Principal Antique Documents Holdings

Momijiyama Bunko

photo:Momijiyama Bunko

The Momijiyama Bunko began as the library of Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1602 and was kept in the Fujiminotei in Edo Castle until 1639, when it was transferred within the castle grounds to the area known as Momijiyama, hence it drew its present name. In addition to the "Suruga Oyuzuribon" and the "Suruga Gobunkobon" titles in Ieyasu's original collection, the library contains ancient manuscripts and books about various localities collected by study missions organized by the 8th Tokugawa shogun Yoshimune, newly-published books from China that he ordered bought by magistrates in Nagasaki, and books presented by feudal lords and others. Among the Chinese classical books, particularly abundant are Chinese local histories, medical books, essays, prose and poetry, plays and novels, etc., dating from the Ming to the early Qing dynasties. In the Japanese segment are the former collection of the Kanazawa Bunko donated by Ieyasu, plus many fair copies of Tokugawa Shogunate edicts and handwritten books by illustrious families, such as various family tree histories of the Kan'ei-period (1624 -1644) (Kan'ei Shoka Keizuden), the chronological history of Japan (Honcho Tsugan) , the chronicles of the Tokugawa Shogunate (Tokugawa Jikki), etc. and handwritten books by distinguished families. As these libraries were managed by the library magistrates and access was strictly limited, they have been handed down in their original wooden boxes and are preserved in especially good condition.

Shoheizaka Gakumonjobon

photo:Shoheizaka Gakumonjobon

This collection is based on the materials collected by Hayashi Razan, who in 1630 opened a library at Shinobugaoka in Edo's Ueno district. In 1691 it was moved to the nearby Yushima district, and in 1797 it became the government school of the Tokugawa Shogunate and was renamed the "Shoheizaka Gakumonjo". The collection consists mainly of copies of books and manuscripts personally read and treasured over years by the Hayashi family descendants.
It includes reference materials used by Edo authorities when they edited historical and regional geographical works, as well as almost all of the Shogunate's own publications which were put out by the Shoheizaka Gakumonjo. There are also many books collected by various nobles and scholars, of which those of t he Osaka commoner Kimura Kenkado, the feudal lord Ichihashi Nagaaki of Omi-no-kuni, and the feudal lord Mori Takasue of Bungo-no-kuni are especially notable.

Wagaku Kodanshobon

photo:Wagaku Kodanshobon

The Wagaku Kodansho was founded by Hanawa Hokiichi in 1793, and two years later it became a semi-governmental organization. There, Hanawa pursued study and research, sent scholars frequently to Kyoto and Ise to copy old books, and studied and revised ancient classics. These and many other types of materials, including materials of the Seizoku Gunsho Ruiju, the Buke Myomokusho, and related historical sources were collected, as source materials to be used in the compilation and editing of new works. Hanawa's former library is extremely voluminous and of great scientific value.



This collection was from the Seijukan, a private school founded in 1765 by members of the Taki family, some of whom were government physicians. In 1791 it was transferred to the Tokugawa Shogunate and renamed Igakkan. The collection was entirely developed and revised by the Taki family, who were knowledgeable about rare old books. It was combined with the medical books in the Momijiyama Bunko, and is a treasure trove of information on, for example, medical matters in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Western Books

photo:Western Books

NAJ also holds foreign books on the history, politics, and law of western countries which the early Meiji government researched and translated, and other political and legal books purchased from the United Kingdom, the United States and France during the Meiji and Taisho periods. Of the surviving Western books, many German and French ones were destroyed in air raids in 1945.

Other holdings

photo:Other holdings

The Meiji government collected old books and documents, and incorporated them into its Cabinet Library. Among them there are the "Todaiji Monjo," the "Dijoin Monjo" Chinese works from the former Koyasan Shakamonin collection, ancient records of the Kutsuki family (a wealthy clan based in Omi) and a family history of the Ninagawa clan which held Mandokoro posts under the Muromachi Shogunate, as well as the former libraries of the court noble families Oshikoji, Hirohashi, Bojo, Madenokoji, Kanroji, Nakamikado, Yamashina, and others.
In addition, there are manuscripts and books on various Western countries' history, politics, and laws which the early Meiji government researched and translated, government publications of the Meiji period, and many political and legal, and language -study works purchased from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, etc., during the Meiji and Taisho (1912-1926) periods.


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