A house that brings together the aesthetics of a coal baron
From the 1890s, the Karatsu Coal Field which had only had a small-scale mining operation suddenly developed all at once as it was modernized and became successful at managing places like the Kishima Coal Mine. Koreyoshi Takatori, who was called the coal baron of Hizen, built a manor as his own residence in 1905. 2 large buildings were constructed on the huge 7,600 ㎡ grounds along the ocean coast to establish a gorgeous manor that was said to have taken about 10 years to complete. There are up to 34 rooms in the manor. Praised for its emphasis and value on modern Japanese architecture, it has been designated as a National Important Cultural Property. Rental audio guides are available in English, Korean and Chinese.
A house with a Noh stage
With the distinctive feature of contemporary modern Japanese architecture including Western-style rooms with a Japanese motif, there are unique features such as a Noh stage built in the grand hall. From objects such as the transoms with carved reliefs of plants and die-cut animals and the lampshades done in the then-cutting-edge design of Art Nouveau, the ideology and refinement of Koreyoshi Takatori, a man who had been born in the house of a Confucian scholar and educated in Western technologies, are strongly reflected, and you can view the excellent design of the Sugido-e paintings, the plaster ceilings of the restored Western-style rooms and other features. Takatori, who had come from a samurai’s family, was a man of good breeding who enjoyed Noh dramas which led to the construction of the Noh stage in the grand hall so that he could present the art form to guests and the townspeople. A genuine Noh stage devised for good acoustics, tatami mats were emplaced so that the hall could also be used as a room to hold parties. A family bath and a storehouse for wine also remain in the residence so that the lifestyle of those times can be related to the present.