Travel Guide of Kagoshima Japan

Former Kagoshima Foreigner Engineer’s Residence – Starting Point of Japan’s Industrial Revolution –

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The residence is the important world cultural heritage near Sengan-en Park. The residence was used by English engineers who taught Satsuma Domain (current Kagoshima Prefecture) about techniques of spinning mills at the early Meiji Period. The design appearance is Western but somehow includes traditional Japanese atmosphere. Replicas of furniture used by English engineers and history of Japan’s modernization. I recommend you to visit this residence when you came to Sengan-en Park.

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Foreigner Engineer’s Residence

In 1863, sea battle took place between Satsuma Domain and England at Kagoshima Bay. The battle burnt Kagoshima City and Satsuma Domain recognized the enormous military power of Western countries. At that time, Western countries such as England had colonized several Asian countries. In order to prevent the colonization of Japan, Satsuma thought that it was imperative to improve military power and other industries at the same time.

Former Kagoshima Foreigner Engineer's Residence

After Shimadzu Nariakira passed away, Shimadzu Tadayoshi succeeded the leader of Satsuma Domain and decided to build spinning mill at Kagoshima City. After improving relationship with England, Tadayoshi dispatched Godai Tomoatsu and some students to England in 1865. Godai Tomoatsu bought steam machines and spinning machines at England and invited 7 English engineers to Japan.

This residence was used as the hotels for those English engineers. It was 1867 just 2 years after the war between England and Satsuma took place. I think that those English engineers were worried about getting attacked by local people of Satsuma. Even after the spinning mill started operation, it is said that special guards were always around engineers even when they were in toilets.

The spinning mill had been beside the residence (the mill has no longer existed). Former Kagoshima Foreigner Engineer's Residence

Thanks to those 7 English engineers it became possible for Satsuma to produce large amount of woven fabric of high quality. 

This technique spreads from Satsuma to all parts of Japan. In other words, the residence was the starting point of industrial revolution of Japan.

 

Former Kagoshima Foreigner Engineer's Residence

Following picture is the scenery of Mt. Sakurajima from the residence. I wonder what English engineers were thinking about in this scenery, far away from their homelands. 

Former Kagoshima Foreigner Engineer's Residence

The residence was designed by English architects and built by the carpenters of Satsuma. The traditional Japanese architecture techniques were used in building the residence and it has the atmosphere of Japanese building.

At the Seinan Rebellion War in 1877, the residence was used as the temporary hospital for those who were injured in the battle. The residence was also used as the hotel for American soldiers when Japan was defeated at the 2nd world war.

 

You can see the life of English architects.

Following picture is the dining table.

dining table of ijinkan

 

Following picture is the study room of English architects.

 study room of English architects

 

Hallway of 2nd floor.

Hallway of 2nd floor of ijinkan

 

Following picture is the bed of English architects.

 

Hallway of ijinkan

 

 

Information of Residence

Access

30 minutes from Kagoshima Chuo Station by Kagoshima City View Bus. Free parking lot is available for 6 cars.

Open Hour

8:30-17:30(no holiday throughout the year)

Fee

Adult 200 yen, Under Junior High School Student 100 yen

Required Time for Sightseeing

About 0.5 – 1.0 hour

Address

9685-15 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima City

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Travel Spots near Residence

Senganen Park

Tsurugane Shrine

Iso Swimming Beach

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About Kagoshima Travel Guide

I am Sho, born and bred in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Kagoshima is the wonderful place to enjoy great scenery, delicious food and warm-hearted people. I would be happy if you get interested in Kagoshima through this blog. Please send me e-mail if you have any questions about Kagoshima Trip.

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We take the videof Mt. Sakurajima every day. Please watch and enjoy!
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