Tsunetami Sano was one of the "Saga no Shichi Kenjin" (seven intellects of Saga) and, from the end of the Edo Period until the Meiji Period, played a pioneering role in many fields, including politics, industry, science and art.
In particular, Sano is famous for establishing the Philanthropic Society (present day Red Cross Society of Japan) during the Seinan War, and is today referred to as the "Father of Japan's Red Cross Society".
In October of 2004, the Tsunetami Sano Memorial Museum was opened in his birthplace of Hayatsue in Kawasoe town in order to mark his accomplishments and act as a facility to study and disseminate the spirit of benevolence.
This memorial museum exhibits actual materials such as historical materials and personal effects, as well as features a 3D model of Sana Domain's Mietsu Navy School, a timeline, an image hall utilizing multivision technology and more to introduce Tsunetami's accomplishments in an easy-to-follow and impressive way. The memorial museum also functions as a facility to experience and learn about the spirit of benevolence through next-generation education, life-long learning, community interaction, volunteer activity and more.
The adjacent site where Mietsu Navy School once stood has been converted into a historic park (completed in 2005) and can be utilized in a variety of ways together with the memorial museum as Sano Memorial Park.
Mietsu Navy School began as Saga Domain's Ofunate Keikosho (navy school) which was established in 1858 and consisted of a training ground, ship-building facility and so on. It was also the place where Japan's first practical steamboat, Ryofumaru, was built in 1865. On this site, a wooden river wall structure was found in an excavational investigation and further analysis confirmed that it was Japan's oldest dock which remains in existence today. This is a precious relic which demonstrates the modernization of ship-building and is one of the components of the Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi, which are aiming for inscription as a world heritage.
Train and Bus: 30-minute ride on Saga City Bus of the Hayatsue Line from JR Saga Station, get off at “Miesumi” stop, and walk for 6 minutes.
30-minute bus ride on Nanchiku Kotsu Okishin Line from Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station, get off at the final stop “Hayatsue”, and walk for 6 minutes
Car: 40-minute drive from Nagasaki Expressway Saga-Yamato IC or 10-minute drive from Saga Airport
● Opening Hours: 9:00 - 20:00 *The Exhibition Room opens between 9:00 and 17:00. The Meeting Room and Multi-purpose Room are available until 22:00 only on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
● Closed: Mondays (or the following day if a Monday falls on a public holiday), December 29 - January 3 and other temporarily closed days
● Admission Fees: 300 yen for adult (at 18 or older), 100 yen for child (elementary school, junior-high and high school student). Group of 20 or more: 240 yen for adult (at 18 or older), 80 yen for child (elementary school, junior-high or high school student)
● Contact: TSUNETAMI SANO Memorial Museum, Tel: +81-952-34-9455
● Website: http://www.saganet.ne.jp/tunetami/