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Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (Ijokaku)

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Our Memorial Hall opened in November 1984 as the only facility in Japan to commemorate Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the great Chinese revolutionary, statesman, and philosopher.
Around the end of the 19th Century, Wu Jintang (1855-1926), a wealthy Chinese merchant in Kobe, built his villa on Maiko Beach and named it “Shokai Villa”. In spring of 1915, an annex named “Ijokaku” was built on the east side of “Shokai Villa”. While “Ijokaku” in fact is an octagonal and three storied building, it has been generally called the “Rokkaku-do (hexagonal building) in Maiko, Kobe”, by the locals because it appears hexagonal.
In the spring of 1913, Sun Yat-sen traveled through Japan and visited Kobe as well as Tokyo, Yokohama and other cities. On March 14, prominent Chinese businessmen living in Kobe held a luncheon at “Shokai Villa” to welcome Sun. It could be considered that the relationship between Sun Yat-sen and “Ijokaku” started then, two years before “Ijokaku” was built in reality. In November 1983, The Kobe Overseas Chinese Association, which had taken over the management of “Ijokaku” from Wu’s Family, donated “Ijokaku” to Hyogo Prefecture. After the restoration of its architecture, “Ijokaku” was presented to the public as the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall on November 12, 1984, an anniversary of Sun’s birthday. In December 1993, its architecture was registered by Hyogo Prefecture as a prefectural important tangible cultural property. In March 1994, due to the construction of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the building was taken apart and rebuilt at its present location, 200 meters southeast of where it originally stood. The restoration was completed in April 2000, and in November 2001, “Ijokaku” was designated as a national important cultural property.
We have a variety of exhibits about the relationship between Japan, Kobe and Sun Yat-sen, the life of Wu Jintang, history of “Ijokaku”, and so forth.

History of Ijokaku

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The Kajokaku has been tossed about by the waves of history and changed its appearance many times, but as the only building that reminds us of the elegance of Maikohama, it has continued to watch over the Akashi Strait for more than a century.

Maiko Beach, where the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is located, has long been known as a picturesque scenic spot with white sands and green pine trees. At the end of the 19th century, a Chinese businessman from Kobe, Wu Jindo, built a villa in one corner of the building, which was named "Shokai Besso" and expanded with the success of the business. On March 14, 1913 (Taisho 2), Sun Yat-sen, who visited Japan with the same treatment as a state guest, was welcomed by Chinese people in Kobe and other business people who gathered together to hold a welcome party. Since then, Matsukai Besso has been engraved in the hearts of the people of Kobe as a building associated with Sun Yat-sen.

In 1915, two years after Sun Yat-sen's visit, Wu Jintang built a three-storied pavilion to commemorate his 60th birthday and retirement from the business world. is said to have been named.

In the Showa period, Maikohama changed from a resort area to a key transportation hub. In 1928, the Shinmei National Highway (now National Highway No. 2) was widened, and the seaside inns were removed. Matsukai Besso was dismantled, but the transitional pavilion remained, and the annex building was relocated and reconstructed to its current shape.

It is said that for a period of time during the war, Kajokaku was practically requisitioned by the government and used as lodgings for high-ranking officials and the military. Immediately after the end of the war, it was returned to the Wu family and used as a training center for the Kobe Chinese Youth Association.


The overseas Chinese in Kobe left the building associated with Sun Yat-sen and repaired it by asking for funds to open it as the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, but due to a lack of funds, it was only a temporary repair.

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China and the establishment of a friendly partnership between Hyogo Prefecture and Guangdong Province, in November 1983 (Showa 58), the Kobe Overseas Chinese Assembly donated the Kajokaku to Hyogo Prefecture. I decided to restore it and preserve it permanently. Thanks to the efforts of Japanese and Chinese officials, it was opened to the public on November 12, 1984 as the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

In December 1991, along with the construction of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, it was decided to widen National Route 2 as part of the improvement plan for the area around Maiko Station, and to relocate Kajokaku. The relocation site was chosen near the east side of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge anchorage.

On October 1, 2005, the name of the museum was changed to "Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall" in consideration of the fact that the name "Sun Yat-sen" is better known than "Sun Yat-sen" in Japan.

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Restoration of Ijokaku

★ Demolition work

In December 1992 (Heisei 4), research and construction methods for relocation began with the cooperation of academic experts. Through this survey, the cultural value of the Kajokaku building was recognized, and in December 1993 it was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Hyogo Prefecture, making it possible to relocate it without damaging its historical value. In January 1994, the exhibition as the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was temporarily suspended, and while it continued to be open to the public in a temporary exhibition hall, the dismantling work of the Transfer Pavilion began in March of the same year.

At the end of the demolition work, on January 17, 1995, we encountered the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.

Fortunately, the dismantling work of the annex building was mostly completed and it was safe. Transferring the goods to the transfer building was completed, and the damage was limited to some of the concrete outer wall blocks.

However, the surrounding transportation network was disrupted, and construction was forced to be temporarily suspended. Demolition was completed in July 1995, four months behind schedule.

Demolition work period: March 1994 to July 1995
Demolition work cost: 265 million yen

★ Restoration work

Due to the progress of the construction of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, it was decided to start the restoration work of the Jojokaku in December 1998 (Heisei 10).

Not only is it the last building that conveys the villa culture of Maikohama during the Meiji and Taisho eras, but it is also an important cultural heritage that is indispensable when talking about the history of exchanges between Japan and China in Hyogo Prefecture. is. In addition, as the evaluation of modern historical buildings is increasing nationwide, we decided to aim for the highest standard of restoration work, not just the level of conservation work for prefecturally designated important cultural properties.

For this reason, the "Transitional Restoration Work Guidance Committee" consisting of six academic experts in architectural structure, architectural design, and architectural history was organized.

(1) Examination of seismic countermeasures and ensuring safety based on the lessons learned from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
(2) Pursue authenticity as a cultural asset, and pass on the value of the building itself to future generations without compromising its basic policy. Detailed verification was carried out from all angles, such as consideration of the design, traditional construction methods, and design. In addition, with the materials provided by the Kobe Overseas Chinese Association and international cooperation from the British Consulate General, etc., a more accurate reconstruction was realized.

Restoration work period: December 1998 to March 2000
Restoration work cost: 1,137 million yen


☆Overview of restoration work
Site area: 1,581.00㎡
Construction area: 368.53㎡
Total floor area: 738.46㎡
Structure: Jijokaku timber-framed concrete block construction, 3 floors
Attached building, timber-framed brick construction, 2 stories
Management building RC one-story building

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"Sun Yat-sen, Kobe, Overseas Chinese" Map


Last updated ( 2023/04/06 Friday 19:49:20 JST )

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