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Guide to Kochi Prefectural Museum Of History

Guide to Kochi Prefectural Museum Of History

Japan is made up four main islands(Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Hokkaido)together with more than 4,000 smaller islands.
Kochi occupies the southern half of Shikoku and extends in an arc from the east to the west, facing the Pacific with the Shikoku Mountains behind.
The prefecture used to be called Tosa from the Ancient Times[Nara-Heian Period]to the Earlier Modern Times [Edo period].
The museum has been open to the public since May 1991 for the purpose of the study, collection, display, and preservation of the historical, archaeological and folk objects. The museum is located in the center of Kochi, where remain the ruins of the castle[Oko Castle]built by the warlord Chosogabe(during the sengoku jidai). The ruins of 0ko Castle now serve as 0koyama Historic Park. Within the park, there are the restored ruins of the castle and a private mountain - village house.
The museum is a three-storied building.
There is a general display room on the third floor, a display room for folk objects and an audio - visual hall on the second floor, and on the first floor, a room for planned exhibitions and a room for study by experiencing.

Kochi Prefectural Museum
Kochi Prefectural Museum
Kochi Prefectural Museum


General Display Room

The historical objects related to Kochi Prefecture from the Old Stone age to the Present day are on display.

General Display Room


Primitive Times - Ancient Times

The objects are shown, dating back to approx. 20,000 years and to the 12 th century. They are divided into five subdivisions.
In the center of this section are shown the ruins of the rice paddies during the Yayoi period, excavated at the site of Tamura Iseki-gun (or ruins) in Nankoku City.
The oldest historical materials related to Kochi Prefec-ture date from more than 20,000 years of the Old Stone age.
Pottery began to be used in the Jomon period (12,000 B.C.~4th century B.C.). The art of rice cultivation was introduced from China during the Yayoi period(4th century B.C.~3rd century A.D.).
The Yayoi people changed their hunting and gathering life style to that of irrigated rice cultivation. At Nanko-ku Tamura Iseki-gun, the ruins of the paddy fields and communities were excavated, which belonged to the beginning of the first half of the Yayoi period.
The Yayoi inhabitants first lived in a small village (mura), and gradually such small villages were combined into a small province (kuni) in various parts of Japan. The fourth century brought the power of the early Yamato state in the Kinki district to its peak. The spacious mounds(kofun) of the rulers indicate the degree of their power. In the southwestern and in the central parts of Kochi, the similar mounds for the powerful clans have been found. The practice of build-ing the mounds of this kind lasted from 4th century A.D. to 7th century A.D. These years are called the Kofun (or old mounds) period from the archaeological point of view.
In the latter half of the 7th century, a centralized impe-rial state was formed based upon the Yamato govern-ment. Kochi prefecture was called Tosa koku (Tosa Province), and the government office (called kokuga) ruling the province was set up where Nankoku City is.
Kino Tsurayuki, who was the author of Tosa Nikki (The Tosa Diary) ,was governor of the province.
Buddhist temples were established throughout Japan during Nara period. State-established provincial temples (Kokubunji) were built in each province, and in Tosa also, Tosa kokubunji was built. There were sev-eral such temples built.

Bronze Age sword

Bronze Age sword
(Yayoi period)



Middle Ages

In this section, the objects ( divided into three subsec - tions ) are displayed, extending from the 12th to the 16th century. In the center of this section, a village model of the Middle ages is shown.
In the latter half of the 7th century,the whole land of Japan belonged to the emperor. Gradually, the private owning of land was granted, and the powerful local rulers added to their land. They had to arm themselves to protect their land from other rulers and bandits, etc.
They came to be called bushi(warriors). The 12th century saw the creation of the Kamakura bakufu( government ) by the bushi, followed by the Muromachi bakufu in the 14th century. In the 15th century, however, the power of the bakufu began to decline and this brought about the beginning of the period known as Sengoku (the Warring States). The more powerful families defeated the less powerful and the former increased their strength.
In Tosa, there were fights among several powers. In 1575, Chosogabe Motochika, who constructed Oko Castle, established peace in Tosa. His influence once spread over the whole of Shikoku, but later he was defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi forces.

