Former Residence of Shigenobu Okuma / Okuma Memorial Museum

Former Residence of Shigenobu Okuma / Okuma Memorial Museum

Former Residence of Shigenobu Okuma / Okuma Memorial Museum Shigenobu Okuma, twice prime minister of Japan and founder of Waseda University, was born in Saga. At Kaishokoji in Saga city (modern day Mizugae), where Shigenobu spent his childhood, there is a cluster of grand residences once lived in by the retainers of the Saga Domain, and rows of storehouses and wholesalers along the river. Kaishokoji gets its name from the fact that public officials and merchants used the alleyway (koji) as a meeting place (kaisho). In a corner of this area is the samurai-style home where Shigenobu was born. There are only a small number of samurai residences built in the Tenpo Period (1830-1844) which remain standing today, and these old residences are a category of Japan's historic sites. The building is two-stories high with a thatched room and surface area of around 100 m2. The first floor has a zashiki, living room and entrance in an open-plan configuration. The roughly 9 m2 room on the second floor was Shigenobu's study room. At the time, Shigenobu was attending Saga Domain's academy, Kodokan, and mainly studied the philosophy of Cheng-Zhu, however he began to gradually resist the conservative spirit of the academy and requested permission to leave. He used this as an opportunity to begin studying rangaku, and moved by this Naomasa Nabeshima, Saga Domain's lord, allowed him to complete study in Nagasaki, proactively incorporating Western Europe culture by opening an English cram school, etc. After the Meiji Restoration, Shigenobu displayed his skills as a politician and built the foundation for modern Japan. The Okuma Memorial Museum adjacent to the former family home exhibits precious mementos and materials, as well as teaches visitors about Shigenobu's footsteps. There is also a Chinese black pine tree in the grounds of Kodenji Temple in Saga city named after Shigenobu's childhood name of "Hachitaro".


● Access:
From train station: 30-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride from Saga Station on the JR Nagasaki Main Line
Car: 20-minute drive from Nagasaki Expressway Saga-Yamato IC
Bus: Get on Saga City Bus bound for Hayatsue at Saga Station Bus Center, get off at Okuma Kinenkan Iriguchi stop, and walk for 3 minutes

● Entry Fees to the Museum: 300 yen for adult, 150 yen for child; Group (20 or more) discount: 200 yen for adult, 100 yen for child

● Opening Hours 9:00~17:00

● Closed: December 29 - January 3

● Parking Lot: Accommodates 38 cars (free of charge)

● Contact: Okuma Memorial Museum, Tel: +81-952-23-2891

Okuma Memorial Museum official website:


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