The Center’s Toshiba Library, tended by a full-time curator, contains this country’s premier collection of Japanese law materials housed at a university.
Among the wealth of resources available to the Center for Japanese Legal Studies is the Toshiba Library for Japanese Legal Research, which is considered to be among the finest private collections of Japanese Law and is the country’s premier collection of Japanese law materials at a university. The collection is rumored to be surpassed only by that of the Library of Congress.
The library began in 1982 with a gift of the private collection of the late Jiro Tanaka, Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan from 1964 to 1973. Columbia Law School's Arthur W. Diamond Law Librarybegan developing a comprehensive Japanese law collection in 1984 to support research and teaching at the Center. A permanent position of Japanese law curator was established with a generous endowment from the Toshiba Corporation. In 2003, the collection was enhanced by a gift of the private collection of Itsuo Sonobe, a visiting scholar at the Law School in 1958, who served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan from 1989 to 1997.
The Toshiba Library is tended by a full-time curator, Yukino Nakashima. The collection contains approximately 36,000 volumes of books and bound periodicals, more than 90 percent of which are in Japanese.