The land associated with Shoin Yoshida, a thinker at the end of the Edo Era
Shoin Shrine which is located in the city of Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the birthplace of Shoin Yoshida, was built in 1890 to enshrine the great philosopher. Yoshida was an educator responsible for teaching many of the figures who took part in the Meiji Restoration starting with Hirobumi Ito, Japan’s first Prime Minister. According to his last will and testament, his beloved inkstone and writings to his relatives have been emplaced in the main building of the shrine as objects of worship. The man himself has been worshiped greatly as a god of learning. Within the grounds, there are 2 World Heritage sites, a museum, a treasure hall, an Edo Era teahouse and a Kagetsuro alcove in addition to many structures associated with Yoshida.
Two surviving World Heritage sites
The Former Residence of Shoin Yoshida is a nationally-designated historic site which consists of a single-story building with a wooden tiled roof covering a wide area of 214㎡. And in the small secluded 3.5-tatami mat room where Yoshida was imprisoned due to charges of conspiracy, many young people took up a penitent lifestyle as they studied under and devoted themselves to Yoshida based on his writings, as he supervised his own private school. Both the residence and the room have remained in their state from that time and in 2015, they were both registered as World Heritage Cultural sites as part of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution.
A museum and treasure hall devoted to Shoin Yoshida
In the Shoin Yoshida Museum, the life of Yoshida is recreated through 20 scenes and approximately 70 wax figures. They are all easily understandable through explanations and audio tours. At the Shoin Shrine treasure hall, the Shiseikan, the building is divided into an admission-free zone and an admission-required zone. In the former area, Yoshida’s life is displayed while in the latter exhibition room, various relics are displayed. Special exhibitions are also held so that even first-time learners can enjoy their time there.