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About the "Kunimatsu Bunko (Archives)"

A valuable collection known as the "Kunimatsu Bunko" is stored in the Language Materials Room of GENSHA

Koji Kunimatsu (1906-2006), a scholar of German literature, is known as the collaborative supervisor of the Sanseido German-Japanese Dictionary and the editor of the Shogakukan Grand German-Japanese Dictionary (Grosses Deutsch-Japanisches Wörterbuch). He aided in introducing German literature to a Japanese audience through a number of translations including Goethe, Hesse, Storm, Schweitzer, etc., while also teaching at a number of universities including the University of Tokyo. He was further known as an avid collector of books, primarily old German books. His collection is massive, including over 12,000 titles and over 25,000 volumes; the collection truly embodies the era of the "Gutenberg galaxy," and goes against the modern wave of digitization.

In January of 2002, with the help of the University of Tokyo's Professor Sho Shibata (now emeritus professor), it was decided that Mr. Kunimatsu's collection would be donated in its entirety to the GENSHA. To accommodate the collection, an electrically operated bookshelf was added to the 6th floor library room of the International Research Center; in August of the same year, the school began work on importing and storing the collection. "Kunimatsu Bunko" was established as the name of the collection; documents continued to be arranged over the next ten years, with provisional arrangement completed in March of 2016.

The collection is diverse: it includes volumes on art, society, and cultural history with a focus on a variety of Germanistic fields; Southern European medieval history; French and German philosophy focused on Nietzsche; and many other valuable books deemed impossible to obtain nowadays. In December of 2016, a memorial lecture titled "Traveling the World of Koji Kunimatsu's Collection: Upon Completion of the Organization of the Kunimatsu Bunko," was held. In collaboration with this lecture, a number of valuable classics and truly gorgeous copies carefully selected from the collection were exhibited alongside the work and translations of Mr. Kunimatsu, resulting in enjoyment for the participant's eyes and minds alike.

Display of the Collection

While the Kunimatsu Archives are handled as special materials that cannot be lent out, we are pleased to provide opportunities to interact with these rare cultural heritage materials as permitted by time and occasion.