Eight hundred years of tradition and culture, and the birthplace of modern Japan
Follow the course of the Shimadzu family over 800 years, and see how the international relations they forged led to the development of industrial modernisation in Kagoshima, Kyushu, and across Japan.
Learn how the Shimadzu family defied the Shogunate and developed trade during Japan’s period of seclusion from the outside world, and see how these connections were used to acquire the knowledge and technology needed to kick-start the only industrial revolution to occur outside Europe.
The Shoko Shuseikan Museum is housed in the oldest stone factory building in Japan, built in 1865.
World Heritage Site
Japan was the only country in Asia able to replicate the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. Concerned by the encroachment of Western powers into Asia, the influential lord Shimadzu Nariakira began a modernisation project, called the Shuseikan, next to Sengan-en. This was the first modern factory complex in Japan, and led to the wider development of industrialisation across the country. Sengan-en and the Shoko Shuseikan Museum were inscribed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2015.
Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks
Watch master craftsmen blow and cut Satsuma Kiriko crystal glass right before your eyes, then marvel at the pinnacle of Kagoshima’s traditional craftsmanship at the gallery shop next door. See each stage of the production of this unique traditional craft product, and be amazed at the skill and concentration of the craftsmen who make it.