KANSAI Close-up

[Columns]Thanks to citizen donations, Asian Library collection reaches 110,000 volumes

There is a library in Kansai that specializes in books on Asia. Its collection, which surpassed the 110,000-volume mark this year, has been built up over 16 years through the donations of ordinary citizens. The Asian Library and Communication Center Osaka occupies the 2nd through 4th floors of a building in Higashi Yodogawa Ward, with each floor simply taken up by rows and rows of fully stocked bookshelves.
The books - including general primers and scholarly works on Asia, works in Japanese and every other Asian language, comics and magazines - spill over into the halls and stairways.
The library-affiliated Communication Center also holds classes in Asian languages, which are taught by foreign students living in the Kansai area. With its enormous collection of books and opportunities for interaction with people from various Asian countries, the facility has earned a reputation as a terrific place to understand and learn more about Asia.