Okakura Tenshin

Okakura Tenshin Monument


Just a short walk, less than a kilometer away from Akakura Hot Spring, lies a serene and secluded garden adorned with a six-sided building at its center. Known as the Rokkakudo, meaning “hexagonal hall,” this structure was constructed in 1959 as a tribute to the renowned art historian and philosopher, Okakura Tenshin (1862–1913). If you have ever marveled at a Japanese woodblock print or been captivated by the beauty of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, you may owe a part of that experience to Okakura and his influential writings.

Born into a family involved in the silk trade in Yokohama, Okakura learned English at a local mission school before delving into the study of Chinese classics at Choenji Temple. His academic journey led him to Tokyo Kaisei School, one of the two colleges that later merged to form the prestigious University of Tokyo. Initially, his bachelor’s thesis, titled “Theory of State,” met an unfortunate fate when it was destroyed during a dispute with his wife. Undeterred, Okakura swiftly penned his second attempt, “Theory of Art,” in a mere two weeks, a work that would shape his future endeavors.

Throughout his illustrious career, Okakura dedicated himself to preserving and promoting traditional Japanese art in the face of the country’s rapid modernization and the influence of the West. He became part of the Ministry of Education and established several art institutes to foster art education. In 1904, he was appointed as a curator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, expanding his impact beyond Japan’s borders. His written works in English, including “The Book of Tea” (1906), played a pivotal role in introducing the profound aesthetics of the Japanese tea ceremony to the Western world.

In the later years of his life, Okakura often sought solace in his mountain villa at Akakura Hot Spring, where he eventually passed away in 1913. To commemorate his significant contributions to art and culture, the Rokkakudo and its surrounding monuments were erected. Within the hall, a precious gold-enameled bust of Okakura is enshrined, honoring his enduring legacy.

Please note that the Rokkakudo park remains closed during winter due to heavy snowfall.

Other places to visit
kayak on lake nojiri

Lake Nojiri

Lake Nojiri is a part of the Myoko Togakushi Renzan National Park. Its a great place for water sports.

Sasagamine

Sasagamine

Sasagamine is located deep in the Myoko mountain range and is a part of Myoko Togakushi Renzan National Park.

Ryotei Ukiyo

Ryotei Ukiyo

Ryotei Ukiyo is a traditional high-class Japanese restaurant that represents the region’s food culture.

kanzuri shop

Activites around Myoko

Here a few suggestions for the early season. This is great chance to experience some great culture and local sights.

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