April 1st, 2015 System Renewal:
Basic Search function made available for Kojiruien users.

  • "Basic Search" and "Advanced Search - Search all Contents" can now be used.
  • Catalog listings are uploaded on Book Shelf for direct linking to source pages.
The Kojiruien is Japan’s largest lexical encyclopedia of historical documents compiled and edited during the Meiji and Taisho periods.

In 1879 (Meiji 12), following the proposal to compile a corpus of historical records and documents by Nishimura Shigeki (at the time a Ministry of Education bureaucrat), a group of scholars led by Konakamura Kiyonori commenced editing the Kojiruien. After a number of setbacks, work was continued by the Jingu Shicho (Jingu Administration Office) in 1895 (Meiji 28), and after a total of thirty-five years was completed in 1914 (Taisho 3).

The content entries are organized into thirty categories ranging from institutions, culture, and society of particular historical periods. For each entry passages from relevant documents starting with the Rikkokushi compiled in the early Heian period to 1867 (Keio 3) marking the end of the Edo period are listed and quoted in the original to explain their origin, content and transformation.

The total content is contained in 1000 scrolls , 351 Japanese bound books, or the 51 volume Western book bound collection (including exhaustive content catalog and index volumes). The total number of pages comprising the Western bound collection is approximately 67,000 pages. Headword entries totaling 64,246 are arranged according to the Japanese syllabic order. In the content catalog 40,354 headwords are listed.

For scholars in various fields of research this encyclopedic collection of historical materials is still one of the most important sources for understanding pre-modern (Edo period and earlier) Japanese culture.
  • International Research Center for Japanese Studies
    The contents of this website are made public with partial changes to the International Research Center for Japanese Studies Kojiruien Search System interface.

  • For Western language fonts appearing in the contents, the fonts of the Mojikyo Institute are used.

Contents information

Original books 古事類苑
Source International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) Database (Kojiruien Web Search System)
Publication date Meiji 29 November - Taisho 3 March
Book price
Release date of JK September 24, 2012
Number of entries Japanese Syllabic Order : 64,246
Content Catalogue : 40,354
Number of characters
About search Book Shelves feature available
Frequency of update
(as of March 2015)
History and Place Names
European Languages
East Asian Languages
Terminology and Information
Biography, Culture and Religion
Natural Science
Statistics and Yearbooks
Articles and Columns
Book series and Japanese Literature Collections