Shonai Hanko Chidokan

The only surviving domain school in Tohoku

Shonai Hanko Chidokan is a school that was founded by the Sakai Clan in the Shonai Domain to educate samurai and develop excellent human resources. It is the only surviving domain school in the Tohoku region.

The vast site of approximately 7,000 square meters was home to facilities for studying (e.g., an auditorium and classroom) and facilities to learn martial arts (e.g., a martial arts practice space, archery range and horse-riding ground). Currently, you can still see the front gate and reception room used by the feudal lords and the auditorium where the students gathered. In addition, the textbooks edited and printed at the Chidokan are preserved here. Valuable materials are available to the public to understand about scholarship at that time.

After the Meiji Restoration when the social status of samurai was abolished, former feudal warriors replaced their swords with hoes and started to breed silkworms in the land of Matsugaoka that they pioneered. This led to the area becoming a large producing region for silk. The ethos cultivated in this Chidokan no doubt had a big impact on their reclamation of the land.

*The Shonai Hanko Chidokan is one of the cultural properties that makes up the Japanese Heritage of Samurai Silk (Silk with a Connection to Samurai).

General Information

Opening Times
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesdays (the next weekday if that Wednesday is a public holiday) and December 29 to January 3
●Approx. 5 minutes by car from JR Tsuruoka Station
●Approx. 10 minutes by car from Tsuruoka IC on the Yamagata Expressway
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