C. V. Starr East Asian Library


Toshie Marra
Librarian for the Japanese Collection

Each year, the Center for Japanese Studies commits a significant portion of its budget to augment University support for the Japanese collections of the East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to funds for library acquisitions, the Center for Japanese Studies provides small travel grants to scholars who wish to consult EAL holdings.

As of July 2014, the Japanese collection at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library comprises over 408,000 volumes and over 1,200 current periodical titles. It supports the teaching and research needs of the Berkeley campus in all areas of Japanese studies across the social sciences and humanities. The collection is especially strong in Japanese history, art history, Buddhism, literature, anthropology, sociology, and political science. The materials written in Western languages on Japan are located in the Gardner (Main) Stacks of the Doe Library and other subject libraries on campus.

The Library's specialized holdings include:

  • Edo Period Printed Books (ca. 5,000 titles in 16,000 volumes), most in woodblock editions. We believe this to be the largest collection of Edo editions outside Japan. Many titles from the Mitsui Collection.
  • Manuscripts (2,877 titles in approximately seven thousand volumes), Ranging in date from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Subject areas include literature, tea ceremony, memoirs, and history. Originally collected by Mitsui Takatatsu (1845-1922) and Dohi Keizō (1866–1931).
  • Early Maps (over 2,000 woodblock, copperplate, and manuscript maps): Dating from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Originally collected by Mitsui Takakata (1867–1950), the collection contains over two hundred maps of Edo and an impressive number of maps of the Kyoto area. A portion of the collection has been digitized by David Rumsey and Cartography Associates and is available for viewing online at the Japanese Historical Maps website.
  • Murakami Library (8,850 volumes), of first or early editions of Meiji authors. The collection was formed by Murakami Hamakichi.
  • Sugoroku Collection (Approximately 150 sugoroku sheets): Some with the original wrappers in which they were marked, collected by Mitsui Takakatsu (1845–1922). Most date to the Meiji era and are secular in content.
  • Ho‑Chiang Collection of Manuscript and Printed Buddhist Works (This collection of woodblock and manuscript sutras contains approximately fifty-seven Japanese scripts). Dating from the eighth century to the nineteenth, including examples of Kasuga‑ban. Originally collected by Ho Kuang‑chung and his wife, Chiang Chen‑yu.
  • Mitsui Tinies Collection (574 titles, in many more volumes): Nearly all date to the Meiji era; average volume height is approximately twelve centimeters. Subject matter includes belles letters and classics, history, and travel.
  • Meiji Shōka Collection (110 volumes of songbooks and song sheets, many illustrated): The collection focused on children's songs and military songs.