We will be doing a series introducing some sites that appear in the 2015 NHK taiga drama (historical drama). Naturally, the first site is Shoin Shrine.
There are many must-see sites within the grounds of Shoin Shrine, such as the historical remains of Shokason Juku (cram school), Shiseikan museum and Yoshidan Shoin History Museum.
Irresistible to anyone interested in the end of the Edo period, we will introduce these hallowed locations all in one go!
Well then, without further ado, let’s step inside the shrine grounds.
Pass through one torii gate, keep going straight and you will eventually reach the main shrine. However, before that, right after passing through the torii gate, you can see the Shokason Juku.
Shokason Juku is the place where Yoshida Shoin taught. The leading spirits of the Meiji Restoration such as Kusaka Genzui, Takasugi Shinsaku and Ito Hirobumi all studied here.
To my surprise, this building is still exactly as it was at the actual time! To think that over 150 years ago, the leading spirits of restoration were actually within this small learning space really makes your heart flutter!
Standing at the innermost part of the grounds, after glimpsing the lives of the reformists I visit the main shrine.
Naturally, Yoshida Shoin is the enshrined deity.
After putting your hands together for a prayer to Shoin-sensei, it’s time get a fortune slip!
As they come with Shoin-sensei’s useful lessons, we even recommend these slips for those who usually bother!
Well then, this is the one I pulled out!
“It’s hard to tell a poor thinker from a sleeping one [alternative: Poor thinking is futile]”. I can think of many occasions where this fits!
By the way, Yamaguchi prefecture residents don’t refer to Yoshida Shoin by this name. Regardless of age and sex, they simply call him Shoin-sensei (teacher Shoin).
If you have any acquaintances from Yamaguchi prefecture, please try it out, and ask them.
“We’ve come all the way to Shoin Shrine, so I want something to remember him by.” If this is what you are thinking, we recommend the following!
It’s a Shoin Shrine limited edition Japanese style towel.
And it even has the family crest on it. It’s something you can either frame and hang on the wall, or use as you would a normal towel.
Further on, within the same grounds, there is a slightly peculiar building that is the Yoshida Shoin Historical Museum.
However, today’s article will be finishing here…
Although I wanted to introduce everything all at once, there is too much to fit into one article.
“It’s hard to tell a poor thinker from a sleeping one [alternative: Poor thinking is futile]!”
Oidemase! Come to Yamaguchi!
Address: 1537 Chinto, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Parking: Free for normal passenger cars (60 places within temple grounds, 58 places in front of shrine)
URL: http://www.shoin-jinja.jp/ (Shrine homepage in Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masashi Fujimoto
Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.
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