Tokyo International Manga Library Officially Announced (Update 2)
posted on by Egan Loo
Meiji University has officially announced on Thursday that it aims to establish the tentatively titled Tokyo International Manga Library in 2014. The university plans to house two million items of manga, anime, games, and other media in the proposed archive at its Surugadai campus in the central Tokyo ward of Chiyoda. The collection will include tie-in books, magazines, dōjinshi, manga and anime artwork, cels, game software, game consoles, character goods, figures, and more. The university aims to have a five-story facility with 8,500 square meters (about 2.1 acres) of floor space, but it is still determining if it will build a new facility or retrofit existing buildings for the project. In addition to an archive for preserving and researching items, the planners are exploring the prospects of including a museum and a theater.
The university is collaborating with the Comic Market dōjinshi convention's preparations committee, Tokyo's Contemporary Manga Library, the Arcade Game Museum Project, the model kit company Kaiyodo, and the Comic1 and Comitia dōjinshi conventions' preparations committees.
Before the bigger library breaks ground, Meiji University will open the Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library of Manga and Subcultures on October 31. This institution will house the personal collection of over 140,000 items of the late Comic Market founder and manga scholar Yoshihiro Yonezawa. Otaku Encyclopedia author and University of Tokyo doctoral candidate Patrick W. Galbraith wrote in The Japan Times newspaper about Meiji University's plans for both libraries this past June.
Update: The Japanese national government, under former prime minister Tarō Aso, had planned a different project called the National Media Arts Center — which is better known by its nickname, "the anime hall of fame." However, after Asō's Liberal Democratic Party was removed from power for the first time in over 15 years, the current prime minister Yukio Hatoyama and his Democratic Party of Japan cancelled the project. Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Tatsuo Kawabata said that the new government "would rather focus on fostering human resources, including creators, who will contribute to promoting media arts."
Update 2: The city of Kyoto south of Tokyo has had its Kyoto International Manga Museum since 2006. Although not strictly a manga library, visitors can pay 500 yen (about US$5.50 with student discounts available) a day to enter the museum and read books from its collection. Thanks, Debbie.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history