The Okamura Collection was purchased by the Library in 1949 through the Australian Mission in Tokyo. Nothing is known about Okamura except that he was a resident of Osaka who for 20 years had been collecting English-language publications about Japan. Apart from a collection of books left behind by the Japanese Mission in Canberra in 1941, the Okamura Collection was the first Japanese formed collection to be acquired by the Library.


The Okamura Collection consists of 667 books and periodicals (925 volumes) relating to Japan published in the English language between 1856 and 1942. The subject range of the collection is broad, the main areas being history, biography, religions, politics, diplomacy, war and defence, finance and industry, law, language, literature, folklore, fine arts, customs, flower arrangement, gardening and sports.

Most of the books were published in Britain or the United States, but a substantial number were published in Japan, including English translations of Japanese writings. There are also series of booklets issued by bodies such as the Japan Council, the Economic Federation of Japan and the Society for International Cultural Relations. The great majority of the books were published in the interwar years.

The following are some of the older Japanese imprints in the collection:

Asakawa, Kan’ichi, The Early Institutional Life of Japan: A Study in the Reform of 645 A.D (1903)

Aston, William George, A Grammar of the Japanese Written Language (1877)

Baba, Bun’ei, Japan 1853–1864, or Genji yume monogatari (translated by Ernest Satow, 1905)

Black, John Reddie, Young Japan: Yokohama and Yedo 1858–79 (1881)

Conder, Josiah (ed.), Paintings and Studies by Kawanabe Kyosai, an Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue (1911)

De Havilland, Walter Augustus, ABC of Go, the National War Game of Japan (1910)

Eastlake, F. Warrington and Yoshi-aki, Yamada, Heroic Japan: A History of the War between China & Japan (1896)

Gordon, Elizabeth Anna, The Lotus Gospel, or Mahayana Buddhism and its Symbolic Teachings Compared Historically and Geographically with those of Catholic Christianity (1911?)

Heco, Joseph, The Narrative of a Japanese (2 vols, 1892)

Hildreth, Richard, Japan as it was and is (1906)

Imbrie, William, Handbook of English–Japanese Etymology [1889]

Inouye, Jukichi, A Concise History of the War between Japan and China (1895)

Kanda, Takahira, Notes on Ancient Stone Implements etc of Japan (1884)

Lloyd, Arthur, (transl.), Imperial Songs (1905)

Matsukata, Masayoshi, Report on the Adoption of the Gold Standard in Japan (1899)

Munro, Neil Gordon, Prehistoric Japan (1911)

Nanjio, Bunyiu, A Short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects (1886)

Palmer, Henry Spencer, Letters from the Land of the Rising Sun (1894)

Papinot, Edmond, Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan (1910)

Satoh, Henry, Evolution of Political Parties in Japan: A Survey of Constitutional Progress (1914)

Satoh, Henry, Lord Motta, the Pioneer Diplomat of Japan (1908)

Yamaguchi, Ken, Kinsei Shiriaku, A History of Japan from the First Visit of Commodore Perry in 1853 to the Capture of Hakodate by the Mikado’s Forces in 1869 (translated by Ernest Satow, 1906).

The periodicals in the collection include:

Japan Advertiser annual review (1929–40)

Contemporary Japan (1932–41)

Japan Times Weekly (1938–40)

Japan Times Weekly & Trans-Pacific (1940-1944)

Tokyo Gazette (1937–41).


The books in the Okamura Collection have been integrated in the general collection. A list of the titles can be found on the acquisitions file.