The Meiji Restoration of 1868 was a major turning point in Japanese history.
Over 200 years of Tokugawa shogunate rule came to an end after a turbulent decade of instability triggered by the arrival of the American Commodore Perry and his Black Ships at Shimoda in 1853.
The new Meiji government began a process of Western-inspired industrialization and modernization that was to make Japan a modern state to rival Western nations within 50-60 years.
Two domains in South western Japan, Choshu (present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture centered on the town of Hagi) and Satsuma (present day Kagoshima) were the vanguard of the forces seeking to end the rule of the Tokugawa regime and center power in a "restored" imperial line.
Such "heroes" of this movement include Kagoshima natives Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi and the museum is dedicated to the role Kagoshima played in this pivotal moment in Japanese and indeed world history.
The history of the Meiji Restoration is shown using dioramas, robots and a video animation (available in English as well as Japanese).
Meiji Restoration Museum (Ishin Furosato Kan)
Tel: 099 239 7700
Admission: 300 yen
The museum is an 8 minute walk from JR Kagoshima Chuo Station or 3 minutes from the nearest tram stop Takamibashi.
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