Education in Aizu Domain
“When male children of the Samurai in Aizu domain became ten years old, they entered domain school or “”Nisshinkan,”” which was established in 1803. At that time, the fifth lord of the Aizu domain Lord Matsudaira Katanobu started a large reform of the Aizu domain. He thought prosperity through agriculture, commerce and industry would be the foundations for the domain’s future economic success, so cultivating human resources would be a key factor in achieving this goal. Nisshinkan was thought to be one of the best schools among the 300 schools in Japan at the time. It created many excellent graduates including members of Byakkotai. Medicine, astronomy, literary and military arts were taught based on the principles of Confucianism and facilities for students included an observatory, printing office, library and a pool. A wide scope of etiquette was necessary for warriors to possess from table manners to the code of hara-kiri, which is ritual suicide.
Byakkotai was a corps consisting of more than 300 male members who were between 16 and 17 years of age, who studied within the Nisshinkan. At the end of the Edo Shogunate, the Boshin War occurred in 1868 during which the Byakkotai were ordered to fight in the battle. Only twenty boys survived from a battle in Tonokuchihara and fled to Iimoriyama. However, they saw fires in the nearby town and thinking Tsurugajo Castle had fallen, they committed ritual suicide.”
30 min by bus from JR Aizuwakamatsu Sta.
10, Takatsukayama, Kawahigashi machi Minamikoya, Aizuwakamtsu city, Fukushima