Monday, May 30, 2011

Kagoshima - Terukuni Shrine and Tanshoen Park

If you're walking along the Shiroyama Promenade and you follow the path down and to the south, you'll come out at the back of Tanshoen Garden. Otherwise, just go to the Kagoshima City Art Museum and go a couple of blocks southwest - you'll see the Garden just before you get to Terukuni Shrine.

The Garden is essentially an open park with 3 statues, a small tree-lined pond in the back and a memorial mound to one side. Right next door is Terukuni Shrine, which is easy to see from the street as you approach from Tenmonkan because of the huge white stone gate in front.

(Old castle grounds layout.)

There are a couple of marker signs around the garden, explaining the statues and giving a little history of the neighborhood. The below quoted texts come from the marker signs. I'm including the accompanying images from the signs, if any.


"Tanshoen Garden and three Shimadzu statues
The first Japanese Morse code signals
... Nariakira, Hisamitsu and Tadayoshi still watch over their garden...
As the "revere the Emperor, oust the barbarians" movement was gaining ground in Edo and Kyoto leading up to Ii Naosuke's "Ansei massacre", Shimadzu Nariakira (28th lord) sent the first Morse code messages in Japan from this garden over 600 meters to the inner precincts of Tsurumaru Castle.

To the right of Terukuni Shrine, Tanshoen was at that time part of the outer precincts of the castle. It was, and still is, famous for its hillside waterfall, lake and stone bridge. In 1917, statues of Nariakira, his brother Hisamitsu and nephew Tadayoshi were erected."


Statue of Shimadzu Tadayoshi
"Shimadzu Tadayoshi was born the eldest son of Shimadzu Hisamitsu in 1840. According to the will of the 28th lord of Shimadzu Nariakira, he married a daughter of Nariakira and became the lord of the Satsuma Domain. Supported by his grandfather, Nariakira and his father, Hisamitsu, he committed himself to reforming the clan's policies and improving the army and navy.

The whole Satsuma clan worked together when Hisamitsu went to Edo in 1862, when shogunate government reform was undertaken, and during the Namamugi Incident and the Anglo-Satsuma war. After the Anglo-Satsuma war, Tadayoshi intended on improving relations with Britain. To this end, he dispatched delegates to England, including Godai Tomoatsu and other Satsuma students, which ultimately amounted to the development of human power. He dedicated himself to developing Japan's first textile factory thereby enhancing the Shuseikan Project.

After the Meiji Restoration, Tadoyashi took the initiative in transferring domain registers to the emperor together with the Choshu, Tosa and Saga domains. He then was appointed first governor of the Kagoshima Domain and subsequently a member of the House of Peers of Japan. He lived from the end of the Shogunate era through to the Meiji Restoration. Being a dutiful man, he kept his word to his father Hisamitsu; doing so required that he not cut his topknot till his death in accordance with his father's will. In 1897, he died at the age of 58. Like his father Hisamitsu, a state funeral was also conducted for him."


Statue of Shimadzu Nariarika
Shimadzu Nariakira (1809-1858) 28th Lord of Satsuma. Nariakira was born in 1809. He was cherished by his great-grandfather, Shigehide, who had a keen interest in foreign culture, which is why Nariakira also became very well versed in foreign culture and science. After China's defeat by Britain in the Opium Wars in the early 1840s, it was feared that there would be an attempt to colonies [sic] Japan too. Nariakira realized that Japan had to unite as a powerful and rich country to prevent this. He became Lord of Satsuma in 1851. Soon after he had Shuseikan industrial complex built at Iso to manufacture ships, iron, textiles, and glassware also a telegraph office was established there too. He also understood that education was a key factor, and he oversaw the training of young men such as Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi. Nariakira passed away in 1858, yet his dream of a united Japan was carried by his younger brother, Hisamitsu, and nephew, Tadayoshi, and men such as Saigo and Okubo.

(From the marker sign.)

This bronze statue of Nariakira and those of Hisamitsu and Tadayoshi in the Tanshoen Garden were made by the engraver Asakura Fumio (1883-1964) in 1917.


(Monument at the top of the nearby mound.)


As mentioned above, Terukuni Shrine is right next door, and you can either enter through gaps in the fence, or go back around to the main street and in through the front entrance.

(Instructions on how to pay your respects properly, and "Kagoshima calendars" for 200 yen ($2.50 USD.)

(Looking back towards the front entrance.)

(Full range of protective amulets available for sale.)


(View from the front entrance as you approach from Tenmonkan shopping district.)

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