“TOYO BUNKO” was established in 1924 by the third generation of Mitsubishi Zaibatsu, Hisaya Iwasaki, as a library and research facility specialized in the history and culture of Asia, Oriental studies. “TOYO BUNKO MUSEUM” exhibits precious books, mainly national treasures and important cultural properties, to the public. You can feel the depth of Oriental studies in the newest digital exhibition.
Orient Hall on the 1st floor is the introduction for everyone to become familiar with books. They introduce their collection of one million books through the video. At the present, they show the masterpieces of literature translated in various languages.
On the 2nd floor, there is Morrison’s Stacks which is the collection of George Ernest Morrison. He was a Times of London journalist and had resided in China for a long time. He collected fine books about East Asia in European languages from all over the world and eventually collected 24 thousand books. In his later years, Morrison decided to pass all his collection at once because he did not want them to be scattered. And Hisaya Iwasaki bought all of them. The books exhibited here are from that collection. Accessing to the books is allowed in the library by request.
In the Iwasaki Collection, there are documents of national treasures and important cultural properties and also Ukiyo-e on exhibition under the theme. You cannot miss unique exhibitions such as the comparison between Dutch anatomy book “Ontleedkundige Tafelen” and its Japanese translation by Genpaku Sugita, “Translated Anatomy Textbook.”
In “Discovery Room” over there, they have special exhibition under the theme, “the history of discovery.” At the present, “KANJI - 4000 Years of Chinese Characters in east Asia” is held until September 23rd, 2019.
You can have nice time to fulfill your intellectual curiosity with playfully directed exhibition under the various Oriental themes in “TOYO BUNKO MUSEUM.”
Aug 2019 Text: Ryoko Kuraishi Photo: Yasuo Yamaguchi
Open: 10:00 – 19:00 (Last entry 18:30) Close: Tuesdays (If a national holiday falls on Tuesday, closed following day), at year-end and New Year holidays, other temporary closure may take place. Admission: Adults 900 yen, over 65 years old 800 yen, college students 700 yen, high school and junior high school students 600 yen, elementary school students 290 yen, disabled persons 350 yen (Group discounts available) All exhibits are with English explanation and audio guide in English is available.