KEIO Institute of Oriental Classics—Shido Bunko—

The following is a brief description of the Institute.

Updated January, 2017


The former Keio Institute of Oriental Classics—Shido Bunko—was founded in 1938 by Mr. Takakichi Aso in Fukuoka city, as a research institute for culture sciences with the main purpose of studying Japanese and other Oriental classical works. At that time, it had a collection of about 70, 000 books, mainly composed of old Japanese and Chinese books pertaining to the study of Confucianism in Japan, classical Chinese prose and poetry, Japanese language and literature, Asian history and Chinese literature. After World War Ⅱ, all the property of the Institute, including the collection of books, was donated to Keio University thanks to the generosity of Mr. Aso.

Retaining the former name, the Institute was restarted in 1960 as the Attached Research Institute of Keio University. The present number of books, including the original collection and subsequent donations, amounts to about 160, 000 volumes. The main purpose of the Institute is to collect and investigate original editions and old manuscripts of Japanese classical works as well as old Oriental writings, especially Chinese.

The principal undertakings of the Institute can be summarized as follows:


1 . The collection of old manuscripts and old editions of classical works and systematic search or extant rare books throughout the country. These books, when they are located, are copied on microfilm so that they can be used for comparative bibliographical studies.

2 . The systematic cataloguing of books and materials collected, and of those in other institutions or private collections. The compilation of titles accompanied by bibliographical comments. The publication of reprints with comments and explanatory notes.

3 . Studies based on authoritative bibliographical and philological evaluation and publication of the results.

4. Annual publication of "Shido Bunko Ronshu" (50 published to date) and publication of reprints of rare books as the occasion rises.

5 . Shido Bunko Lectures are recognized as courses for the graduate school. The main purpose of the lectures is to train specialists in bibliographical and philological methodology.