Shoko Shuseikan Museum

Museum of the Shimadzu family
and the birthplace of modern Japan

Shoko Shuseikan is a museum set in Japan’s oldest stone machinery factory, built in 1865. Discover how the Shimadzu used their proximity to Asia and maritime expertise to bring in new technology and ideas from abroad. Find out what made Japan the only country in Asia able to replicate the industrial revolution, despite being closed off from the outside world. Follow the course of the Shimadzu family over 800 years, and see how the international relations they forged led to the development of industrialization in modern Japan. The Shoko Shuseikan Museum and Sengan-en were recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site related to Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution in 2015.


Model of a Ryukyuan Junk

Even throughout the isolationist foreign policy of the Tokugawa shogunate known as “sakoku”, Satsuma continued to trade with China and Southeast Asia via the Kingdom of Ryukyu (present day Okinawa).


Breech-loading Swivel Gun

This bronze cannon belonged to the Shimadzu family. These cannon were often called “Frankish Guns”, and were largely Chinese reproductions of weapons captured from Portuguese or Dutch sources in the 16 th Century.

Shoko Shuseikan Museum

Yoshino-cho 9698-1
Kagoshima City