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What's up around the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Visits Yamaguchi Prefecture

Friday, August 4 to Saturday, August 5, 2006

Photograph of Prime Minister observing Kouzan-ji Temple in Shimonoseki City Photograph of Prime Minister observing the landscape from the Karst Observation Tower of Akiyoshidai Photograph of Prime Minister observing Hagi Hakubutsukan
Photograph of Prime Minister observing Shoka Sonjuku (in Shoinjinja Shrine) Photograph of Prime Minister observing the birthplace of Yoshida Shoin Photograph of Prime Minister observing Rurikouji Temple in Yamaguchi City

Click photographs to enlarge

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a two-day trip to Yamaguchi Prefecture from August 4 to August 5.

After arriving in Shimonoseki City on the afternoon of August 4, Prime Minister Koizumi visited Tougyouan where Takasugi Shinsaku, a samurai of the Choshu domain who played an active role in the movement to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate in its last days, is buried. Prime Minister Koizumi also observed Kouzan-ji Temple, where Takasugi Shinsaku raised a militia to overthrow the Shogunate.

On August 5, Prime Minister Koizumi visited Akiyoshidai, Japan's largest limestone plateau known for its unique karst landforms. Prime Minister Koizumi thereafter stepped inside one of the largest limestone caves in Asia, Akiyoshidou, which lies beneath Akiyoshidai, to observe the stalactites which have formed over a long span of time.

In the afternoon, Prime Minister Koizumi visited Hagi Hakubutsukan, a museum in Hagi City which exhibits items associated with Yoshida Shoin, a native of Hagi who played an active role in the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Thereafter Prime Minister Koizumi toured the city, observing the birth house of Takasugi Shinsaku and Shoka Sonjuku (in Shoinjinja Shrine), a private school where Yoshida Shoin gave lectures. Shoka Sonjuku produced many leading players from the last years of the Tokugawa Shogunate through the Meiji Restoration, such as Ito Hirobumi.

Subsequently, Prime Minister Koizumi visited the birthplace of Yoshida Shoin, located on a hill that overlooks the entire Hagi City. Prime Minister Koizumi then went to Yamaguchi City to observe sites including Joei-ji Temple famous for the garden designed by Sesshu, a master of ink painting, and the five-storied pagoda of Rurikou-ji Temple.

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