Monday, September 22, 2008

Yushima Seido

Seidō, located in the Yushima neighbourhood of , Tokyo, Japan, was constructed as a Confucian temple in the Genroku era of the Edo period .

Tokugawa bureaucrat training center

The Yushima Seidō has its origins in a private Confucian temple, the Sensei-den , constructed in 1630 by the neo-Confucian scholar Hayashi Razan in his grounds at Shinobi-ga-oka . The fifth shogun, Tsunayoshi, moved the building to its present site in 1690, where it became the Taiseiden of Yushima Seidō. The Hayashi school of Confucianism moved at the same time.

Under the Kansei Edict, which made neo-Confucianism the official philosophy of Japan, the Hayashi school was transformed into a state-run school under the control of the shogunate in 1797. The school was known as the Shōhei-zaka Gakumonsho or Shōheikō, after Confucius’s birthplace at Changping ==. During the time of the Tokugawa shogunate, the school attracted many men of talent, but it was closed in 1871 after the Meiji Restoration.

Yushima Seidō's hereditary rectors

* 1st: Hayashi Razan .
* 2nd: Hayashi Gahō .
* 3rd: Hayashi Hōkō .
* 4th: Hayashi Ryūkō .
* 5th: Hayashi Hōkoku .
* 6th: Hayashi Hōtan .
* 7th: Hayashi Kimpō .
* 8th: Hayashi Jussai ..
* 9th: Hayashi Teiu .
* 10th: Hayashi Sōkan .
* 11th: Hayashi Fukusai .
* 12th: Hayashi Gakusai .

Institutional history after 1871

Since the Meiji restoration, Yushima Seidō has temporarily shared its premises with a number of different institutions, including the , the Tokyo National Museum, and the forerunners of today’s Tsukuba University and Ochanomizu University .

The site of the school is now occupied by Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

The colour scheme of the original Taiseiden is believed to have been one of vermilion paint with verdigris. After being burnt down on a number of occasions, the Taiseiden was rebuilt in 1799 in the style of the Confucian temple in , which used black paint. This building survived through the Meiji period and was designated a national historical site in 1922, but was burnt down in the Great Kanto Earthquake of the following year. The current Taiseiden is in reinforced concrete and was designed by Itō Chūta.

Inside the compound is the world’s largest statue of Confucius, donated in 1975 by the Lions Club of Taipei . There are also statues of the Four Sages, Yan Hui, Zengzi, , and Mencius.

In the 1970s, the Taiseiden was used as the location for scenes in NTV’s television series.

Along with the nearby Yushima Tenmangū, the Yushima Seidō is a mecca for students praying for success in their examinations.


Ochanomizu Station and Shin-Ochanomizu Station are nearby.

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