Toji Hyakugo Monjo and the Memory of the World


Toji Hyakugo Monjo, housed in a storage facility of the Kyoto Institute, Library and Archives, was recommended for inclusion on the Memory of the World Register by the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO and the Selection Committee for UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register held in May 2013.

The reasons for the recommendation are as follows:
Toji Hyakugo Monjo is a collection of approximately 25,000 documents, which had continuously been preserved in the treasure house of Toji for more than 1,000 years since the Heian period. The collection is considered to be highly valuable not only as materials for study of the history of Japanese Buddhism, history of Buddhist temples, and history of Buddhist temple systems but also as a collection of records that can be used for various types of research.

The collection has been managed and preserved as Toji Hyakugo Monjo (lit. Toji’s one hundred lidded boxes of documents) since 1685 when documents stored in 100 document storage boxes were donated to Toji by the fifth feudal lord of the Kaga Domain, Maeda Tsunanori (前田綱紀). The fact that such a document preservation activity has been conducted since pre-modern times in Japan is considered very significant, taking into account the aim of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme to safeguard documentary heritage worldwide.