This museum, which stands on the grounds of Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo's Kudan district, was opened in 1882. This was built to exhibit the items related to the soldiers of the New Meiji Government who were killed in the Seinan War. This war was a large-scale civil war in 1877, fought between the New Meiji Government forces and discontented samurai forces of Satsuma domain, present Kagoshima Prefecture. Their souls have been enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine, also known as Japan's leading war shrine, since the end of the Seinan War. Later, as Japan became a world-class military power, the number of the exhibits gradually increased and the scale of this museum was expanded, but it was destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, then was rebuilt in 1932. After the Second World War, this was obliged to close temporarily, due to the economic difficulties of Yasukuni Shrine. After a series of ups and downs, the renovation of the old building and construction of a new building were completed in 2002. Admission to the first floor of the new building is free, and it houses a full-scale replica of the Zero fighter as shown in the second picture, tanks, major artillery guns and so on, which were used during the Second World War. By the way, the precincts of Yasukuni Shrine are one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo, and the countless cherry trees, most of which are the donations from the people around the war dead, bloom beautifully around this museum in spring. Japanese people have the idea of beautifying cherry blossoms, which bloom and then quickly fall, by associating them with the way of life of an ideal person. This place, where the souls of those who were killed in the wars for the country are laid to rest, is the most appropriate location for a war museum.
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