Incredible ‘Bookshelf Theater’ Unveiled at Tokyo’s Kadokawa Culture Museum

If you are a big reader or just love cozy interiors, there is almost nothing more exciting than a room lined wall to wall with books. The new Kadokawa Culture Museum, designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, includes an incredible interior filled with books. Kuma designed a unique wood shelving system that reaches floor to ceiling and continues across with floating wooden panels. Photographer Ryosuke Kosuge, or RK, has the opportunity to capture this space in a series of photographs that celebrate the impressive collection.

The Kadokawa Culture Museum is designed as one multifunctional building in the Tokorozawa Sakura Town development, located 19 miles from central Tokyo. This area includes new tourist destinations like an anime-inspired hotel and a shrine also designed by Kuma. The museum is wrapped with an interesting granite façade with dramatic angular lines and a grand entrance with monumental front steps.

The interior space that Kosuge captures is located on the fourth floor of a museum and acts as both a library and a theater space. Projection mapping uses the 500,000 books as part of varying exhibits that give the space its secondary function. Screens are also scattered across the shelving arrangement to support exhibitions. For those more interested in reading the books themselves, they can access some of the upper levels by following a series of metal walkways that ascend up the 26-foot-tall library.

While you could probably spend hours going through the titles included here, the museum has plenty more to offer on other floors. The first floor includes gallery spaces for temporary exhibitions and a small library. Higher up, you can find a café, shop, restaurant, and a whole floor dedicated to the art of anime. Seigow Matsuoka, director of the Kadokawa Culture Museum, believes that this building is an opportunity to incite imagination that can create positive and meaningful change.

“Although the world and Japan today are struggling with the effects of a permeating, invisible power, we are all trying to fight back and establish a new outlook on the future of humanity,” says Matsuoka. “Challenges are arising daily from a complex environment and networks, resulting in the mutation of genes and viruses. However, civilizations and cultures have a history of turning invisible power into visible forms. For both local residents and global citizens, Kadokawa Culture Museum, located in a small corner of Higashi-Tokorozawa, shall devote itself to turning the invisible into the visible to the best of its ability.”

The new Kadokawa Culture Museum, designed by Kengo Kuma, includes a library that doubles as an exhibition theater.

Photographer Ryosuke Kosuge, or RK, captures this library theater in a series of photographs that celebrate the 500,000-book collection.

Kengo Kuma: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Kadokawa Culture Museum: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Ryosuke Kosuge: InstagramWebsiteWeibo | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Soundcloud

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Ryosuke Kosuge.

Related Articles:

Sweeping Contemporary Library Design Inspired by the 19th-Century Playwright Henrik Ibsen

Architect Kengo Kuma Wrapped a Giant Wooden “Nest” Around a Building in Sydney

Architects Reveal New Images of ‘The Whale' Museum in Arctic Circle

Photographer Chronicles the Alluring Abstract Beauty of the National Museum of Qatar

Samantha Pires

Sam Pires is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She is also a freelance architectural designer. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from NJIT and is currently earning a Master in Architecture II from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sam has design experience at multiple renowned architecture firms such as Gensler and Bjarke Ingels Group. She believes architecture should be more accessible to everyone and uses writing to tell unexpected stories about the built environment. You can connect with her online at
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content