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National Institute of Japanese Literature: Library (図書館)


General Information

National Institute of Japanese Literature
10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa
Tokyo, 190-0014
Email: (please replace # with @)
Saturday: 9:30-17:00
Sunday, National Holidays,
Second and Fourth Wednesday, the Last Day of Each Month

About the Facility:

The Kokubunken Library  holds about 160,000 books and 8,300 periodical titles related to Japanese literature. The library preserves Japanese literary materials dating back more than 12 centuries.  The institute stores and archives original texts on microfilm and in digital format.

Summary of Collection(s)

Collection Size:

  • Books: 160,000 volumes
  • Periodicals: 8,300 periodical titiles related to Japanese literature.

Focus: Japanese literary materials dating back more than 12 centuries.  The institute stores and archives original texts on microfilm and in digital format. 

The collections are categorized as follows:

  • Historical archives include written works and records, acquired since 1947.
  • Microfilms text and images of early Japanese written work such as manuscripts and books (printed using woodblocks) from libraries, athenaeum, temples and shrines throughout Japan.
  • Manuscripts and woodblock prints include early Japanese works dating from before the Edo period.
  • Printed books include early Japanese works from before the Edo period.
  • Serial publication includes periodicals and bulletins.

Note: Please use the database (電子資料館) section in (Japanese) for online searching of their resources. Their OPAC (online catalog) allows users to search books and periodicals. The English version of the OPAC functions similarly to the Japanese OPAC.  However, entering search terms in Japanese characters instead of romanization will yield vastly more results (for example a search using "源氏物語" produced 1,659 hits however using the romanized "Genji monogatari" yielded only 74 hits).  It may be most efficient to use both search terms for the most accurate search results.

Note: The Guide uses the ALA/LC standard romanization, however, it also reflects different romanization system used by an individual institution.




How to Use the Facility

Using the Library

Prior to the Visit:

Please follow the procedure on "General Affiliation Procedure for Japanese Institutions."

Upon Arrival:

  • Please obtain the library card.
  • Please obtain the user badge (閲覧者記章 Etsuransha kishō).

Saturday Use: Reservation is required for the Saturday viewing of historical documents, rare books, special collections and deposited materials.

  • Please make reservations before Wednesday of the same week. The library will take reservation one month in advance.
  • E-mail, fax or send a letter including the following information:

Name (氏名)
Contact (Phone number/ FAX / E-mail) (連絡先)
Requested date (閲覧希望日)
Requested information materials (call numbers, article names and series) (閲覧希望資料)

  • The Saturday visit form, "土曜閲覧予約申込書", is available in PDF format on their webpage.

Note: If the date requested is not available for viewing, the library will notify individuals.


  • Photocopy services are provided in accordance with Japanese copyright laws.
  • Service Hours: Monday-Friday 9:30-16:00, Saturday 9:30-15:00
  • Copy Fees:
Copy Methods / Type of Materials Staff Self Service Positives
Microfilm, Manuscripts, woodblock prints 40 yen n/a 1050 yen / 100 sheet
Other printed materials and magazines 35 yen 10 yen n/a
Archive materials 35 yen n/a n/a
  • Please insert book marks at first and last page of copy section
  • Please bring materials to the copy counter along with the copy request form (write down the user badge number on upper left).

Note: Photocopy processing may slightly differ depending on type of materials. Please ask the library staff.

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North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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