Thursday, April 4, 2024

Ryoma Sakamoto Memorial Museum in Kochi


Ryoma Sakamoto is one of the most popular figures in the creation of modern Japan in the so-called Meiji Restoration that ended the rule of the Shogun and restored Imperial rule in 1868.

He was a low-ranking samurai born in what is now Kochi, west of Kochi Castle. A small museum dedicated to him now stands at his birthplace, but the biggest one is located south of Kochi City overlooking Katsurahama Beach.

He was assassinated in Kyoto in 1867 by pro-shogunate elements, possibly connected to the famed shinsengumi.

It is said that Katsurahama Beach was a favorite spot of Sakamoto's, and a big statue of him was  erected there  in 1939.

Not far away, in 1991, a striking museum was opened dedicated to Ryoma.

While personally not having much interest in Ryoma Sakamoto, I was intrigued by the architecture. Designed by Hiroshi and Akiko Takahashi, and was their first project together.

I took these photos in late November, 2011, on the 17th day of my walk around the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage. The previous post in the series was from the evening before in Kochi City at Yosakoi Inari Shrine. The closest pilgrimage temple is Sekkeiji.


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