The Library of the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ Library) contains books in three fields:
Acquisitions in these three fields are as comprehensive as possible, given the limited space. Apart from recent publications in the humanities, the social sciences and economics, many brochures, pamphlets, reports and antiquarian books are also held; particularly noteworthy is the special collection of primary sources that were written and printed by German POWs in the Bandō prisoner-of-war-camp (Bandō Furyo Shūyōjo) in the 1910s. Finally the DIJ Library holds many reference works such as bibliographies, encyclopedias, (special) dictionaries and character dictionaries
After the fall of the German colony of Tsingtao (China), approximately 1,000 Germans were interned in the Bandō prisoner-of-war camp from 1917 to 1920. Thanks to the goodwill of the Japanese POW camp’s administration, the prisoners were able to pursue a large variety of cultural activities. It is almost as if there was a German town in the middle of Japan – a town with several orchestras, sports clubs, restaurants, a bowling centre, and a bakery. The DIJ Library holds a large collection of original material from Bandō and from other POW camps such as Kurume, Marugame, Narashino and Tokushima. The collection comprises journals, brochures, maps, lecture texts, theatre and concert programmes (all printed with the camp’s printing press), post cards and photographs. As part of the initiative “Germany in Japan 2005/2006” the collection is presented for the first time to the public. The virtual exhibition introduces various aspects of life at the Bandō POW camp. All materials can be searched via the catalogue database. A large number of documents can be viewed as digital pictures that can be magnified.
The DIJ Library is a regular member of the Japan Special Libraries Association (Senmon Toshokan Kyōgikai) and closely cooperates with various Japanese libraries, but especially the libraries of the universities Waseda (Waseda Daigaku Toshokan), Sophia (Jōchi Daigaku Toshokan) and Hōsei (Hōsei Daigaku Toshokan). Since 1993 the DIJ Library has participated in the online cataloging system provided by the National Institute of Informatics (NII, Kokuritsu Jōhōgaku Kenkyūjo, which was called until March 2000: National Center for Science Information Systems, NACSIS, Gakujutsu Jōhō Sentā). This national union catalogue can be searched as NACSIS-Webcat (Japanese and English version available) on the Internet. The advantage of NACSIS-Webcat is that search terms can be entered in Kanji (Chinese characters), in the two Japanese syllabaries (Katakana and Hiragana) or in roman script (Rōmaji).