＜Event＞ “Kōchi: Land of Spirit”. Historical sight-seeing exposition 150 years since the Meiji Restoration.
Many of the leading samurai political reformers instrumental in the Meiji Restoration, such as ‘Japan’s favourite hero’, Sakamoto Ryōma, came from Kōchi Prefecture in Shikoku. Now, a hundred and fifty years since the Meiji Restoration and the modernization of the Japanese state, this sightseeing exposition in Kōchi features the achievements and historical sites connected to prominent samurai figures from the turbulent bakumatsu (end of the shogunate) period. This is the second part of a two-year commemorative exposition and runs until the end of January 2019.
Period：21 April 2018 ～ 31 January 2019
Venue：25 locations and cultural facilities within Kōchi Prefecture, including the Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum
Features：Artifacts and documents relating to the Kōchi samurai political reformers of the brief but turbulent period that spans the end the feudal era into the Meiji Era, as well as tourism-related events.
The much-anticipated reopening of the Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum and its new wing.
One of the centrepieces in the exposition is the newly reopened Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum, which hosted more than 1,300 visitors on its first day open.
The new wing contains valuable documents dating from the time of Ryōma’s birth through the Satsuma-Chōshū Alliance and the restoration of imperial rule. Additional space and the introduction of the latest display facilities mean that more valuable artifacts than ever before can be displayed.
Exhibits in the main wing focus on Ryōma’s life and untimely death, and include around 130 photo panels of important people associated with him. A reconstruction of the Ōmiya Inn in Kyōto, where Ryōma was assassinated, recreate the atmosphere of those times.
Newly discovered letter from Takayoshi Kido to Ryōma on display for the first time.
A recently discovered letter to Ryōma written in 1867 by prominent Meiji Restoration statesman, Takayoshi Kido, is on display at the Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum for the first time. In it Kido uses the code words, ‘the big stage’ (from noh theatre), to refer to the overthrow of the shogunate, and ‘kyogen’ (noh farce), to refer to the restoration of imperial rule. The letter warns of anticipated armed conflict, and urges Ryōma to liaise with Taisuke Itagaki of the Tosa Domain and Saigō Takamori of the Satsuma Domain, two of what would later become known as the ‘three great nobles of the Restoration’. While many items of correspondence written in Ryōma’s hand have been discovered, very few items have been found that are addressed to Ryōma. This letter from Kido is one of only seven letters to Ryōma that have been found, and is considered to be an extremely valuable document from the final months of Japan’s feudal period.