A little south of Hagi is the Yoshida Shoin Memorial Hall (Yoshida Shoin Kinenkan)。
It is most notable for the three bronze statues that stand outside in front of it, one of Yoshida Shoin himself, one of Takasugi Shinsaku, and one of Kusaka Gensui: both the latter having been taught in the late 1850s by Yoshida at his family’s Shoka-sonjuku school that produced over 80 students who went on to become prominent figures in the Meiji Restoration that modernized Japan, beginning in 1868.
The Yoshida Shoin Memorial Hall is free, and just as well, because the exhibits it contains are not particularly remarkable. They include a map detailing Yoshida’s wanderings throughout Japan, a life-size wax museum-style replica of a class at Yoshida’s Shoka-sonjuku, and several documents and replicas of documents such as letters by the great man, his last will and testament, and kakejiku, i.e. calligraphic scrolls bearing exhortative proverbs and sayings.
If you're driving to Yamaguchi from Hagi, it's worth stopping for a look. There are also refreshments on sale. Park only in designated parking spaces. I didn't and crushed the bumper against a pole.
萩市大字椿 字鹿背ケ坂 1258
1258 Tsubaki, Hagi-shi, Yamaguchi
Tel/Fax 0838 22 9889
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. every day except Dec 29 – Jan 3.
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Hagi Yamaguchi Yoshida Shoin
Monday, April 05, 2010