Specialized Library in Keio University
To collect, preserve, and research materials
on pre-modern Japan and Asia
The precursor of the Institute was first founded in Fukuoka in 1938 by Aso Takakichi, president of Aso Trading (now Aso Group), one of the leading coal mining companies operating in the southern Kyūshū area, with the purpose of studying the cultural traditions of Japan and Asia. In the aftermath of World War II, the Institute ceased operations in 1946. In 1958, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Keio University, 70,000 items of the Institute’s collection were gifted to the university as a preliminary step toward opening a new research institute. After some preparation, the Institute was finally reopened in December 1960, for the purpose of “to collect, preserve, and research materials on pre-modern Japan and Asia.” After more than fifty years of activity, the Institute now has holdings in excess of 160,000 items.