Dojinshi sales event, “Comic Market (a.k.a. Comiket),” has 40 years of history and attracts people from all over the world. “Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library” houses 140,000 titles from the private collection of Mr. Yoshihiro Yonezawa,one of the late founders of Comiket. His alma mater, Meiji University, operates it as a specialized library for Manga and its sub-culture. A lesser known library that in addition to students and general public, many researchers and enthusiasts frequent.
The reading room on the 2nd floor. You can freely read magazines and books on the shelves.
Once a month, an event is held, such as a talk show by a Manga artist. Autographs from the artists who have participated in the event, including Hideo Azuma and Miki Tori, are displayed on the second floor.
The library use is by membership only. Membership fees are: ￥300/day, ￥2,000/month, or ￥6,000/ year (must be 18 years or older and be able to present a picture ID).
Dojinshi are available only to the subscribers of monthly and yearly memberships. You must purchase a pre-paid point card to retrieve books or make copies.※Please check the library website in advance for detailed rules on checking the books out of the library.
Laptops are available to search for books. Books are searchable on the internet also.
There are freely-accessible books on display in the reading room on the 2nd floor, however, from the perspective of maintaining precious resources, most of the books must be individually requested from the closed-stacks library.
Apparently, “about 6,000 books, out of 140,000 books Mr. Yonezawa left, are exhibited in the reading room on the 2nd floor, and the rest are maintained in the storage.”
An image from the closed-stack “book room. We were permitted to take a picture of the shelves housing Manga magazines. ※Entry is not permitted to general public.
Many copies of “Shonen Jump” published in 1968 are stored. This is the December 3rd, 1984 edition, where “Dragon Ball” began its series.
The library staff said, “Mr. Yonezawa’s precious books are used as resources for lectures and seminars. In addition to organizing and protecting his large collection, this library makes a large portion of it available to the public as well.”
The closed-stack library houses a variety of Manga magazines including boy’s magazines such as “Weekly Shonen Jump,” girl’s magazines such as “Nakayoshi,” and women’s comic magazines such as “you.”
“Nakayoshi” published “Sailor Moon,” an internationally popular series (February, 1994 edition).
Lady’s Comic “YOU” published “Gokusen,” which was later turned into a TV show.
The library staff said, “Mr. Yonezawa’s collection is very diverse, and it includes magazines on Sci-Fi, Anime, cinema, and music, in addition to Manga magazines.”
Exhibits on Mr. Yonezawa’s activities and the history of Comic Market can be found in the exhibit room on the 1st floor.
A chronological chart showing birth of Mr. Yonezawa, history of Comic Market, and the opening of the library in 2009.
A glimpse of the types of books Mr. Yonezawa collected.
The 1st floor houses an exhibit featuring information about Mr. Yonezawa and his collection of books.
Many works including “Kuragehime,” which was made into an Anime and a movie, are displayed.
In addition to the permanent exhibit, special exhibits are held 3 times a year, once every 4 months. During our visit for this blog, “Akiko Higashimura Orginal Image Exhibit” was being held, in conjunction with the 20-year anniversary special exhibit for Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Japan Media Arts Festival. We were able to view Akiko Higashimura’s original images and videos of her at work. ※Open between October 7th, 2016～February 12th, 2017.
The special exhibit period is divided into 4 periods. Each period is 1 month long.
It offers a unique opportunity to view the changes in style over the years.
The library staff said, “because it is a research facility affiliated with a university, it has the quality and quantity of books to answer your needs for learning about post-war Manga and its sub-culture. In particular, there is no other library that owns this many Manga magazines, so we urge you to use our resources.”
The closest train station is JR Ochanomizu Station, the station next to Akiba. The library is a 7-minute walk from the station.
- NAME：Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library
- HOURS OF OPERATION：Weekday 14:00～20:00、Weekend/public holidays 12:00～18:00
- Close：Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Year-end and New Year holidays/Special closing days
※Please apply for Member registration, browsing and making copy of documents at least 30 minutes before closing.