Chinese history that has been deeply imbued into Nagasaki
Built in 1893 under the aegis of China’s Qing Dynasty government and Chinese merchants living locally, the museum began with the enshrinement of items belonging to Confucius, known as the god of learning and morals. As the founder of the most important ideology for China and Southeast Asia that has lasted 2500 years following his death, he was also an educational sociologist and a school teacher. Nagasaki was the only port open in Japan during its 220 years of isolation and had a vital role to play in the culture of the nation’s early modern age as the portal accepting culture from China and Europe. For that reason, there were many Chinese residents in the city, and their descendants, as merchants, were responsible for the establishment of Confucius Shrine. On the brink of collapse due to the atomic bombing of the city in World War II, it was restored thanks again to the efforts of local Chinese merchants.
Learn about Chinese history and culture in detail
A richly colored building in vermilion and gold, the traditional Chinese mausoleum which has merged the two architectural styles of northern and southern China is filled with the atmosphere of the nation. Once you go beyond the sacred Gimon gate in the center which is normally off-limits to people aside from the gods and Imperial personages, you will encounter 72 stone statues of wise men who were Confucius’ leading disciples which were obtained from China. Each statue is made of marble weighing 1.5 tonnes and took 2 years to carve. Also, each statue has different clothing befitting his official position and even his expressions and movements are unique. The main building has a statue of Confucius enshrined. Adjacent to Confucius Shrine, there is the Confucius Shrine Museum which was established with the cooperation of the Chinese government as a site for Sino-Japanese friendship. On its 2nd floor, there are cultural assets of the Imperial Court on loan from the Beijing Palace’s Museum of Historical Treasures, and on the 3rd floor, there are excavated cultural properties from China’s National Museum of Chinese History, among other items which are national treasures that are exhibited in an easy-to-understand manner arranged according to generation and dynasty. Ancient bronzeware and porcelain, and art works from the Tang Dynasty are on display with the exhibits changed once a year.