Lord Nariakira Shimadzu's Shuseikan and the Efforts to Build a Strong and Affluent Nation

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage Counselor, Shimadzu Limited

Mr.Kimiyasu Shimadzu
Mr.Kimiyasu Shimadzu

We hear that your encounter with Ms. Koko Kato was one of the factors in getting the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution project off the ground.

Shimadzu: Kato and I first met 16 years ago, in 1999. We were involved at the time in investigation and research, begun around 1990, of Shuseikan, including the survey of the reverberatory furnace, in cooperation with the National Museum of Nature and Science, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima Prefecture and the city of Kagoshima. Back then, however, there were few attempts being made to compare our findings with modernization work in other regions or to identify our place in the process of Japan’s industrialization. I was thinking about this—how to further deepen our research within the context of industrial archaeology by identifying the contributions made by Shuseikan to Japan’s history of industrialization and technology, and how to give added value to the industrial heritage of the reverberatory furnace and the former Shuseikan machinery factory—when I came upon a book review in the March 15, 1999 issue of Nikkei Business. The book was Sangyo Isan [Industrial Heritage] written by Ms. Koko Kato and published by Nikkei Inc. in January 1999. I bought the book and as I turned the pages found numerous hints and specific examples of exactly what I was seeking to do with Shuseikan. I immediately asked to meet with Ms. Koko Kato to speak with her about our operations. She proved an attentive listener and gave excellent advice. We hit it off immediately, and as we continued to exchange ideas and opinions, I came to the conclusion that we needed a more scientific and academic approach in pursuing our research on the industrial heritage of the Satsuma region, and after consulting with Kagoshima University, was able to launch in December 2001 a Satsuma Monozukuri study group comprising participants from the university and Shoko Shuseikan.

Professor Masayasu Hasegawa, at the time a science and technology authority at Kagoshima University, headed the group which included experts on industrial and technology history and industrial archaeology, as well as technology researchers and curators. This marked the start of full-scale research on industrial heritage focused on the Shuseikan project. In fiscal 2004 and 2005, our research was supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) under a government program to promote research on the advent of modern Japanese science and technology. The grants provided funding to explore the knowledge and application of modern science and technology in Edo-period Japan by examining historical documents, such as records and import documents, and actual instruments and other items produced at the time, including measuring instruments, medical instruments, guns, telescopes, glass and much more.

In March 2000, Shimadzu Limited sponsored an event on the history and culture of the Iso District. Ms. Kato spoke on industrial heritage at that event.

Shimadzu: Yes, she spoke on industrial heritage as a tourism resource and how Japan’s modernization began in Kagoshima. Later, she introduced me to Dr. Stuart B. Smith, CEO of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust which manages the first industrial heritage to be designated as a World Heritage Site, and he agreed to be the special guest lecturer at our second Satsuma Monozukuri symposium held in October 2002. Dr. Smith is also the Secretary-General of TICCIH, The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage, and a world-renowned authority on industrial heritage. Before the symposium, Ms. Kato and Dr. Smith toured the industrial heritage sites in Kyushu. He evaluated them highly and advised us at the symposium that that it might be possible to have them designated as World Heritage sites if we could integrate them into the history of Japan’s modernization.

The following year, in September 2003, Ms. Kato worked with the Hokkaido government to invite the International Mining History Congress to hold its sixth meeting in Akabira, Hokkaido. The Congress brought experts from around the world to Akabira, including Dr. Stuart Smith. One of the optional tours in conjunction with the Congress was a tour of the industrial heritage sites in Kyushu. On this tour, Dr. Birgitta Ringbeck, the German commissioner for UNESCO, suggested that the Kyushu industrial heritage sites be grouped together in a serial nomination for World Heritage inscription. This would later lead to the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. Ms. Koko Kato’s wonderful overseas network helped to open the door wide to our achieving World Heritage status.

You worked hard over the 16 years since 1999 to achieve the World Heritage inscription. Since then you have traveled widely to speak in your capacity as a board member of the National Congress of Industrial Heritage and you continue to be involved in numerous related activities. In November this year, you are scheduled to speak about the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution at an event in Shizuoka, site of the Nirayama reverberatory furnace. We hear you and Shizuoka Prefectural Governor Kawakatsu have set up another study group.

