Japanese University Plans Massive Manga Library


Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan, has announced plans to open an academic library featuring more than two million manga comic books and other pieces of animation history, dating back to before World War II.

The library – tentatively named the Tokyo International Manga Library – is scheduled to open in early 2015, and will feature a collection of two million manga “comic books, animation drawings, video games and other cartoon industry artifacts” in an attempt to promote serious academic study of the industry and its history, reports the AFP.

Manga has been taken lightly in the past and there has been no solid archive for serious study,” said Susumi Shibao, a Meiji University library official. “We want to help academic studies on manga as part of Japanese culture.”

Recently, Tokyo has been encouraging efforts to promote Japanese culture beyond the technology (and bizarre tastes) that the country is traditionally known for. Plans to build a ¥11.7bn ($128m) museum for Japanese cartoon art and pop culture were axed after the former government was ousted from power in August elections, with the new officials deriding the idea as a “state-run manga cafe” that would do nothing to benefit the country’s economy.

The library in question will reportedly hold everything from Astro Boy and Doraemon to more modern series – I hear they have five shelves reserved for Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece alone. If you can name a noteworthy title, it’ll probably be in there. Two million is a pretty big number, don’t you think?

About the author