Yushima Seido is a lushly green historic landmark locates near Ochanomizu station. Although it is called “Seido (temple)”, it is not a shrine or temple but Confucius Mausoleum. Confucius is the founder of Confucianism. And this is known as a birthplace of the modern education. This Mausoleum is originally located at Hayashi Razan’s house in Ueno (Shinobugaoka) but the 5th Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi moved it to the present place in 1690 for promoting Confucianism. In 1797, the shogunate started to run Shoheizaka Gakumonjo (Shoheizaka school) in this place.
After the Meiji Restoration, the new government installed college and the Ministry of Education. Yushima Seido was designated to national historic landmark in 1922. The Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed most of the architecture except Nyutokumon and Mizuya (washstand). In the Showa period, it was rebuilt by an architect Ito Chuta who planed Tsukiji Hongwanji. Charitable organization Having led the reconstruction, Shibunkai manages and preserves this place today.
One of the highlights is the wooden structured Nyutokumon which has kept its look since the Edo period. Another is Taiseiden which stores Confucius statue and large Pistacia chinensis which “print style” is originated from. There is a strange creature similar to cat is placed on the roof of Taiseiden. That is a Chinese imaginary sacred beast Kiryushi and sacred fish Kiginto looks like Shachihoko, is placed to face each other. They are showing taste of Ito Chuta who loved Yokai (monster).
Confucius Festival is held on the 4th Sunday of April, and other traditional events, Acupuncture and Moxibustion Festival and Early Confucianists’ Festival are held. Also, anyone can attend them. Other than those festivals, many cultural classes are open to public, for example, Analects、Classical Chinese Poetry, Calligraphy and Tai Chi. Please try the Oriental cultural traditions and study at this place.
Oct 2017 Text: Ryoko Kuraishi Photo: Yasuo Yamaguchi
Open: 9:30 – 17:00 (October to March, close at 16:00) Taiseiden open time: weekends and national holidays from 10:00 to closing time of the gate Close: August 13th – 17th, December 29th – 31st Free entrance