About us

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) was established in November 1964 by ten major antiquarian booksellers of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. This was a time when Japan was experiencing an unprecedented economic growth and Japanese collectors, scholars, and curators were avidly selling and purchasing rare material domestically and internationally. The ABAJ was founded with the aim of developing the Japanese antiquarian book trade to meet an increasingly global age. In 1965, at the recommendation of Mr. Menno Hertzberger of Amsterdam and Mr. Glen Dawson of Los Angeles, the ABAJ became a member organization of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Since then, the ABAJ has grown with the motto of ILAB. "AMOR LIBRORUM NOS UNIT" to include 27 members.

The ABAJ has participated in ILAB congresses and book fairs and has worked together with fellow ILAB members to facilitate the international distribution of antiquarian books and to ensure its member’s adherence to ILAB’s Code of Ethics. In Japan, the ABAJ has been involved in various activities including the hosting international book fairs in Japan, book fairs by its members, the publication of bibliographical reference works, the sponsoring of lectures on antiquarian books, the organization of field trips to private and institutional collections, and the donation of books to centers for senior citizens.

By actively engaging in the antiquarian book trade, the ABAJ aims to contribute to the intercourse between the East and West, the rediscovery and preservation of valuable cultural assets, and the bequeathing of those assets to future generations. All ABAJ members are required to possess professional knowledge and sufficient experience in the antiquarian book trade, and to strictly adhere to the ILAB’s Code of Ethics. Only booksellers who fill these criteria are allowed to use the ABAJ logo, and its members take pride in their ability to clearly and accurately describe their inventory, including any defects, using the accepted terminology of the trade.

The 21st century has brought about vast changes to the antiquarian book world, and the Internet is dramatically changing the ways in which collectors and booksellers interact. It is our wish that this humble website will be of use to book collectors and bibliophiles throughout the world.