Regarding the private school Shoka-Sonjuku: The name of the private school
shoka-Sonjuku (education nursery of Master Shoin) has its origin in the private
elementary school, opened by his uncle TAMAKI Bun-noshin under the name of
"Shoka-Sonjuku" in the 13th year of the Tempo era(1842).
While uncle TAMAKI
was away on official trip, KUBO Gorozaemon took over and continued as Principal
of the School up to the 4th year of the Ansei era(1857).After, Master Shoin took
over his post until his imprisonment. This School was continued by the hands of
uncle TAMAKI and brother SUGI Umetaro and it ended in the 25th year of the Meiji
era(1892).(TAMAKI's death in 1876)
Master Shoin educated pupils at the
family house of SUGI(his patental home) for about half a year when he was
twenty-three years old in the 5th year of the Kaei era, and in the Ansei era
pursued his work of education from the 2nd year(1855) up to November in the 4th
year(1857) ---In 1855 Master Shoin, twenty---six years old ,was released from
prison in the winter after being in strict confinement due to his attempt at
boarding a U.S. warship.
On the 5th of November in 1857 the eight-mat size
private school house was completed. Since that date Master Shoin dwelt there and
gave pupils guidance and a practical education. Later a ten-and-a-half-mat room
was added to the house in March in the 5th year of the Ansei era(1858) because
the pupils outgrew the eight-mat room.
At the age of twenty-nine Master
Shoin was authorized to instruct kagaku(the Yamaga school of military arts)by
the feudal lord on July 20th in the 5th year of Ansei, and in December he was
implicated in the " Mass Execution of the Ansei Era", consequently being thrown
into prison. Theae five months from July up to December were the essential
period that Master Shoin received public recongnition both in name and
It seems the total period that Master Shoin actually conducted
education was about two and a half years.
The disciples who received
instruction at the Shoka-Sonjuku reached over eighty in number including KUSAKA
Genzui, TAKASUGI Shinsaku, KIDO Takayoshi, YAMAGATA Aritomo, SHINAGAWA Yajiro,
ITO Hirobumi and others who were the driving force of modern Japan through the
The Shoka-Sonjuku is especially well known for having turned out many such
dominant figures. The structure in this Shrine is designed after the model
of the Shoka-Sonjuku preserved as historic remains in the compound of the
Shoin-Jinja at Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
(Available on weekends and holidays only seen inj