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Kangi-en in Oita Prefecture was one of the leading private schools in Japan.

Japan’s higher education flourished at the schools established by the Tokugawa shogunate and many feudal clans across the country in the Edo period (the 17th- 19th century).  But their academic contents were centered on Confucianism originated in China.  In the second half of the Edo period, the natural sciences such as medical science, physics and chemistry were introduced into Japan from the Netherlands and they were taught mainly at the private schools run by the local educators as well as enlighteners in the country.  Kangi-en is one of them together with Teki-juku in Osaka and Keio-gijuku in Tokyo.  This school was established by Hirose Tanso, a leading Confucianist, in the heart of present-day Hita City, Oita Prefecture, in 1817.  And it had dedicated itself to the raising of Japan’s leading figures of the next generation.  All the students from all over the country lived in the same dormitory, and the number of the graduates had reached 4,800 in 80 years.  Takano Choei, a famous medical scientist, and Omura Masujiro, the founder of Japan’s modern army, are well-known graduates of the school.  Most buildings of the school are gone though, just one building remains intact as shown in the photo.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。




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