The collection contains Nara-ehon (Nara picture books), including a set of Otogi zoshi, a collection of popular medieval tales in 21 parts, mid-17th century; as well as examples of very decorative picture scrolls, such as Urashima and Hinazuru (a great rarity, thought to be the only existing text).
Of quite a different kind is MS. Jap. d. 64, consisting of seventy volumes of Japanese Foreign Office papers, dating from 1867 to 1911. Most deal with relations with foreigners in Japan, and with trade. Among these documents are drafts for laws and regulations, letters, forms, and translations of correspondence with important Westerners.
There is also Shogun Ieyasu's shuinjo (vermillion-seal document) (MSS. Jap. b. 2) of 1613. This was issued by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu to grant the East India Company trade privileges in Japan. The Bodleian's shuinjo is believed to be one of two copies given to John Saris, commander of the eighth voyage of the Company, for long presumed to be lost in England.