Hagi: The Birthplace of a Revolution

Hagi: The Birthplace of a Revolution


A small samurai town located on the Japan sea – it was the birthplace also to Chikamatsu Monzaemon, the Japanese Shakespeare (in 1653). The town is dotted with the natsumikan trees, the trees with the yellow summer oranges.

It was formerly the residence of the great Mori daimyos.

Yoshida Shoin described his birthplace as follows: “The Nagato province is situated at the West end of the Japanese mainland in the shadow of the Hagi mountains and it overlooks the Korean strait. In this country, with its damp climate, stands East of the Hagi castle, the little village Matsumoto where I was born. On the South of this village flows the O river of which the source is unknown and where probably the Taira Descendants (descendents of Emperor Kanmu 781-806) live in hiding. To the North East of the river two mountains are situated, the larger of which is called Tojinzan, where Korean captives bake pottery. The smaller is called Nagasoezan. Here are the castle ruins of the Matsukura and Iga families. Between the mountains and the rivers stand a thousand houses. The population lives partly from agriculture, partly from the house-industry. “


Reference: Yoshida Shoin Forerunner of the Meiji Restoration -A biographical study
H. Van Straelen S.V.D., Ph.D.
Professor at Nanzan University, Nagoya
Published by Leiden, E.J. Brill, Netherlands. 1952