Yamagata Prefecture Midoricho Garden and Culture Learning Facility “Senshin-an”

Top garden in the Tohoku area, cared for by Sentaro Iwaki

Senshin-an, the Yamagata Prefecture Midoricho Garden and Culture Learning Facility, was built using privately endowed land and building. This facility where people can enjoy garden landscaping and take cultural classes is a branch of the Yamagata Prefecture Lifelong Learning Center.

The garden in Senshin-an, which was looked after by the well-known landscape architect Sentaro Iwaki who also created the garden in Hotel Okura, is worth visiting. He called this very impressive garden “the top one in the Tohoku area”. This circuit-style garden features a path around a pond with over a thousand trees of thirty different kinds. Every natural condition is enriched in this limited space which displays the changes of all four seasons.

The culture learning facility is in harmony with the garden and can be used as a garden-viewing spot. Furthermore, a multipurpose hall is equipped for many uses such as exhibitions of calligraphy, painting or pictures, concerts, training workshops and meetings. It provides an environment where visitors can enjoy culture learning activities peacefully.

This is also an environment-friendly and highly innovative facility where Yamagata’s natural energies such as sunlight and groundwater are maximized.

Introduction of the Garden

Circuit-style garden with gigantic stones from Mt. Zao with over a thousand trees of thirty different kinds

Introduction of Stone Arts

One of the features of Senshin-an is the stone art found between trees. They are of a wide variety and include a nobotoke (jizo placed in a field) from Sado said to date from the Muromachi period, and a stone lantern brought to Japan from Korea.

Furomon (North gate of the palace in Heiankyo) Stone Pillar

This was made from a granite stone from Seto and used to be held in the garden of Kinya Nagao, the founder of Wakamoto Pharmaceutical, until 1950-1951. It is characterized by its circular-pointed tip shaped like a Tokin (a small accessary that holy men wear on their forehead).

Cylindrical Palace Guardian Column

This column displays the Imperial crest of the sixteen-valve chrysanthemum as it was a gift from the Meiji Emperor to the elder statesman and Earl of Koken Tanaka. It used to be found in the Old Imperial Palace and is made of a stone from Shirakawa, Kyoto.

Poem Monument of Fugo Kobayashi

Fugo was a major haiku poet in Yamagata and a wealthy merchant who dealt medicines, kimono and sundries in the middle of Edo period. His poem “Yoyafukete ohoro no naka ni matsu no koe” (When evening goes on and it gets dim all around, all I can hear is rustling of pine leaves) is carved dated to July 21st, 1823 Mizunoto (tenth sign of the Chinese calendar).

Sadoaikawa Nobotoke

This jizo dating from the Muromachi period was discovered in the ruins of the Jodo-shu Daigeiji Temple in Sadoaikawa by Shugoro Hasuda, a member of the Japan Art Academy.

Taiko Korean Lantern

This lantern was allegedly brought from Korea to Osaka Castle on orders of Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Rokujizo carvings representing the six domains (gods, human beings, animals, asuras or fighting demons, hungry ghosts, and denizens of hell) can be seen in the lamp housing.