Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo
type= Military and war museum
website= [http://www.yasukuni.jp/~yusyukan/ www.yasukuni.jp/~yusyukan]
The nihongo|Yūshūkan|遊就館 is a
Japanese military and war museumlocated within Yasukuni Shrinein Chiyoda, Tokyo. As a museum maintained by the shrine, which is dedicated to the souls of soldiers who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, [cite web|url=http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/about/index.html |title=History |accessdate=2008-03-23] the museum contains various artifacts and documents concerning Japanese war casualties and military activity from the start of the Meiji Restorationto the end of the Pacific War. The museum was established in 1882, and describes itself as the first and oldest war and military museum in Japan. [cite web|url=http://www.yasukuni.jp/~yusyukan/ |title=yasukuni.jp |accessdate=2008-06-08 ja icon]
The museum has been accused of containing some revisionism in its accounts of Japan's actions in
World War II, as well as glorifying Japan's aggressive militaristic past. [cite web|url=http://www.rense.com/general28/tudg.htm |title=Yasukuni Museum Tugs At Heartstrings To Keep Military Memories Alive |accessdate=2008-04-13 |author=Murphy, Paul |date=2002-08-15 |work= Asahi Shimbun] [cite web|url=http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/museums/yushukan/index.htm#n1 |title=Yasukuni Jinja Yushukan |accessdate=2008-04-13] See " Controversies surrounding Yasukuni Shrine" for the full discussion of these controversies.
The museum was initially established in 1882 to preserve and display
Meiji Restoration-era artifacts of the Imperial Japanese Army. Following the First Sino-Japanese Warand Russo-Japanese War, the Meiji Emperor issued his 192nd order in 1910, which ordered the preservation of military artifacts. [cite web|url=http://www.digital.archives.go.jp/DAS/meta/listPhoto?KEYWORD=&LANG=jpn&BID=F0000000000000008066&ID=M0000000000001776661&NO= |title=Digital Archives |accessdate=2008-06-08] The building was expanded when the number of documents and artifacts increased after World War I, but was demolished during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. The structure was rebuilt in 1932.
World War II, lootingweaponry was also displayed on loan from the Ministry of War, but the museum itself was closed down during the post-war period. Yasukuni Shrine lost funding from the government under the Shinto Directive issued by the Occupation Authorities, and the shrine put the museum building up for rent in order to obtain funds. In November, 1947, the Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Company signed a rent agreement with the shrine and began using it as its Kudankitaoffice. The company left the building in 1980, and it reopened as the Yūshūkan museum on July 13, 1985. The building has undergone several renovations since then, and the outdoor exhibitions were moved indoors and re-exhibited on July 13, 2002.
The museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm from April to September, but closes at 5:00 pm from October to March. The museum is also open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm during the regional Mitama Matsuri festival that takes place from July 13-16. Camera use is only permitted in the first floor entrance hall area. The admission fee is 800
yenfor adults, 500 yen for college and high school students, and 300 yen for elementary school and junior-high school students.
The museum's exhibitions are centered around the shrine's dedication to the spirits of deceased Japanese soldiers. The museum also contains weaponry used by the Imperial Japanese Army, as well as Allied documents and exhibitions related to the modern
Japan Self-Defense Forcesand United States Forces in Japan. A cenotaphof a war horse is also located within the museum grounds.
The first floor entrance hall can be entered free of admission, and contains a
A6M Zero fighter aircraftand a C5631-type steam locomotiveused in Thailandduring the post-war period. A Type 89 15 cm Cannon and Type 96 15 cm Howitzerare also displayed in this area.
The large exhibit room on the first floor contains a bomber aircraft and
Type 97 Chi-Harecovered from Yap Island, along with a Kaiten-type torpedo and replicas of an OhkaModel 11 aircraft and Mutsu battleship. Mementos of deceased Japanese soldiers are also shown in this room, including a uniform worn by a paratrooper, and various letters left behind by deceased soldiers. Photographs and portraits of the "Spirits of Yasukuni Shrine" (deceased Japanese soldiers) are shown at the end of the hallway.
The entrance hall escalator leads to the second floor exhibit room. Various war-related materials are exhibited in chronological order, including different types of swords, armor, guns, and a golden flag wielded by the Imperial Japanese Army during the
Boshin War. The war flagof the 321st Imperial Japanese Army division displayed in this room is the only one of its kind that has been recovered fully intact. The floor also contains a small cinema theater, which plays various documentaries related to the shrine and modern-day Japan.
The museum's gift shop sells regional souvenirs in addition to various books and documents concerning Yasukuni Shrine. Toy army flags and other military-related toys can also be purchased here, and English-language pamphlets are available for foreign visitors. The museum also houses a cafe where the items on the menu are created using ingredients and recipes resembling those actually used on Japanese Navy ships.
Appearances in literature
Natsume Sōseki. nihongo|"The Tower of London"|倫敦塔|Rondon Tō|extra=1905
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa. nihongo|"Aphorisms by a Pygmy"|侏儒の言葉|Shuju no Kotoba|extra=1923
* [http://www.yasukuni.jp/~yusyukan/ Official website] ja icon
* [http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/museums/yushukan/index.htm Yasukuni Jinja Yushukan] - description of exhibits related to WWII special attack forces
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