Shimadzu: Our study group was started in 2001. It was the 150th anniversary of the founding of Shuseikan and we invited Governor Kawakatsu to be the keynote speaker at an event to celebrate the occasion. Actually, at the time he wasn’t yet governor but a professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies where he specialized in a maritime conception of history. In his keynote speech, Kawakatsu noted that Satsuma was, in fact, a “maritime state.” I was eager to learn more about his academic views and deep insights in the hope that they could give a fresh perspective on the history and natural environment of Kagoshima and on its future directions. For this purpose, we set up Yutokujuku, a study group with Kawakatsu at its center. He and other guest speakers present lectures and hold periodic seminars for the group. It has been most educational.

Kawakatsu has pointed out to us the uniqueness of Shuseikan, noting that the placement of factories on the grounds of a villa is not to be found any place else in the world. He has also said Shuseikan is a rare success story of modern industrialization that was able to preserve a beautiful landscape by using waterpower as a source of energy. These are aspects we hope to study further.

There is more we need to study. For example, we do not yet know how durable the iron was that was produced in Shuseikan’s reverberatory furnace. The Satsuma Monozukuri study group is dormant at the moment, but we hope to revive research on this topic and other areas that will provide us with information on the modernization achievements of our valiant forebearers that we can pass on to future generations.

Both Governor Kawakatsu and yourself represent some of the major components of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. It is wonderful to see you collaborating on shared research topics. This will certainly help to deepen your mutual understanding and promote further collaboration between your respective regions.

Shimadzu: The Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution comprise a single World Heritage and we need to work closely together to conserve and promote this heritage. Active and close collaboration is essential.

More effort will need to be expended on management and conservation, promotional activities, and research. We can achieve much through close collaboration and coordination.

We have much to learn from the aspirations and efforts of the people in those times as they worked to modernize their country. The successful World Heritage inscription takes on special meaning if we are able to pass on this knowledge to future generations.

The Saga Clan Built Japan's First Reverberatory Furnace, and the "Mietsu Naval Station" was the Base of the Western-style Navy: Passing on the Passion That Went Into Registering the Site as a World Heritage Site to the Next Generation

Former Director of the Sano Tsunetami Memorial Museum (currently known as Sano Tsunetami and the Mietsu Naval Dock History Museum)

Mr. Yoshimi Eguchi
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is a "World Cultural Heritage" and a "World Evolutionary Heritage

Director of NPO Association for Thinking about Satoyama

Director of National Congress of the Industrial Heritage

Mr. Kenji Amioka
Shoin Shrine has a mission to convey the history leading up to the Meiji Restoration properly

Honorary Chief Priest Toshinari Ueda

Mr. Toshinari Ueda
What is the secret plan to make the Port of Miike, an operational asset of a World Heritage site?

Former Mayor of Omuta City

Mr. Michio Koga
Vol. 49
Why Conservation Management of Japan's Meiji Industrial Sites is needed?

Archaeologist and Heritage Conservation Specialist

Dr. Michael Pearson AO
The Truth of Industrial History Unraveled from the Perspective of Metallurgy: the Mission of the Heritage of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is to Pass on the Intelligence, Diligence, and Fortitude of the Japanese People to Future Generations

A fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies

Professor Tadahiro Inazumi
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is a Great Teaching Aid, and Various World Revealed by Looking Into It

Team Member of the Industrial Project Team Office for the Promotion of World Heritage Listing under Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kazuhiko Suga
The History of Iron that Began in Kagoshima has Dramatically Advanced Japan's Modernization~I Want to Pass on the Vitality of the People of Satsuma to the Younger Generations Whom Will Live in the Future~

Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture

Koichi Shiota
Yoshida Shoin preached the Theory of Engineering Education and produced the Choshu Five who risked their lives to go to England--to pass on the proud Hagi spirit to future generations

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Fumio Tanaka
I wish to pass on to my children's generation the wisdom, technology, and energy of our ancestors who built Misumi West Port - I will do my very best to do what I can at this moment by looking ahead to the future that will surely come after COVID-19.

Mayor of Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture

Mr. Kenshi Morita
Vol. 43
An Imperial Company named the Yawata Steel Works became a World Heritage Site from a Single Old Photo!

