Lankei Library

The collection attracts world attention!

Rankei Library, which was established by Mr. Rankei Furuya who was the important member of Japan Rinshikinshukai Association (one of the collectors' clubs) as well as the right hand of the chairman of the association, has belonged to Japan Match Manufacturers Association in Kobe, Japan. In this library, very precious documents relating match designs are archived, and they include actual match boxes as well as large collection of match design albums: Japan Match Manufacturers Association named this whole data, "Rankei Library." The feature of Rankei Library is the album called "Rankei Album," in which company brand labels made between Meiji 10 - 30 (1867 - 1897) were categorically organized. Especially the book named "The Best Of The World (its cover says Tenka Ippin) contains not only the red printing and black printing of the grand Marshals, but also the picture of Meiji Emperor and Empress and the imperial crest of the chrysanthemum: therefore it has been considered to be invaluable internationally.

To Detail
Rankei Furuya started to collect matches since he was small and his collection totaled to 30,000 pieces in 1917 when he was a member of the Japan Rinshiki Association, but misfortunes like bankruptcy of his family business of umbrella and the Kanto Earthquake made him impecunious and he had to sell all of the collection. Later, Rankei restored his business, and Mitsukoshi Department Store purchased his umbrellas to retail them, so he again became a member of Japan Rinshikinshukai Association in 1928 (Showa 3). His friends helped him to restore the collection so his collection was around 400,000 items in 1937 (Showa 12).