Japan's oldest school "Ashikaga school" to learn "Spirit of moderation"
In Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, there is the Ashikaga School which is known as the oldest school in Japan. A designated national heritage site that has been recognized as a Japanese heritage site, the figure of Ashikaga School in the Edo period is restored, and you can observe the environment where students at that time were learning.
There are various theories about the founding, but Ashikaga School appears in the front stage of history in the Muromachi period, 1432. Since the “The Onin war”, it has been reported that it has produced more than 3,000 students without continuing to turn off academic lights even in the subsequent war. It has been introduced overseas by a famous missionary, Francisco Xavier, who had great achievements and was staying in Japan as a Christian missionary at that time.
Ashikaga school is larger than imagined, and it is surrounded by a moat and an earthen wall like a hall of the Warring States period. Unlike the school you are imaging, you will feel like a temple. With moat and an earthen wall, I think about the background of the Muromachi era and the Warring States era in which war was frequently carried out, and I feel great significance in prescribing the importance of study in that. In addition, a Japanese garden with a pond is attached around the hall, and a comfortable environment is maintained as a place for learning.
As we walk through the Kyodan gate, we will arrive at the Confucius Temple where the Confucius statue is carved. The main study of the Edo period is Zen. We can find a fountain where you can experience the "Spirit of moderation" that embodies the argument written by Confucius.
“Spirit of moderation” has an interpretation that prohibits overdoing, and by pumping up water, you can experience how difficult it is to stay horizontal without spilling water. In addition, you can experience the kanji examination etc. while watching the beautiful garden in the classroom at that time, and you can also get in touch with culture and history more.
Ashikaga's prosperity symbol "Bannaji temple" and the god of marriage "Ashikaga Orihime Shrine"
A 5-minute walk from the Ashikaga School, there is the "Bannaji temple", which is flourished from the Kamakura period to the Muromachi period, and is worshiped by locals. It has been designated as a National Treasure Building in 2013, combining the two elements of the temple from the Kamakura period, which is the site of Mr. Ashikaga.
I extended my feet a little and visited "Ashikaga Orihime Schrine", which is loved by local people as a god of marriage. We can overlook the Kanto Plain from "Ashikaga Orihime Schrine".
With the scenery that faces the red "Orihime Schrine" that shines in the blue sky and the "Watarase bridge" famous for Chisato Moritaka's song seen from there, I felt the history that continued to breathe from Muromachi with the nostalgia of Showa.
"Ashikaga school of the night" colored by Japanese umbrella and Paper lantern
After the sun went down, I visited "Ashikari School at Night". From April 28th to 30th, 2018, as part of the "Tochigi Destination Campaign", it was open to the public at night.
The “Hojo” and “Confucius statue” were lighted up, the garden was decorated with a Japanese umbrella, and the “Ashikaga meisen” pattern floated in the dark. The inside of the facility was surrounded by a fantastic atmosphere.
In the library, a screen was placed in front of the entrance, and the life of Confucius was drawn on 31 glass plates and screened in a slide format.
Many people visited and had a special time, as if responding to the wishes of the city of Ashikaga, "I want a lot of people to see the special Ashikaga school colored by the Ashikaga Meisen pattern."
Ashikaga Gakko is 10 minute's walk from JR Ashikaga Station (on the Ryomo line), and 15 minutes' walk from Tobu Ashikagashi Station (on the Isesaki line).
Ashikaga school site： http://www.city.ashikaga.tochigi.jp/site/ashikagagakko/