The Former Employee of Nippon Steel Corporation

Mr. Masayoshi Minakuchi
We would like to Establish a "New Local Studies" that will be transmitted to the Outside World.

An Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Iwate University

Mr. Hideki Onodera
18 Years History of a Tourist Guide Business and an Outpouring of "Love for Misumi West Port." ~"Registration for World Heritage is Not Simply a Goal, but a New Starting Point."~

Chairman of the Tourist Guide Association of Misumi West Port

Mr. Manpo Saito
To Mark the Passage of "Time" Together with Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace ~To increase the attractiveness of "reverberatory furnace tourism" through the use of commercial museum and restaurant business~

President of Kuraya Narusawa Co., Ltd.

Chairman of Izunokuni City Tourism Association

Mr. Hironori Inamura
The Establishment of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum Were Led by Fate: I want to start, continue, and finish what I can do to convey the value of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution to a wide audience

Director and General Manager of Gunkanjima Concierge

Producer of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum

Ms. Yuko Kuon
In Industrial Heritage, It's the "People" Who Play the Central Role: How World Heritage Inscription Casts a Fresh Light on Hometown Splendors

Owner at Tōge Chaya

Ms. Shizuko Ogasawara
Everything is for the Economic Development of Nagasaki--Expanding Beyond the Shipping Business to Pass on Nagasaki's Culture and Industrial Heritage

Chairman: Mr. Hidenori Date
President: Mr. Masahiro Date

Yamasa Kaiun Co., Ltd.
Kamaishi's "Miracles" and Overcoming Disaster: The Huge Opportunity Provided by World Heritage Site Inscription

Proprietor, Houraikan Inn

Ms. Akiko Iwasaki
"850 years of historical records" along with Nirayama reverberatory furnace that ought to be passed down to future generations. ~The long-awaited new storage warehouse is completed and it has encouraged preservation, restoration, and utilization~

Representative Director of Egawa Bunko non-profit incorporated foundation

The 42nd head of the Egawa Family

Mr. Hiroshi Egawa
The History of an Era Opened by an Indomitable Pioneering Spirit and the Power of Our Forefathers

Democratic Party for the People (DPP) Representative for Nagasaki Prefecture

Mr. Yoshiaki Takaki
Gunkanjima Is a Warning Message for the Future of Earth and Humanity ~The Thoughts and Pleas of a Guide and Former Resident~

President of the NPO, Way to World Heritage Gunkanjima

Mr. Dotoku Sakamoto
Synchronicity Yields the Miracle of World Heritage Site Inscription: Strong Aspirations Inspire Support among Like-Minded Individuals

Representative Director

MI Consulting Group

Mr. Fumio Ohue
Power to the People of Japan The Mission of Meiji Japan's Industrial Revolutionary Heritage

President of Watanabe Production Group and Honorary Chair of Watanabe Productions Co., Ltd.

Ms. Misa Watanabe
Turning Our Industrial Heritage into Hope for Those 100 Years From Now

Member of the House of Councillors

Mr.Tatsuo Hirano
Calling on 21st Century Satsuma Students to Build the Future! Shuseikan Serves as a Source of Information about Sightseeing in Kagoshima

Kagoshima Prefecture

Mr. Satoshi Mitazono
Awareness of "Stories with Connections" is steadily spreading throughout each region~There are also challenges for conservation management and interpretation~

World Heritage Consultant

Ms. Sarah Jane Brazil
Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way: Connecting with People Takes Courage and Initiative

Director and Dean, The Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership
Representative Director, SUMIDA, Inc.

Mr. Koichi Hashida
Taking Pride in Japan's Latest World Heritage Sites~A Journalist's Perspective~

Journalist, founder of the Shimomura Mitsuko Ikikata Juku School

Ms. Mitsuko Shimomura
Classic Cars and the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution~Rally Nippon 2019 in Kyushu~

Representative, Rally Nippon

Mr.Yusuke Kobayashi
Preparations Proceed for the Development of Exciting Touring Routes to See the World Heritage Sites - The Promotion Council Conveys their Attractions to the World through Various Promotions!

