Tuesday, November 18, 2008

55. Museum Review: Hatoyama Kaikan (Bunkyo-ku)

The Hatoyama Kaikan was once the residence of the famous Hatoyama family. A Western style residence that was built in 1924, it had fallen into disrepair, but was renovated and is now a memorial hall commemorating the Hatoyama family's contributions to politics and education in Japan.
The Hatoyama's have been active participants in Japanese politics for many years. Most recently, Kazuo Hatoyama (1856 - 1911) was once Vice-Foreign Minister, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tokyo University professor, and the President of Waseda University. Ichiro Hatoyama (1883 - 1959) was once Secretary of the Cabinet, Minister of Education, and a Prime Minister. Iichiro Hatoyama (1918 - 1993) was once the Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Finance, member of the House of Councilors, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Yukio and Kunio Hatoyama are currently members of the House of Representatives.

The home was built by Ichiro Hatoyama, and it was here that he helped form the present Liberal Democratic Party.

There are currently three memorial rooms; one dedicated to Ichiro, another to his wife Kaoru, and another to Iichiro Hatoyama. There are also some lovely sculptures of Kazuo, and his wife, Haruko, in the garden.

Haruko founded what is now Kyoritsu Women's University, and she contributed to women's education for many years. Kaoru Hatoyama became schoolmaster of Kyoritsu Women's University.
The residence has some very beautiful stained glass windows, and a lovely rose garden. I don't think the home is impressive enough to go out of your way to see. But, it is a short distance from Chinzanso, Edogawa Park, and Gokokuji Temple. In combination, they would be a nice sightseeing choice.
Entrance Fees: adults 500 yen, older students 300 yen, elementary and Jr. high students 200 yen. Discounts for the elderly and groups of 20 or more.
Address: Bunkyo-ku, Otowa 1-7-1

It is a 7 minute walk from the 1a exit of Edogawa Station. And, an 8 minute walk from exit #5 of Gokokuji Station.

Hours of Operation: 10:00 - 16:00 (last entry at 15:30). Closed on Mondays.