Kumamoto University History Tour MapMany historical monuments represented in the Memorial Museum of the Fifth High school still remain on Kumamoto University Campus. We hope you enjoy this tour of our history as you are surrounded by nature in this calm and comfortable atmosphere.
(*Some buildings will be open to the public from April 2022. For more information, please contact the office listed on the map below.)
( [For printing] Kumamoto University History Tour Map Front Side Back side )
Omotemon of Goko (The Fifth High School), commonly known as Akamon (The Red Gate), was built at the same time as the Goko Main Building. The gate, comprising main pillars and wing walls of brick and natural stone, stands majestically facing the old Bungo Road (currently prefectural route 337). It has never had doors, and used to open up to a farm, Natsume Soseki wrote about it in a haiku: “Entering the dignified gate, buckwheat flowers came into view.”
2. Nakamon (The Inner Gate)
At the end of the sine wave-like path from Akamon, this gate stands in front of the Main Building, facing circular shrubbery of sago palms. There used to be a guard station on the left side in the days of Goko. Its elegant iron doors were removed for obligatory metal collection during the Pacific War, and now only its posts remain. The gate lamps and white fences were restored in commemoration of Goko’s centennial anniversary.
3. The Memorial Museum of the Fifth High School (former Goko Main Building)
– A Designated Important Cultural Property (1969)
The construction of the building for Goko lecture rooms started in February 1888 and was completed in August 1889. The brick-and-mortar masonry construction has Western-style decorations on its eaves and in the interior. Building construction was initiated by the national government, and engineers from the Ministry of Education, Yamaguchi Hanroku and Kuru Masamichi, supervised its design and construction. It is one of the oldest existing former high school buildings in Japan.
4. Monument of Arboretum
This monument was erected to commemorate the donation of some 150 medicinal plant species to Goko by Banjien, the herb garden of the Hosokawa clan, when the garden closed in 1890. The herbs were subsequently transplanted to the herb garden of the School of Pharmacy (currently the Medicinal Plant Garden of the Global Center for Natural Resources Sciences) after Goko closed.
5. Statue of Ryunan Kenji
A Goko student wearing a cloak and wooden clogs turns his beaming face to the distant sky. The pedestal is engraved with the phrase “Gokibokutotsu,” which represents the spirit of Goko to be dauntless and modest. This statue was erected in 1997 by the alumni association in Tokyo to commemorate Goko’s 110th anniversary.
6. Goko Dormitory Song “Bufugentou” Monument (Inscription)
“Bufugentou” is the most famous among the numerous dormitory songs of Goko, and has been continuously sung over the generations since 1905. An excerpt of the first verse is inscribed on the front, and on the back is a sculpture of Goko students dancing joyously in front of the Goko banner. This monument was erected in 1987 by the alumni association in commemoration of Goko’s centennial anniversary.
7. Monument of Kano Jigoro
This monument is inscribed with the calligraphy of the third principal, Kano Jigoro, with his original calligraphy on display in the Goko Memorial Museum. His writing Jundoseisho, translated as “Accordance with the way we overcome winning and do no harm to others in conduct,” represents the quintessence of Kodokan Judo, which he himself founded. This monument was erected to commemorate Goko’s 77th anniversary in 1965 by the alumni association.
8. Relief of Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo)
This monument is engraved with the closing remarks of Lafcadio Hearn’s speech entitled “The Future of the Far East,” which he presented in English on January 27th, 1894. The monument was erected to commemorate Goko’s 75th anniversary in 1962 by the alumni association. The relief was created by Ishihara Shouichi, sculptor and professor emeritus of Kumamoto University (Faculty of Education), and was set up by his supporters in 2004 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Hearn’s death.