Frequently Asked Questions

(1)Regarding the Hosokawa Clan and Eisei Bunko

Can I view or photograph the Kumamoto University Entrusted Eisei Bunko Document Collection or its catalog?
You have to apply for permission from the Kumamoto University Library to view or photograph these documents. Please contact the university library directly.
The catalog can be accessed using the link above.
For inquiries regarding the catalog, please contact the university library directly.
On the bottom of the page, click Kumamoto University Library Hosokawa Old Records and Ancient Texts Main Catalog.
Are there any books in which I can research the names and the locations of residences of my ancestors who served the Hosokawa Clan?
The Compiled Registry of Kumamoto Domain Samurai (Sumio Matsumoto) and the Ancestry Annex (Hosokawa Clan) contain the names of samurai who served the Hosokawa Clan. These documents can be found at the Kumamoto Prefectural Library.
In addition, the first supplement of the History of New Kumamoto City contains maps in which the locations of these samurai residences can be found.
Can I read the ancient texts?
We're terribly sorry, but this center does not provide that service.
Please use the administrative services available at your local municipal government office to discuss your request with a member of the Cultural Property Protection Committee.
If you are a resident of Kumamoto City, inquire at the Historical Records Office. If you reside in another region, consult with the Social Education Department of your local board of education, etc.
Alternatively, you can visit the Ancient Texts Office, etc., and consult the staff there directly.
Could you tell me about a related work (letterpress, modern translation, phototype, etc.) of a specific Eisei Bunko document?
We're sorry, but this center does not possess specific knowledge of each and every Eisei Bunko-related document. However, the three volumes of the Historical Materials Edition of the History of New Kumamoto City which pertain to the Early Modern Period contain letterpress prints of the majority of these documents.
In addition, pictures and written summaries of some the documents are provided in the Eisei Bunko Library - Hosokawa Clan Literature published by this center.
Still other documents may be available in the historical records of other municipalities, so please refer to those as well.
What is the meaning of the Hosokawa Clan insignia (the Kuyo-mon)?
The Kuyo-mon depicts planets and other heavenly bodies. It has been used since the reign of Tadaoki Hosokawa, who was said to be very fond on the symbol. There are many legends and tales related to the Hosokawa Clan insignia, some of which can be found on the Kumamoto Castle Official Home Page.
What is the address and telephone number of the Eisei Bunko Museum in Tokyo?
Please visit the Access page of the Eisei Bunko Museum Home Page.
What books have been published by the center and its staff?
Is there a list of all books published by the center?
The following are examples of some of our published works.
In addition, other books published by staff members of the center are listed on the Our Research page.
There are many other published works than those listed here, so please try searching for the name of the author who interests you. Click the name of the book below to read a summary of it on the center website, or click the name of the publishing company to read their introduction of it.
Is there a way for me to research the commendations received by my ancestors who served the Hosokawa Clan?
Evaluations and commendations received by 19th century Kumamoto Domain residents are documented in the Zaimachi Analysis Catalog, available on the University Library Home Page.
Please use the advanced search function to find the specific information you are looking for.For details, click here.
I missed a lecture at the center or a television program about it. Will it be re-broadcast? Are there recordings available?
Videos of the following programs and lectures are available on public sites of their respective production companies.
Unless otherwise noted, they can all be viewed for free over any internet connection, so please enjoy them!
"Teach us, Kumamon!" (The 450 year anniversary of Kato Kiyomasa - Excavating His Legend) and "Gimme more Kumamoto!" (Pride of the Hometown! 400 Years of Kato and Hosokawa) are both available in the list of past programs.
The first lecture, "The Mountain of Treasures in Eisei Bunko - Ancient Maps Reveal the Way Back to Old Higo," and other lectures from 2009 are available.
You can find several links to videos in this article about the center.

(2)Regarding Kumamoto University and the Center

What is the Eisei Bunko Research Center?
We are an organization that specializes in researching the Eisei Bunko historical documents entrusted to the Kumamoto University Library.
We are not a reference library or a museum; our sole focus is research.
Where is the center?
We are located on the Kumamoto University campus, immediately on your right if you enter through the university's Red Gate,just behind the healthcare center.
The center is number 27 on the map on the following page, in Shared Building Kurokami 5. The Red Gate is a red brick gate which serves as the central entrance to the Kumamoto University Kurokami Campus.
Are there Eisei Bunko documents on display inside the center? Are there any plans to hold exhibitions there in the future?
Currently, the center contains no documents, as they are all held at the University Library. Therefore, no exhibitions are held at the center, nor are any scheduled in the future. Those interested in viewing Eisei Bunko documents should visit the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art instead, where we will display items at the Eisei Bunko Exhibition Room, or other special events.
Can I peruse the actual library of documents? Or will I be able to at some point in the future?
Unfortunately, our library is not open to the public, nor are there any plans to make it available for perusal in the future.
Those interested in viewing Eisei Bunko documents should visit the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art instead, where we will display items at the Eisei Bunko Exhibition Room, or other special events.
Could you give me some handouts from a past event or pamphlets about the center?
In general, we only distribute such documents at events. However, please feel free to download the selection of handouts posted on the center home page.
Are there plans to repeat any past lectures?
Unfortunately there are currently no plans to repeat past lectures. However, videos of certain lectures are available on this center's home page, so please view those to your heart's content.
When is your next exhibition/lecture?
Details regarding future events will be posted on the center home page, etc. as soon as they have been decided.
Can I view or borrow the books at the center?
We're sorry, but the books kept at this center are not available to be viewed or lent. All of the books at the center have been mass published and are available at the Kumamoto Prefectural Library, the Kumamoto City Library, the University Library, etc.
Do you sell books written by center staff members or books about Eisei Bunko?
We're sorry, but we do not sell books at the center or at center events.
Please find these books at your local bookseller.
Can I talk to instructors if I visit the center?
We're sorry, but we do not take such appointments here.
Why did you reply "We don't know." to my question?
Despite our staff's expert knowledge, there are many things we do not yet know.
We're sorry that we could not answer your query, and ask for your understanding.
When will the catalog be published? Will it be available for purchase to the general public?
The catalog is set to be published approximately five years from now.
Unfortunately, there are no plans to make it available for purchase to the general public.
Instead, we intend on making it available in some format, such as over the internet or at libraries.
Are the books that you publish on a yearly basis available for purchase to the general public?
Yes, anyone can purchase them.
I need to visit the university, does it have a parking lot?
Yes. There is a parking lot on campus available to visitors of the university. Go past the Red Gate, heading in the direction of Aso, and look for the other campus entrance. Tell the gatekeeper there the reason for your visit, and fill out some paperwork to be admitted in.
How can I get to Kumamoto University by car?
Please check the Kumamoto University Home Page:
Is there an Eisei Bunko Museum at Kumamoto University? What other sights can I see if I visit?
Unfortunately, Kumamoto University does not have a museum where Eisei Bunko documents are on display. The university does have a Memorial Museum of the Fifth High School. It contains exhibitions of documents describing the famous students and instructors hailing from the school, and documents related to the history of Kumamoto University. For details, visit the Memorial Museum of the Fifth High School Home Page: There are several other famous sights to see at the university, such as the relief of Koizumi Yakumo and the bronze statue of Natsume Soseki.
For details, please inquire at the university.
  • Eisei Bunko Research Center Overview
  • よくある質問 Q & A
  • 研究紹介