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Iwase Bunko Library was begun as the private library of Iwase Yasuke, a wealthy merchant in Nishio city, which was established using his own funds in 1908 and opened to public, now belongs to Nishio city. 

The library has more than 80,000 volumes including materials designated as important cultural properties and books ranging from antiquity to modern times. The collection contains not only Japanese books but also books from China and Korea.

 In the exhibition hall opened in 2003 (15th in Heisei era), you can learn about the long history of Japanese books and its various culture, in addition, if you are interested in Kansubon  (handscrolls), Orihon (accordion book), and Koezu  (old sketch maps), it is also possible to read them in the reading room.

Founder Iwase Yasuke An outline of collection Chronology of Iwase Bunko Library 
Former book storehouse Service Information Getting here


Founder Iwase Yasukei1867`1930j

Iwase Yasuke was born in Nishio , October 6th, 1867. He was the 4th head of a fertilizer merchant family Yamamoto-ya. Since he was a man of great business acumen, he made a considerable fortune in his lifetime.

 He contributed enormously to social services by donating money and lands to local schools and hospitals, and constructed a railroad. He also served as a mayor of Nishio town when he was 31 year old.

When he was 42, He decided to establish a library to get rid of the bad luck of the year of great calamity which is called "Yakudoshi" (In Japan, the age of 42 for men is considered to be a year when there is a big chance of encountering misfortune or injuring one turns 42)  by  contributing for improvement of local culture.

It cost 30,000 yen at the timei2 hundred millions yen at presentj to construct the library. He also spent about 300 yen each month to buy books through antiquarian bookstores.  His library was opened to the public free.

An outline of collection

Wide-ranging collection of books is one of the main feature of Iwase Bunko Library. Generally, collections of personal libraries tend to be lopsided in favor of a specific field reflecting one' s preference and specialty. The collection of Iwase Bunko Library, however, contains materials in all fields because Iwase Yasuke collected books with an intention to open the library in the first place. There are especially many excellent books on history, literature, religion iBuddhism and Shintoj, natural history. The library has been conserving not only rare and valuable books and also modern general books.

Hannya Shingyo in Emperor Gonara's original handwriting
National cultural property
Hannya Shingyo (The Heart of Wisdom Sutra) was written on a dark blue paper in gold paint. The sutra was transcribed and consecrated by emperor Gonara in 1540, when wars and plagues were widespread, as a prayer for peace in the country.
This is the original manuscript on the history of the Imperial court written by a court noble Yanagihara Motomitsu in 1792. In addition to the original manuscript, Iwase Bunko kibrary has semi-final fair copies, final fair copies and well-bound copies of Yanagihara Motomitsu's manuscript.
Early Edo eraiPVbj
This is an Otogi Zoushi tale of a princess who had been left behind the small island by her stepmother was saved by a fisherman. She then married with a prince for her beauty and intelligence, later lived happily ever after. This is also a Nara-ehon which is featured by elegant handwritings and gorgeous illustrations with elaborate coloring and gold.
Honzo Zusetsu
End of Edo era
These extensive series of 195 natural history illustrated book were written and drawn by Takagi ShunzaniH|1852j. The books are full of exquisite illustrations of the things of nature in vivid colors along with explanations, including some imaginary animals such as Kappa and copies from materials in foreign books.
Yuan Dynasty, China
 This is a commentary of a Chinese book of divination Ekikyo, or I-Ching iBook of Changesj, which published in 1342. At the ends of the book, there are some notes written by a Buddhist monk Sinka Gentei in 1379.

Chronology of Iwase Bunko Library

October 6th, 1867 Iwase Yasuke was born.
1903-4 Iwase planned to establish a library .
January,1908 Groundbreaking of Iwase Bunko Library.
May 6th, 1908 Opening of private Iwase Bunko Library.
1917-1923 Extension and reconstruction of the library.
Construction of the book storehouse and the children's library.
January 3rd, 1930 Iwase Yasuke died at the age of 63.
April,1931 Iwase Bunko Library became a foundation.
January 13th, 1945 Main buildings collapsed from the great Mikawa earthquake.
April 1st, 1955 The collection of Iwase Bunko Library was bought by Nishio City.
August 2nd, 1983 Opening of the new building of Nishio Municipal Library.
April 2th, 2003 The new Iwase Bunko Library was Opened.

Former book storehouse

National registered tangible cultural property
The construction with beautiful red bricks around 1921(10th in Taishou era).

Service Information

Opening Hours Tuesday-Sunday, 9am`5pm@(Reading room: 9am`4pm)
Closed Every Monday, and the day after national holidays in case the national holiday is MondayCDec.28-Jan.3
Reading room Users must be 18 years of age or over.
The books cannot be removed from the reading room.
Copies Service We make electronic copies from microfilms. Copies cost \50 per page plus postage (when applicable).
English speaking staff is not always stationed.

Getting here

From Nagoya Take the Meitetsu Nishio line(bound for Nishio or Kira-Yoshida) to Nishio station.
From Toyohashi Take the Meitetsu Honsen line bound for Nagoya, change at Sin-Anjo station to Meitetsu Nishio line (bound for Nishio or Kira-Yoshida) to Nishio station.
From Nishio station It takes about 10 minutes by taxi or 20 minutes on foot.

Iwase Bunko Library

480, kamezawa-cho, Nishio-shi, Aichi-ken 445-0847 
phone: +81-563-56-2459   fax:  563-56-2787

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