library memorial museum

Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum Library

​​Location: Higashi City, Osaka, Japan

Architect Tadao Ando designed a new concrete building to sit alongside the original family home of the late Japanese author, Shiba Ryotaro.  The award winning memorial museum, opened to the public in November 2001, was designed to house the revered writer’s extensive library of more than 60,000 books. Ando decided that the library need not display all the books at one time and created a three-storey, 11 metre high display wall to showcase up to 20,000 books at any one time.

Architect Tadao Ando, explained his inspiration,

“an image of a faint space of light surrounded by books and surrounded by darkness”

Shiba Ryotaro

Post-WW2 Japanese writer Shiba Ryotaro emerged as an important literary figure his words spoke to a nation at a time of enormous change. He acknowledged the profound impact that his wartime experiences had on his later writing. Only 22 years old by the end of the war, he was a tank driver, serving on the Soviet border in what was then called Manchuria. 

He is best known for fictional novels about the history of Japan and essays focusing on the history of the Japanese dynasties and topics such as the activities of the Samurai and Shogun, which translates as Sei-i Taishōgun, ‘Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force Against the Barbarians’.

Shiba Ryotaro (born Teiichi Fukuda) 1923-1996



window detail Shiba Ryotaro


architecture of Shiba Ryotaro Museum


library memorial museum


path around exterior of museum osaka


view across library


view up to window of the shiba ryataro library


brutalist detail museum library


brutalist detail Shiba Ryota Memorial museum Tadao Ando


wall of books Shiba Ryotara museum


wall of books shiba ryotaro


All images Copyright of Christopher Iwata ©

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