Museum &

About MAU M&L

Message from the Director

Ryu Niimi
Director of MAU M&L

We want to be a friend for your, students’ solitude―a museum for encounters, a library for the five senses, a collection of folk art & crafts to explore humanity and the world.

I don’t talk about difficult things.
In my classes I only teach what my body knows.
“But isn’t this an art university?” you may be questioned.
Haven’t we come together here because this is an art university?
Why do we have a museum? Why is it here for the sake of all our students? I sincerely ask you to think deeply about these questions.
Aren’t museums among those rare places where we can meet “the other”?
We can’t say now that there are no other places like this in Japan or the world.
The others that are “works of art and materials.” The world, or themselves, may fear us because they are unfamiliar. If to us they are endlessly fascinating and inspire, to others they are haunted to be crushed and destroyed. A magnificent, terrifying other exists, the artists who created that.
What we call making art and design can be seen as tremendous charismatic labor that falls from heaven on people able to perform it. But beyond that there are ourselves and others, our audience, who see, enjoy, moved or find interesting what we create.
Thus, more than anything else, a museum is, is it not, a rare site for encounters with the other—that other that is me and the other that is you.
That is why we want our museum to be an ultra-rare place, where you encounter those who are others just to you.

If you don’t know that a book can become a friend for life, you are tossing half the value of your life down the drain.
Life is not always on fire, energetic, happy, or stimulus. Absolutely not.
That is why we want each one of you, whenever you are alone, to visit the library and look for that book, which is for you that one-and-only friend. You don’t have to read it immediately. Your days of simply studying are over.
To simply look at the spine, or even if you only take it off the shelf and caress it, both are splendid ways to communicate with books.
It is OK if you are in a daze, doing nothing, thinking nothing, just spending time absentmindedly in the library. Take you own quiet and contemplative time there.
Everyone needs a spiritual home, where they can cry if they need to.
Like the full of sorrow, that adores, longing fields of childhood. Like the maze of endless play.
You, we are all waiting for you, with all from the bottom of our hearts.

Campus Map

MAU M&L is located on the straightaway that starts at the main gate of the university. The Museum faces an open plaza. The Library is on the west side of the museum.
The Folk Art Gallery is on the 2nd floor of Building 13.
The Image Library is on the 2nd floor of the Museum.


The museum opened in 1967 as the Museum & Library.

In 2010, its name was changed to Musashino Art University Museum & Library, and in 2011, it reopened following renovations.

As a university art museum, the museum collects and preserves works of art and design-related materials, builds databases, plans and holds exhibitions, and publishes catalogues.

The museum’s collection includes 30,000 posters, over 40,000 design-related items including 400 modern chairs, and works of art including paintings, sculptures, and prints.

Its scale and wealth of material for basic research give the collection great societal value. Moving forward, it will continue to fulfill vital educational functions and disseminate information through a rich variety of exhibitions.

Monday – Friday 11:00 – 19:00
Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays 10:00 – 17:00
Wednesdays, during exhibition changes, and when entrance to the university campus is prohibited


The library collection includes approximately 320,000 books and 5,000 titles of academic and specialized periodicals with an emphasis on art and design, one of the largest art-university collections in Japan.

The library’s vast collection of rare resources includes avant-garde art, a natural history archive, Nara ehon (handwritten illustrated books), and ukiyozoshi (popular fiction from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries). These resources are frequently utilized in diverse courses, seminars, and lectures.

The library’s facilities include group study rooms and individual study booths for graduate students and researchers, as well as a cutting-edge “ubiquitous information access environment” enabling library users to access information from anywhere on the premises.

[Takanodai Campus Library]

Monday – Friday 9:00 – 20:00
(10:00 – 18:00 during summer vacation)
Saturdays and special opening days 9:00 – 17:00
Sundays, national holidays, inventory periods, and other closures


[Ichigaya Campus Library]

Monday – Friday 10:00 – 20:00
(10:00 – 18:00 during second term)
Sundays, new year holidays, and other closures

Folk Art Gallery

The Folk Art Gallery houses nearly 90,000 items related to the role of design in everyday life. Started under the direction of MAU professor Tsuneichi Miyamoto (1907-1981), the collection has been developed over the past thirty years.

Today it includes a wide variety of household implements, toys, kites, and religious artifacts. Among collections in Japan dedicated to the preservation of practical artifacts largely lost during Japan’s rapid economic growth, few can match its quantity or quality.

The storage room is partly open to the public, and exhibitions are held in the gallery with the aim of utilizing and sharing these materials more widely.

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 – 16:30 (Storage room open)
* During exhibitions, the gallery is open Monday – Friday 12:00 – 20:00
Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays 10:00 – 17:00
Wednesdays and other closures

Image Library

The Image Library comprises a vast collection of visual materials from a broad range of genres including movies, documentary films, animation, and art films.

With around 20,000 items, this unique educational resource includes not only works that are indispensable to the study of film and visual history, but also many that are rarely shown despite their outstanding artistic merit.

These valuable materials may be viewed in the Image Library, and some may be borrowed.

Monday – Friday 10:00 – 20:00
Saturdays and special opening days 10:00 – 17:00
Sundays, national holidays, inventory periods, and other closures