The Japan Academy

Library Collection

The library maintains materials related to the Academy’s members, including their books, manuscripts and memorial records, along with a collection of valuable books and documents, including on indigenous Japanese mathematics. It makes these items available for use by researchers.

Single volumes

Japanese Foreign Total
29,894 6,233 36,127

Collections of valuable books and documents

Collection on native Japanese mathematics

The compiling of this collection of books, documents and instruments began in 1906 as part of a survey on native Japanese mathematics. Comprising 20,976 volumes, including “Jinkoki” by YOSHIDA Mitsuyoshi and “Hatsubisanpo”by SEKI Takakazu, this collection has been rated by academic societies both in and outside Japan as being a critically important body of literature on the subject. In 1993, the works (held in the library) of mid-Edo period mathematician FUJITA Sadasuke were designated by the government as important cultural property. A catalog of the native Japanese mathematics documents contained in the Academy’s collection has been printed by the Iwanami Shoten (publishing house) under the title “Gakushi-in shozo wasan shiryo mokuroku” (Catalog of Native Japanese Mathematics Documents Stored at the Japan Academy).

Collection of Komin Kawamoto’s Book and Manuscripts

KAWAMOTO Komin (1810-1871) was a scholar of Dutch learning during the late Edo-early Meiji Period. As a professor in the Edo government’s Institute for Researching Western Books, he translated many Western volumes and taught students, many whom were vassals of the shogun and retainers of feudal lords. Writing such books on chemistry and physics as “Kagakushinsho” and “Kikai Kanran Kougi”, he contributed to the early advancement of science in Japan. Being the first person to attempt brewing beer in Japan, he described the distilling process in his book on chemistry. This collection was donated to the Academy by the Kawamoto family in 1943.

Handwritten copies of “Diaries Kept by the Heads of Dutch Factories in Japan” and historical documents about Japan in Het Algemeen Rijksarchief, the Netherlands

These diaries had been recorded over a period of 230 years (1631 to 1860). The Japan Academy has 139 handwritten copies of them, along with 46 documents that contain correspondence between Japan and other countries. They are of important historical significance as they were recorded by Westerners who were involved in negotiations with Japan in those days.

Other Collections

Type-Copies of Kirishitan (Christian) Documents in Vatican City, List of Tekijuku (Ogata private school) Students, Correspondence of MITSUKURI Genpo with KIKUCHI Shûhei, Etc.

Online Access

Some of our collections of valuable books and documents are available at the following website:

Collection of native Japanese mathematics