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Tenri University: Tenri Central Library (天理大学附属 天理図書館)


General Information

Tenri Central Library 
050 Soma-no-uchi,Tenri, Nara 632-8577
Email: (Please replace # with @)

About the Library:

The Tenri Central library was opened in 1926 and currently holds 1,830,000 items, including manuscripts.  Two-thirds of holdings are Japanese, Korean and Chinese books, and the remainder are in Western languages, including Arabic and African books.

The library emphasizes the fields of religion, language, history, geography, literature, and Chinese and Korean studies.  It also holds an important rare book collections of over 17,000 volumes, 90 of which are designated as national treasures or important cultural properties by the Ministry of Education. The library also holds an extensive collection of reference books in a variety of fields, including dictionaries and encyclopedias, as well as important works of oriental ethnological and archaeological imports from the Far East. 

Related Link(s)

Resources & Facilities

Summary of Collection(s)

Focus: Religion, Language, History, Geography, Literature, Chinese and Korean studies

Notable Collection(s):


  • Liu-men-te Wen-chi (劉夢得文集): Edition from the Sung period (designated as a national treasure)
  • Mao-shi Yao-i (毛詩要義): Designated as an important cultural property



  • The Jesuit Mission printings of Japan, Kirishitan-ban: Known for the earliest examples of Japanese printing Nine out of Thirty-one including "Contemptus Mundi of 1610" (designated as  an important cultural property)


  • Wamyo-sho (和名抄): The 14th century manuscript, a dictionary of Japanese common and proper names, originally compiled by Minamoto no Shitagau in the 10th century
  • Meigetsu-ki (明月記): The original manuscript of the diary of Fujiwara no Teika (藤原定家), a famed courtier poet and politician of the 12-13th century
  • Kai-ooi (貝おほひ): The original edition by Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉), the creator of "Okuno Hosomichi"
  • Bakin Nikki (馬琴日記):  The diary of Takizawa Bakin (滝沢馬琴), the creator of "Nansō Satomi Hakkenden"
  • Jichu-Hyaku-in Emaki (自註百韻絵巻):  The pictorial scroll of one hundred haiku poems, illustrated and annotated by Hihara Saikaku (井原 西鶴), the creator of "Koshoku Ichidai Otoko"

Wood Block Plates:

  • Joruri (江戸時代浄瑠璃本): 15,000 wood block plates 
  • Teisei Kokun Kojiki (訂正古訓古事記): 170 wood block plates of Teisei Kokun Kojiki by Motoori Norinaga (本居宣長)
  • The works of the Kogido School (古義堂): 2,000 wood block plates works produced by Ito Jinsai (伊藤仁斎) and his family in the 17th century 

Note: For the list of national treasures or important cultural properties held in Tenri Central Library, go to  "指定書一覧 (Shiteisho ichiran)".

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 

Open to the Public (15 years or older)

Upon Arrival:

Please fill out the request form and submit the form at the East Circulation Desk.


  • Photocopy services are provided in accordance with Japanese copyright laws. 
  • Please fill out and submit Bunken fukusha mōshikomisho (文献複写申込書).
  • For more detailed information, please refer to "資料の複写について".

Accessing Rare Materials:

Reading Room Schedule:

  • Hours: 9:00-14:00 (the Circulation Service will be closed noon) 
  • Closed: Saturday, Sunday, and other dates

Prior to the Visit:

  • Please fill out Etsuran negai (閲覧願) - the request form at least 2 weeks before the visit. 
  • Please obtain the library director’s permission in advance (a letter). 
  • Letter of Introduction (紹介状 Shōkaijō) from your home institution library. Please use the following form if the home institution does not have one:
    • A letter of Introduction (Word,  PDF)
Upon Arrival:
  • Please bring the library director’s permission. 
  • Seat and hours are assigned by the library.
Finding Materials:
  • Rare Collections: Marked “イ” 
  • Special Collections: Marked “わ”, “れ”or “ざ” 
  • Early Modern Documents: Marked “近”


  • Please fill out Tokubetsubon fukusha kyoka mōshikomisho (特別本複写許可申込書).
  • The original of the following materials are not permitted for photocopy: 
    • Important Cultural Property 
    • Facsimile reprints, such as the Series of the Tenri Central Library Rare Collections 
    • If microfiches and microfilms are available, such as Wataya-Bunko 
    • Severely damaged information materials 

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North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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