Kodokan - Kairakuen and Kodokan

Kairakuen and Kodokan
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Panoramic view of the Kodokan

Panoramic view of the Kodokan (taken in 1875)
This picture is one of the oldest pictures within the collection of photography we have today.

The Kodokan, which opened in August 1841, served as the Mito clan's school for the feudal domains. Feudal warriors and their children attended the Kodokan, where the admission age was 15 and there was no graduation or completion age.

Both traditional academics and military art were emphasized at the school, which also had one of the nation's best premises. Similar to modern university, the Kodokan had academic halls like Seicho and the Nobility hall where students learned traditional subjects, an artistic wing for learning military arts, as well as medicine, astronomical observatory, racecourses for horseback riding, and an area for military training. The section where the Eight trigrams hall, Kashima shrine, and Confucian temple were built was considered sacred grounds. At the academic halls, students learned subjects like Confucianism, history, astronomy, mathematics, and music. Subjects like fencing, spearing, military strategy, and equestrian skills were taught in the artistic wing of the school.

In 1872, with the promulgation of the school system, the Kodokan was closed. Afterwards, it was used as a prefectural government office or temporary school building. The main gate survived numerous wars, and in 1964 the Seicho and the Nobility hall were declared historic national cultural property. The ancient structures can still be enjoyed today.

A complete map of the Kodokan


The surface area at the time of establishment 17.8ha
The Kodokan's surface area today (the park) 3.2ha

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