Nakanoshima Library main building, as well as both the right and left wings
The main library was built in 1904with funds contributed by the late Baron Sumitomo.
Mr. Noguchi Magoichi and Mr. Hidaka Yutaka, architectural engineers from the Sumitomo family, designed the building.
A Corinthian style column supports the front awning, evoking the image of a Greek temple.
The high arching dome of the Central Hall is reminiscent of a large cathedral.
The Sumitomo family extended both the right and left wings through a generous donation in 1922, both of which were designed by Mr. Hidaka Yutaka.
The main library and both the right and left wings were designated as National Important Culture Properties in 1974. (Asano Kiyoshi : Osaka Prefectural Library’s architecture, Osaka Prefectural Library bulletin, No. 9)

Nakanoshima Library main building, as well as both the right and left wings
The Main Entrance [正面玄関]The Main Entrance
The top of the main entrance features a large plaque that reads “大阪図書館 (Osaka Library)”, from right to left.
Interestingly, the plaque reads “Osaka Library”, and not “Osaka Prefectural Library,” indicating that there was no library in Osaka before the Nakanoshima Library opened in 1903.
In short, the wording provides a telling reminder that the Nakanoshima Library was indeed, the first library in Osaka.

[建館寄付記(大銅板額)] Donation History
The library of the Central Hall also features a large copper plaque bearing the words “Donation History.”
The 15th head of Sumiotomo Family, Baron Sumiotomo Kichizaemon, the founding benefactor to the library, placed his message on the plaque.
“Osaka has a large population, enormous diversity, and a very high level of education.
Unfortunately, a library is the only thing Osaka lacks.
I would like to contribute to the library building and its collection of books.”
Mr. Sumitomo’s strong will to contribute to Osaka’s culture and education is evident in his message.

Donation History
The Two Statues1The Two Statues2 [2つの彫像]The Two Statues
There are two statues along the far wall of the Central Hall.
Bothe copper statues are half-nude Greek youth; the right statue is looking ahead with a bold gaze, and is known as the Yajin Statue, expressing passion and wildness.
The left statue, known as the‘Bunjin Statue’, looks upon an opened book and represents reflection and intelligence.
It is believed these sculptures were placed in the Central Hall in 1923, when both the right and left wings were built.
Mr. Kitamura Seibo, the creator of the Nagasaki Peace Statue, sculpted these statues.

[棟札(置札)]The wooden placard
A wooden placard shows the date of the building’s foundation, the builder’s name, and other information.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in August of 1902, where the founders of the library first unveiled the placard.
Several names are etched onto the front of placard in Chinese ink: the founding benefactor, Mr. Sumitomo Kichizaemon, as well as the head building advisor, Dr. Tatsuno Kingo, and the two engineering, Mr. Noguchi Magoichi and Mr. Hidaka Yutaka, all of whom participated in the building’s design and construction.
The back of the placard bears the names of the many workers, including stonecutters, bricklayers and carpenters, who made the building possible.

Kawata Jun kahi [川田 順 歌碑]
The monument inscribed with the tanka poem
In 1954, Kawada Jun, one of the many individuals who have contributed to the library, wrote a tanka poem in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the library’s foundation.
A monument inscribed with the tanka poem stands aside the front of the building.
“Naniwaduno manakaniueshi chienokiwa isotosewohete ookitonarinu.”
‘This sapling of knowledge, planted in the center of Osaka 50 years ago, has grown into a magnificent tree.’

Osaka Prefectural LibraryNakanoshima LibraryA Guide to the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library