In the late 19th century Japan faced pressure from the outside world to open its borders, shaking the feudal society of the Edo period to its core. In response to this pressure Shimadzu Nariakira, lord of Satsuma, started a series of projects to bring modern industrial technology to Japan. Collectively known as the Shuseikan, these modernisation initiatives began with the construction of a Reverberatory Furnace to produce iron cannon next to Nariakira’s residence at Sengan-en.
Find out why Kagoshima was among the first regions of Japan to modernise and the reason why Nariakira chose to build a factory complex next to Sengan-en at the Kagoshima World Heritage Orientation Centre. Learn how the Satsuma samurai modified designs from a Dutch textbook to successfully reproduce complex industrial technology without outside help.