of an increasing part of the collection available online. We welcome your continued use of the Toyo Bunko Library.

*There are restrictions on access to some of the rare books. Please refer to the guidelines for reading and reproduction of Library materials.