Chairman, Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Route Promotion Council Director, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Susumu Ishihara
Giving Greater Force to the Preparation of Routes toward Promoting "Heritage Tourism" - Recollections of the Unforgettable Bombing of Hometown Kure City and the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Representative Director, General Incorporated Foundation National Congress of Industrial Heritage (Advisor, Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Capital Markets Research Institute)

Mr. Hiroshi Yasuda
The City Connected to the World: Making the "Treasure of Nagasaki" the "Treasure of the World"

Mayor of Nagasaki City

Mr.Tomihisa Taue
"The World's Experimental Facility" that Questions of the True Value of the "ICOMOS-TICCIH Cooperative Principles" New Conservation Challenges Promoted by the Japanese Government

Policy Director at Heritage Montreal

Mr. Dinu Bumbaru
Days of Heated Argument with the Unforgettable Stuart Smith~A Cross-Cultural Encounter with Familiar 19th-Century Industrial Heritage~

World Heritage Consultant

Mr. Barry Gamble
The next generation of technological innovation is born from carrying forward history and culture. - Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution open the way to "conserving while using"

Executive Director of Kogakuin University

Dr.Osamu Goto
Blazing a New Trail for Serial Inscription-Format Conservation and Management with the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Training Personnel to Pass on Memory and Understanding as a Major Challenge in the Future

Heritage Architect and International Consultant

Mr. Duncan Marshall
3D Digital Documentation of the Giant Cantilever Crane and Kosuge Dock

Head of Data Acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation

Mr. Alastair Rawlinson
Japan's Uplifting Industrial Heritage

Head of Industrial Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Miles Oglethorpe
The Scottish Ten Project

Scottish Ten Project Manager, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Lyn Wilson
The Tea Plantation Hill Where You Can See Two World Heritage Sites at Once, Mt. Fuji and the Nirayama Reverberatory Furnaces--The Next Dream Is a "Mini Reverberatory Furnace for Children" to Provide Experiential Learning

Mayor of Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Ms.Toshiko Ono
Path to becoming a World Heritage Site

Pro-Provost and Chairman of Council of the Royal College of Art. Heritage advisor of Canal & River Trust for England and Wales.

Sir Neil Cossons
In the midst of accurate information dissemination, it created a chance to truly look at history

Dean of Tokyo Rissho Junior College

Professor emeritus of Keio University

Dr. Kudo Norikazu
World Heritage Inscription Spurs Renewed Civic Pride in Kitakyushu's Industrial Heritage

Mayor of Kitakyushu City

Mr. Kenji Kitahashi
World Heritage Inscription: Report on the 2015 Celebratory Party Held in Bonn, Germany

At the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee convened in Bonn, Germany, from June 28 to July 8, 2015, the decision was approved to inscribe the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on the World Heritage list.

At a celebratory party held to mark the occasion, some of the primary promoters of the project spoke of their joy in achieving their goal and of the trials and tribulations to getting there.

Background of World Heritage Inscription
Conserve and Use: Pioneering New Approaches for Operational Heritage Assets

Director and Managing Executive Officer, Hanshin Expressway Company Limited

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Hiroshi Okamoto
Applying Port and Harbor Act Provisions to Conserve Operating World Heritage Sites

Vice-Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture

Mr. Takashi Namba
The Choshu Five: Pioneers of Modernization and Hagi's Heritage of Trial and Error

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Koji Nomura
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: The Roots of Japanese Craftsmanship and Industry

Chairman, Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.

Mr.Masafumi Yasutomi
The Miike Area: How Coal Contributed to Japan's Modern Industrialization

Mayor of Omuta City

Mr.Michio Koga
The Meiji Industrial Revolution: A Story of Broad Vision and a Strong Sense of Mission to Undertake New Challenges for the Good of the Nation and its People

Deputy Director-General, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, MEXT

Former Counsellor, Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kengo Iwamoto
From Kamaishi to Yawata: The Proud Heritage of Japan's Modern Iron Industry

Mayor of Kamaishi City

Mr.Takenori Noda
Lord Nariakira Shimadzu's Shuseikan and the Efforts to Build a Strong and Affluent Nation

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage Counselor, Shimadzu Limited

Mr.Kimiyasu Shimadzu
The Genesis of Japan's Rise as an Industrial Nation: Preserving the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution for Future Generations

Chairman of the Consortium for the World Heritage Inscription of Modern Industrial Heritage (Kyushu-Yamaguchi) and governor of Kagoshima Prefecture (as of 2015)

Mr.Yuichiro Ito