Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives (京都府立総合資料館)

Located in Sakyo-ku Ward of Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives is a comprehensive cultural facility that serves as a library, document archives, and a museum. Its objectives are collecting, storing, studying, and publishing of books, ancient documents, and materials of arts and crafts related to Kyoto Prefecture. Its collections include the administrative documents of Kyoto Prefecture since it was inaugurated, and many valued historical materials such as the 'To-ji Hyakugo Monjo' (100 case documents, of the To-ji Temple), a National Treasure, as well as general books.


Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives is located in the north of the Kyoto City urban area, and in its neighborhood are many cultural facilities such as the Kyoto Botanical Garden, Kyoto Prefectural University, and Kyoto Concert Hall. It opened in 1963, taking over 180,000 books out of 210,000 books stored in Kyoto Prefectural Library (Okazaki Seishoji-cho, Sakyo-ku Ward, Kyoto City) at that time. Although it is relatively new, its collections include books that had been stored by Kyoto Prefectural Library opened in 1898. The history of Kyoto Prefectural Library dates back to the prefectural 'Shushoin Library' established at Sanjo Higashinotoin (neighborhood of the Nakagyo Post Office in Nakagyo-ku Ward of Kyoto City) in 1873.

It stores real tangible materials, such as the administrative documents of Kyoto Prefecture, ancient documents of temples, shrines and old families, arts and crafts, toys, dolls, folk materials, as well as 320,000 general books. The management of these real materials is entrusted to the Kyoto Cultural Foundation, and there are occasional exhibitions of them in the library display room.

The building has four storeys above ground with one basement floor, housing a study room for students, exhibition rooms for ancient documents and real historical materials, as well as reading rooms for books and documents.


Most of its book collections are related to Kyoto Prefecture, including the whole old book stocks of Torazo NINAGAWA (former governor of Kyoto Prefecture, 1897 - 1981) and Mitsukuni YOSHIDA (former director of the Museum of Kyoto, emeritus professor of Kyoto University, 1921 - 1991). It also has 'Yoshii Isamu Shiryo Materials' consisting of the book collection and relics of Isamu YOSHII (a poet and novelist, 1886 - 1960), and 'Kawakami Hajime Bunko' (Hajime Kawakami Library) consisting of Marxist Economist Hajime KAWAKAMI's books, related materials to him, his manuscripts, and relics.

Its administrative documents include Kyoto Prefectural documents since it was inaugurated, as well as transferred materials from former county offices, former Toyoka Prefecture, and former Miyazu Prefecture.

Its collection of ancient documents includes the 'To-ji Hyakugo Monjo Document,' a National Treasure, which had been handed down at To-ji Temple (also known as Kyogokoku-ji Temple) that is associated with Kukai, a well-known Buddhist priest, in Minami-ku Ward of Kyoto City, and 'Ancient documents and books of Kanchiin Temple' that had been handed down at Kanchiin Temple, a sub temple of To-ji Temple, and 'Kawashimake Bunsho' (the Kawashima family documents), which are both designated as Important Cultural Properties.

Its famous real objects collections: Folk materials such as clothes and toys collected by Kanpo YOSHIKAWA (1894 - 1979) who was a Japanese-style painter and a folk historian; Satake Collection of traditional musical instruments (by Tozaburo SATAKE, a craftsman of Japanese musical instruments, and others); and 'Mikazuki Collection' of folk toys (collected by Kennosuke MIKAZUKI). Kyoto Culture Foundation that operates the Museum of Kyoto takes care of these objects.

National Cultural Properties

To-ji Hyakugo Monjo Document (National Treasure)

This set includes a huge amount of documents that had been stored in the treasure house of To-ji, of which 24,067 items from the Nara period (the eighth century) through the Edo period were designated as National Treasures. This includes many varieties of historical documents such as those related to Shoen (manor), that are very important not only for the history of economics and Buddhism, but also for the whole study of Japanese history. They are valued as historical materials because they are preserved as they were originally made without being converted into scrolls or hanging scrolls. Tsunanori MAEDA, a lord of Kaga clan, recognizing the value of these documents, donated a hundred of document boxes for preservation to the temple in 1685. The name 'Hyakugo Monjo'(literally, a hundred of documents) comes from this 'go' which is a unit for counting containers consisting of a box and a lid.

Ancient documents and books of Kanchiin Temple of To-ji Temple (Important Cultural Property)

These documents had been handed down at Kanchiin Temple, a sub temple of To-ji Temple, and they had been mixed with the 'To-ji Hyakugo Monjo Document,' but the research of this library separated them.

Kawashimake Bunsho (Important Cultural Property)

These are the hereditary documents of the Kawashima family, an old family in Kawashima of Nishikyo-ku Ward, Kyoto City, and among them, a set containing 2,459 items is designated as Important Cultural Property. Variable because a set of 800 family's document written from the Kamakura period to the Taisho period exist today.

Administrative documents of Kyoto Prefecture (Important Cultural Property)

Important Cultural Properties: 12,641 items of prefectural government documents: 2,110 items of prefectural government historical materials: 249 items of county government materials: eighteen items of local administrative offices documents of the fourteenth and the fifteenth Wards of former Toyoka Prefecture: 389 items of the administrative records of Miyazu clan. Period of the documents designated as Cultural Properties: From 1867 when Kyoto Machibugyo (Kyoto City Magistrate) was abolished to 1947 when the Local Autonomy Law was put into effect. The local administrative offices documents of the fourteenth and the fifteenth Wards of former Toyoka Prefecture and the administrative records of Miyazu clan used to be stored in Toyoka Prefecture and Miyazu Prefecture (both of them were abolished in the early years of the Meiji period), respectively.


Catalogue of documents of Kyoto Prefecture: Edited and published by Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives in 1984
Addenda' of the catalogue of items collected in and after 1984 are published as needed.

Catalogue of articles in magazines on Kyoto Prefecture: Edited and published by Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives in 1971

It also publishes books on the history of Kyoto Prefecture and picture records of its special exhibitions.

Location and Access Information

Located: Faced Kitagawa-dori Street, 1-4 Shimogamohangi-cho, Sakyo-ku Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

It is close to Kitayama Station of Kyoto City Subway Karasuma Line.

Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Closed: The second Wednesday every month; National Holidays (if it comes on Sunday, then the next day); the year end and the New Year days; inventory period

Nearby Attractions

Kyoto Prefectural University

Garden of Fine Art, Kyoto

Kyoto Concert Hall

[Original Japanese]