A village model of the Middle ages

A village model of the Middle ages

Chosogabe Moto-chika

Chosogabe Moto-chika



Earlier Modern Times

In this section, the objects from 1600 to 1867 are on display. They are divided into three subsections.
In 1603, after having defeated the Toyotomi party, the Tokugawa established the bakuhan system and it lasted for over two hundred and fifty years, until 1868. This period is called the Edo period. Tosa was called Tosa han(daimyo domains), and Yamauchi, daimyo, was the regional administrator of Tosa. For most of this long period, Japan lived at peace both with the outside world and within her own frontiers, permitting Japan to develop both culturally and industrially. In the 17th century, in Tosa, Nonaka Kenzan, chief executive, exert-ed himself to cultivate new farm land and to promote the development of industry.
Throughout this age, Japan adopted the sakoku or 'closed country' policy, and external contacts were reduced to the absolute minimum. All foreign trade was conducted only by the Hollanders, the Chinese, and the Koreans at Nagasaki, on a much reduced scale.
Towards the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, however, other foreign powers were threatening Japan to give up the sakoku and to open up its market. In those days, there were strong anti-bakufu sentiments and a strong desire of the restoration of the administrative authority to the Imperial Court throughout Japan. There were several opinions conflicting:Kaikoku(opening the country to foreign commerce ) or joi (expel the barbar - ian); pro-bakufu or pro-emperor.
This is also the case with Tosa han.
Yamauchi Yodo, lord of Tosa han, advocated of the coalition of the Imperial Court and the Bakufu. Takechi Zuizan was anti-foreign and pro-emperor.
Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro were promoting the movement of the abolition of the shogunate. In 1867, the Shogun's political authority was returned to the emperor, and after the Boshin war, the Edo period came to an end.

The alphabet

The alphabet(Edo period)



Modern Times Present Day

In this section, the objects from 1600 to 1867 are on display. They are divided into three subsections.
In 1603, after having defeated the Toyotomi party, the Tokugawa established the bakuhan system and it lasted for over two hundred and fifty years, until 1868. This period is called the Edo period. Tosa was called Tosa han(daimyo domains), and Yamauchi, daimyo, was the regional administrator of Tosa. For most of this long period, Japan lived at peace both with the outside world and within her own frontiers, permitting Japan to develop both culturally and industrially. In the 17th century, in Tosa, Nonaka Kenzan, chief executive, exert-ed himself to cultivate new farm land and to promote the development of industry.
Throughout this age, Japan adopted the sakoku or 'closed country' policy, and external contacts were reduced to the absolute minimum. All foreign trade was conducted only by the Hollanders, the Chinese, and the Koreans at Nagasaki, on a much reduced scale.
Towards the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, however, other foreign powers were threatening Japan to give up the sakoku and to open up its market. In those days, there were strong anti-bakufu sentiments and a strong desire of the restoration of the administrative authority to the Imperial Court throughout Japan. There were several opinions conflicting:Kaikoku( opening the country to foreign commerce ) or joi ( expel the barbar - ian ); pro-bakufu or pro-emperor.
This is also the case with Tosa han.
Yamauchi Yodo, lord of Tosa han, advocated of the coalition of the Imperial Court and the Bakufu. Takechi Zuizan was anti-foreign and pro-emperor.
Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro were promoting the movement of the abolition of the shogunate. In 1867, the Shogun's political authority was returned to the emperor, and after the Boshin war, the Edo period came to an end.

Tram Route Map

Tram Route Map(Meiji period)



Display Room for Folklore

Traditional life styles of Kochi are shown in four sec-tions: "Marine Folk Life","Mountain Folk Life","Plain Folk Life", and "Forging".
The section of "Marine Folk Life"displays the way of bonito fishing and collecting coral; in the section of "Mountain Folk Life", the way of forestry and agricul-ture by means of clearing land by burning is on display.
The way of agriculture based mainly on rice crops is shown in the section of "Plain Folk Life". In each section the way of life and the style of religion are shown. "Forging" section displays the art of a black-smith having produced iron wares indispensable to the life of the sea, mountains, and plains.

"Mountain Folk Life" section

"Mountain Folk Life" section

"Marine Folk Life" section

"Marine Folk Life" section

"Forging" section

"Forging" section



INFORMATION
INFORMATION
Museum Hours
Open Everyday / 9:00am - 5:00pm
Closed
December 27 -January 1
(the museum is also subject to temporary closure on special occasions)
General Admission
Adults / 450 yen
Children under eighteen / free
(special exhibitions have an additional charge)


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