Friday, November 13, 2009

Naiki Manga Library

Toshio Naiki is a hardcore manga collector who had decided to share his books with the public. In 1978, he took his 27,000 volumes of manga, combined it with 3,000 volumes donated by friends, and opened the Naiki Contemporary Manga Library. As of Nov. 9, 2009, the Naiki website advertises itself as "a 180,000 book time capsule".

While the ground floor entrance looks permanently sealed and fairly grimy, the entrance is actually around to the right and up the stairs on the 2nd floor. I'm guessing that the first floor is currently being used for storage. The library is closed on Tuesdays, Fridays and some national holidays. When open, the hours are noon to 7 PM. Entrance fee is 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for junior high students and under. 100 yen per book read. There's also a "friends of the library" membership if you want to join up.

The first floor entrance is actually used to hold posters advertising other galleries. In this photo are ads for the Heroes of Tokiwa, Authentic Account: Boys Manga, Retro Modern World, and the highlighted anime of the month at the Suginami Animation Museum. In the lower right corner is a flier featuring Astro Boy along with an explanation of what "horse power" means. This flier is #5 in a series, and seems to be linked to Waseda University. I found it on a number of other buildings along the way as well.

If you don't live inside the Yamanote loop, the easiest way to get here is to take the Yamanote line to Takadanobaba, exit at the north side of the station and follow Waseda Dori (the main east-west street here) east. You can take any major intersection north and go a few blocks to Shin Mejiro Dori. In any event, Waseda Dori will eventually get a little tangled up within the Waseda campus as it curves north and ends in Shin Mejiro Dori. Continue east on Shin Mejiro Dori until you reach road 319. The Naiki Library will be on your right, on the corner as you hit the intersection. It's about a 20 minute walk from Takadanobaba station.

When you get to Takadanobaba, be sure to visit the Tezuka murals under the bridge at the north exit, and check out the banners on the street poles along Waseda Dori on the west side of the station. Then, as you go east on Shin Mejiro Dori, you'll encounter one of the few street cars still running in Tokyo. You can take the street car to the end of the line about 3-4 stations further east for 160 yen. Road 319 is still another kilometer beyond the end of the line, but it'll save you a little walking, at the least.

It's a bit far to come here just to borrow books if you live outside The Loop, but if you do live or work around the Waseda campus, you can't find a better selection of borrowable manga in the city.


El Gran Don Cocor said...

Wow. I'd love to go there and read read read and read some more. Well... I don't know japanese so I would just look at all of the books and it would still be as awesome.

TSOTE said...

If I still lived in the Takadanobaba area, I'd visit the Naiki Library regularly. Some of the other libraries, like the one in Ochanomizu, and the Kyoto Manga Museum would also be good haunts for those living near them. As it is, I have to make due with the $1/book used bookstores...