The Ise Shrine Library 神宮文庫

Over the last few centuries, the Inner 内宮 and Outer 外宮 shrines at the Ise Jingū shrine complex have been amassing texts, especially ones related to Shinto, and many of these are now contained in the Ise Shrine Library (Jingū Bunko 神宮文庫). It’s open to the public if you would like to visit and view some of these amazing documents.

Details

Jingū Bunko is located right next door to Kōgakkan University 皇學館大学, the Shintō Institute 佐川記念神道博物館内 and Sagawa Memorial Museum of Shinto and Japanese Culture 佐川記念神道博物館 (English guide available) at Kōgakkan. It’s also across the street from three of Jingū’s museums (Jingū Agricultural Museum 神宮農業館, Jingū Museum 神宮徴古館, and Jingū Art Museum 神宮美術館) and one of the major shrines within the Ise Jingū shrine complex (Yamatohime Shrine 倭姫宮), so you could easily spend a full day here to see it all.

Regular library materials can be viewed on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9:00 to 16:00. However, please note that the stacks are closed, so there is a system for requesting materials.

First, you’ll need to locate the item you want. They have updated lists of their holdings, but many of these items are also contained in pre-war publications that are available for free to view or download in Google Books: 神宮文庫圖書目録 (1907) and 神宮文庫図書目録 (1922).

Once you have obtained the reference numbers (the 部門 and 図書番号), you enter them into a paper that is provided at the library. An example is shown below.

These materials can only be requested at certain times, though. Below is the schedule:

If you have any questions, the staff (Jingū employees as well as Kōgakkan University students and faculty) are quite helpful.

Here is more detailed information on the library and other Jingū facilities nearby.

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