Japan’s Only Museum of History Specializing in the End of the Shogunate
The visit of Perry’s “Black Ships” to Japan marked the beginning of a fierce dispute in Japan over whether to continue to embrace the country’s traditional feudal society or to embrace reform and turn toward a new era. Are you familiar with the mighty historical figures who lived in these tumultuous times and whose activities created the foundations of modern Japan? The Ryozen Museum of History features a collection of relics and letters of the people who gave their bodies and hearts to Japan during this period. Even further east from the Yasaka Tower, the Ryozen Museum of History is located across from the Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine where notable samurai at the time are enshrined. About 100 items, selected from 5000 material and exhibits, are on display.
This is the only museum specializing in the time between the end of Edo period and Meiji period. The museum’s most unique point is that you can find materials from both the left and right wing parties. The right wing tried to preserve existing Shogunate, and the left wing schemed against them. Kyoto was Japan’s political center then, this is why Ryozan Museum of History can give you bilateral viewpoints, which is something you cannot feel anywhere else. There are not only letters and pictures but also clothes seemed to be worn by samurai. You can wear the jacket of the right wing Shinsengumi and take a picture. The samurai in the photo is a cutout recreated to be life sized. If you are interested in Japanese history, it is highly recommended.