Yoshihiro Yonezawa's Manga Library

1 Nov

I’m not a big fan of manga or comic book, but I’ve wondered for a long time why there’s no library for it. Actually there are some public libraries that have small collection of manga, but variety is very limited to educational themes. Manga cafe is another option, but I don’t like its atmosphere: Each private room is so small it can even make us claustrophobia after all. That’s the standard manga cafe in Japan.

It’s interesting however that Meiji University is planning to open a manga library in 2014. In 2008, the university opened a new department, “Global Japanese Studies” where students study manga culture. The other day “Yoshihiro Yonezawa’s memorial library of manga and subcultures” is just opened. Yoshihiro Yonezawa, alumnus of Meiji University, is one of the top reviewers of manga and is well-known as someone who established Comiket, or comic market. He has collected all these manga (140,000 books) by himself alone!! The video below introduces it.

The player will show in this paragraph

“Manga has occupied over 50% of publications sold in Japan. Thus, it has influenced our lifestyles for a long time. This means that manga plays an important role on our history and social science. Besides, nowadays manga, as well as anime, catches the world’s attention.” says the associate professor of Meiji University.

How interesting! Manga is not just an amusement, it’s considered as a part of Japanese culture today! The president of Meiji University remarks in this page that it’s high time to preserve tons of collections of manga officially, since such attempt has never been implemented ever before because manga is considered just as a part of subculture.

BTW manga museum is already available in Kyoto for over 3 years by now. :p

According to this page, it looks like 1st floor is open for free, which is like an exhibition of manga as you watched in the above video. You must be over 18-year-old, either students or teachers of Meiji University or members of the library (6000 yen/annually, 2000 yen/monthly, 300 yen/daily) to be authorized to access the book shelves on the 2nd floor and book storeroom. You are however charged extra from prepaid card that you have to buy to borrow and read manga at the reading room. 100 points per book, and is equal to 100 yen. 10 books at maximum, but you are not allowed to bring them out of the library.

It is not my ideal way that reading is only allowed inside the premises, and moreover it’s charged besides admission. But I like their attempt and am curious how the entire library will be like in 2014. How would you like this?


7 Responses to “Yoshihiro Yonezawa's Manga Library”

  1. Sara Mari November 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    Hmm, it looks interesting to me. My major at university is Global Studies, so this is within my fields. I wonder if there will also be textbooks or some lecture to explain the culture around manga?

    • kirin November 2, 2009 at 9:52 am #

      I don't know if they offer things like that, but I'd like to see the big manga library that is to be completed in 2014. 🙂

  2. Sparklewolfie November 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    that is a very odd library… usually libraries are free!

    • kirin November 2, 2009 at 9:53 am #

      Yeah, I know…I was expecting of course, "free" manga library. 😦

  3. Patrick November 2, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    I'm a manga fan! It'll be really interesting to go into a manga library, but weird though, a library that requires payment..

  4. Walter November 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    o.0 MUST GO THERE .MUST LEARN.. JAPANESE. Where do I pay my 6000 yen ? How much for a lifelong membership ?
    Free libraries ? no such thing in my country. You pay a fee . Free ? HAh! that means they're paid for by taxes , you bunch of cheapskates B) . Everything that's really interesting costs money. All the free stuff is cr*p.

    1000 yen to read ten books sounds OK . Think of all the time you save by having them all in one place.
    Great idea.
    140000 manga ? Yoshihiro Yonezawa , you're a god !
    BTW you use either "by himself " or " alone" not the both of them together , Kirin-san.

    • kirin November 4, 2009 at 12:59 am #

      I think you pay the money at the front desk of the library because you need to prove with your ID that you're over 18 years old. At a moment, I'm not sure for the lifetime membership…but that sounds interesting if you are very much into manga.

      Thank you for pointing out of my mistake. I know what you mean, but I just wanted to stress that just one person collected all, haha! I think I have many more mistakes in English inside this blog, but please forgive me for that. :p

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