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Nowadays, whenever we want to access to the vast wealth of knowledge humanity has amassed, all we have to do check Google, Wikipedia, or the RocketNews24 search box. But long ago, you had to go to a place called a library.

With an Internet search engine you can just type in what you’re looking for, but simply scrawling, say, “history of feudal Japan” on the wall of the library will not only fail to provide you with the information you seek, it’ll probably get you thrown out of the building. Instead, you’ve got to utilize a system of numbers used to organize written works. While the U.S. has the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress Classifications, Japan has its own framework, called the Nippon Decimal Classification.

For modern youths, though, having to look up books by a numeric code feels extremely cumbersome and inefficient. So how do you get young readers excited about using the Nippon Decimal Classification? By anthropomorphizing it as a team of cute anime characters. , of course!

Located just a few stops south from Hiroshima Station, the Hatsukaichi Municipal Library has created 10 mascots, one for each starting digit of the Nippon Decimal Classification.

▼ 0, General Classification, has an appropriately nondescript appearance.

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▼ 1, Philosophy, has a pensive look and classical fashion sense.

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▼ 2, History, is all packed and ready to head out to appease her curiosity about geography, which is also included in her classification.

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▼ The modern and sophisticated 3, Social Sciences

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▼ You’ll have to forgive the wild hairstyle of 4, Natural Sciences.

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▼ 5, Technology and Engineering, also covers such delicate and detailed work as sewing and cooking, which explains the perfect braid in its mascot’s hair.

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▼ Agriculture is included in 6, Industry and Commerce, so naturally its character is carrying an armload of tasty produce.

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▼ This regal and fashionable lass serves as the poster girl for 7, Arts.

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▼ This shy cat lover could probably use a couple of books from class 8, Language.

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▼ And finally, 9, Literature, looks enthusiastic and right at home in the library.

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The Hatsukaichi Library has even created a mini manga in which some of the characters make appearances.

▼ 9 shows a couple of students the ropes.

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You can also spot the characters on placards around the facility, plus on bookmarks the library is handing out.

▼ If you can’t make it to Hiroshima, you can print them out here and make your own.

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We suppose you could make the criticism that it’s counterproductive using pictures to tempt people to come to the library. The more people who come through the door, though, the more people who have a chance to stumble across a book they wouldn’t have known about otherwise, and with a set of 10 faces so cute, it’s hard not to be cheering for them.

Related: Hatsukaichi Municipal Library website
Source: IT Media
Images: Hatsukaichi Municipal Library