熊本県立図書館 / くまもと文学・歴史館  (愛称:温知館)

〒862-8612
熊本市中央区出水2丁目5番1号
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休館日
 火曜日 / 毎月最終金曜日
 年末年始(12月28日~1月3日)
 特別整理期間(年間14日以内)

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県立トップページ > Foreign Language> Kumamoto Museum of Literature and History 
 

Kumamoto Museum of Literature and History

―Tracing Memories of Kumamoto Through Literature and History―

 

Kumamoto is located in the center of Kyushu and has been a cornerstone of administration, transportation and economy since ancient times. Much literature has been created and inspired by not only the varied history but also the rich natural environment and climate represented by Aso and Amakusa. Both literature and history are guides to know a locality. Let's trace the memory of our hometown Kumamoto through the records transmitted thanks to the tireless efforts of our predecessors.

 
Map of Higo

Map of Higo (former name of Kumamoto) (Middle of the 17th century)

 

◆ Literatures

We introduce autographed manuscripts and mementos from 32 special Kumamoto literary figures who are the targets of the museum's exhibition and collection.

 
Koizumi Yakumo
(Lafcadio Hearn)
1850-1904Novelist, essayist, researcher on Japan
Tokutomi Soho1863-1957Journalist, historian
Natsume Soseki1867-1916Novelist, scholar of English literature
Inoue Bisho1867-1936Haiku poet
Tokutomi Roka1868-1927Novelist
Togawa Shukotsu1871-1939Writer, translator, scholar of English literature
Shibukawa Genji1872-1926Journalist, haiku poet
Shinohara Ontei1872-1926Writer, haiku poet
Matsuoka Koson1879-1904Poet, critic
Taneda Santoka1882-1940Haiku poet
So Fukan1884-1942Poet
Nagata Hideo1885-1949Playwright, poet
Miyabe Sunao1887-1926Haiku poet
Nagata Mikihiko1887-1973Novelist
Takamure Itsue1894-1964Poet, researcher of the history of women
Oyama Katsukiyo1896-1965Novelist
 
Tokunaga Sunao1899-1958Novelist
Kurahara Shinjiro1899-1965Poet
Nakamura Teijo1900-1988Haiku poet
Hirakawa Koshin1903-1969Novelist, poet
Hasuda Zenmei1904-1945Scholar of Japanese literature, poet
Koyama Kanji1904-1982Novelist
Ko Haruto1906-1988Poet, novelist
Araki Seishi1907-1981Novelist, historian
Kinoshita Junji1914-2006Playwright
Fuchigami Mosen1915-1950Poet
Yasunaga Fukiko1920-2012Poet, calligrapher
Uemura Sengyo1920-1996Haiku poet, lacquer craftsman
Takezaki Yuhi1923-1993Writer of children's literature
Tanigawa Gan1923-1995Poet, critic
Ishimure Michiko1927-2018Novelist, poet
Mitsuoka Akira1932-2004Novelist
 

Koizumi Yakumo
(Lafcadio Hearn)

 

Natsume Soseki

 

Ishimure Michiko

 

◆ History

We will sequentially display the old documents and maps in the possession of the Prefectural Library. They include the documents of Higo-no-kuni Kenchi Shocho(Kumamoto Land Survey), which is a Kumamoto Prefecture-designated important cultural property, old documents related to the Hitoyoshi domain and its lords Sagara family (Documents of the Sagara Family), Kumamoto Prefectural Kobun-ruisan (Public Documents of Kumamomto) and maps of the Kumamoto domain.


[Main collection]

 
 Higo-no-kuni Kenchi Shocho

Higo-no-kuni Kenchi Shocho
(Kumamoto Land Survey)
(※ Kumamoto-prefecture-designated important cultural property)
(1st half of the 17th century)

 

Documents of the Sagara Family
(Around the middle of the 17th century)

 

Kumamoto Prefectural Kobun-ruisan
(Public Documents of Kumamoto Prefectural Government)
(Late 19th century)

 

Maps of the Kumamoto domain
(Late 18th century)

 
※ Exhibits are sequentially changed.
 

【Floor Map】

 

Floor Map
↓To the Library
 

① Exhibition Room 1
② Exhibition Room 2
③ Exhibition Room 3
④ Lobby
⑤ Vending Machine Room
⑥ Garden of the former villa of the Hosokawa family in Sunatori

◎ Restroom
(Wheelchair-accessible)


 

【Exhibition Room】

 
Exhibition Room 1
 
①Exhibition Room 1

Exhibitions are held to introduce the collections of the museum, including old documents and drawings related to Kumamoto and the manuscripts of writers. Special exhibitions are also held here.

 
Exhibition Room 2
 
② Exhibition Room 2

The history of Kumamoto literature from the 17th century to the present is introduced, along with the historical background.

※ You may not be able to visit when a special exhibition is held.

 
Exhibition Room 3
 
③ Exhibition Room 3

You can enjoy the view of the garden of the former villa of the Hosokawa family in Sunatori from the large window. There is also a collection of videos related to the literature and history of Kumamoto that you can freely watch.

 

【Garden of the former villa of the Hosokawa family in Sunatori】

 
Garden of the former villa of the Hosokawa family in Sunatori
 

This garden, situated next to the museum, is the garden of the former villa of the Hosokawa family in Sunatori. Cool and clear underground water flowing from Aso rises to the surface here. Kenko-in (Masu), the lawful wife of the 10th lord of the Kumamoto domain Hosokawa Narimori, spent her later years here enjoying this scenery.

After the Seinan War in 1877, the villa in Sunatori changed hands, and went to the Hosokawa Naizen family. Later, from the end of the Taisho Era (around 1925) to the pre-war period (the 1930's), it was used as a restaurant called Ezu Kadan, and was very popular among writers.

 
Garden of the former villa of the Hosokawa family in Sunatori
 

The garden has a different appearance from season to season, with plum and cherry blossoms in spring, fireflies in early summer, stunning autumn leaves, and fantastic morning mist (steam) in winter. Relax and enjoy the garden that has been kept as it was when it belonged to the Hosokawa family.

 

【Nature of Suizenji / Lake Ezu】

 
Lake Ezu
 

You can see many springs near the museum. Lake Ezu, which symbolizes the blessing of the springs, is a man-made lake. Its embankment was created to surround these fresh water springs. The vast landscape of the waterfront has attracted many people.

In the Edo period, the Suizenji Jojuen Garden was constructed as a retreat for the lord. Since the Meiji era, many literary figures have also visited. Natsume Soseki (the novelist), was an English teacher at the Fifth High School (now Kumamoto University). He enjoyed the scenery while drifting down the river in a boat and wrote a number of haiku poems about it. Currently, it is a popular recreation site for Kumamoto citizens.

 

【Walking trail near the museum】

Trail. Pdf (Japanese version)

Walking trail near the museum

※ As this map was published on January 28, 2016, it may vary from current conditions.

 
 
くまもと文学歴史館ロゴ
 
 開館時間 9:30~17:15
 休館日 火曜日/毎月最終金曜日
 年末年始
 (12月28日~1月3日)
 特別整理期間
 (年間14日以内)
 入館料 無料
 

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