Albiruni Library アルビルニライブラリ

The Albiruni Library is located in The Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo. It is named after Abu Rayhan Biruni (973-1048), a key historical intellectual figure in the Islamic world who was active in Afghanistan. A scholar and teacher in various fields such as astronomy, chemistry, history, physics, geology, and mathematics, Albiruni was also considered as the first anthropologist in the world and greatest scientist of all times.

The library was opened officially in April 27, 2009 in preparation of 2010’s marking of the 80th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Afghanistan and Japan. With over 4,500 books in its collection, a portion of which are shared with Tokyo University of Foreign Languages, it is the largest collection of Afghanistan related books in Japan. Currently 1579 books, magazines, and periodicals in Japanese, English, and Persian are available for viewing. The books’ subjects range from history, culture, literature, tourism, and social condition of Afghanistan to publications on the War on Terror. Apart from the collection of books related to Afghanistan, the library also holds a small collection of books related to Japan, such as Japanese culture, history, and literature.

The design of the library incorporates traditional Afghan architecture. The doors, cabinets, and pillars were made of Himalayan cedar and crafted in the Kabuli Style by Afghan craftsmen working at the Turquoise Mountain Foundation. The Turquoise Mountain Foundation, established by Prince Charles of the UK, is a Non-Governmental Organization based in Kabul that focuses on conserving parts of Kabul's old city, as well as providing employment to locals by reviving trade in locally made handicrafts. The library’s woodwork itself tells of the history and culture of Afghanistan as each pillar contains a symbol from influences on Afghanistan’s past. The authentic Afghan carpet under the table was hand-crafted in a period of over one year by Afghan women.

People who wish to access the library must first apply for library membership. An application form will be available for download once we grow closer to the opening date. Inquiries may be sent to the following address: pratt@afghanembassyjp.org. Opening hours will be announced in the future, but all members must make an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. 

For a 360 degree view of our library click here

360 degree panorama

We are currently still in the process of cataloguing our books. To view the most up-to-date collection information, click on the lists below.