The library consists of the main building and 10 mini citizens' libraries set up in
1953 to form the prefecture's first mobile library system. The entire collection consists
of some 217,745 books,182 magazines, 35 newspapers and 852 cassettes and CDs. Many old
documents and books, mostly on fabric dyeing, were donations from the city's textile
families - 3016 from the Kakiage's, 2214 from the Nagasawas, 609 from the Muraokas, 617
from the Yoshidas and 308 from miscellaneous sources.
404 titles include real fabric samples and patterns. Another 417 titles contain
Japanese and Chinese writings, paintings, rubbed copies, and Kiryu city maps dating from
mid-Edo. Donated collections include 6660 western books, 6517 Japanese books and 6000
magazines from the Hani library; 810 books from the Lion's Club; 108 from the Rotary Club;
117 from the Morita family; 143 from the Yamamotos; 74 from the Ensaka's; 456 from the
Hosoya's; 28 from the Moris; with another 161 volumes coming from miscellaneous sources.
Kodansha also contributes new publications every year for the Noma collection, now 9291
volumes. (Information current as of February 15, 1992)
The Hani library donor, Goro Hani (1901 - 1983), was a historian. The fifth son of
Syusaku Mori and a graduate of Tokyo University, he became the son-in-law of Motoko Hani,
the founder of Jiyu Gakuen school and 'Fujin No Tomo' ('Woman's Friend') magazine. In
1929, he established the first university history department in Japan at Nihon University
and lectured courses on historical philosophy and modern Japanese history. From 1947 to
1951, he worked to create the National Diet Library as a representative of the House of
Councilors. His books include 'The Collected Works of Goro hani' and 'City Logic'.
Seiji Noma (1878 - 1938) was born in Shinjuku, Kiryuu and attended Gunma Teacher's
College. Known as the 'magazine king', he established Greater Japan Yuhbenkai Kodansha in
1911, founding the '9 Major Magazines' - 'Kodan Club' ('Story-telling Club'), 'Shonen
Club' ('Young Boys' Club'), 'Fujin Club' ('Women's Club'), 'Gendai' ('Modern Times'),
'King', etc. In all, he created several hundred publications, raising the standard of
Japanese magazine journalism. Mr. Noma also served as Japan Magazine Association chairman
and Hokoku Newspaper president.
The collection of Mayori Kurokawa (Bunsei12 - 1870), a Japanese classical scholar born
in Kiryuu, is also unique. Born a Kaneko, at the age of 13 he became a pupil at Asakusa
Ansansei, studying under Harumura Kurokawa, an Edo period Japanese literature scholar born
in Ohmama-cho. After some time he became the head of the school, inheriting his
predecessor's name. He studied Japanese history, literature and art, serving on the
'Kojiruien' Compilation and Imperial Museum Inspection committees and teaching at Tokyo
Art School and Tokyo Music School. In 1878, he became the first person in the prefecture
to receive a doctorate in literature from the Ministry of Education. He also wrote 190
books, for example 'Kohgeishika' and 'The Complete Works of Mayori Kurokawa' (six volumes
in all) and the song 'Tenchobushi'.
Hours are from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and
Sundays. Closed Mondays. Open on national holidays but closed the following day. At month
end, the library is also closed for inventory reasons.