Outline of Exhibition

2006 Special Program: "The Sakura Regiments and the Age of War"
Period July 4 (Tue) - Sept 3 (Sun), 2006
Venue Special Exhibition Galleries, National Museum of Japanese History
Admissions Adults ¥830 (¥560)
Senior high school & college students: ¥450 (¥250)
Elementary & junior high school students: ¥250 (¥130)
* Fees in parentheses apply to groups of 20 or more
* Admission to permanent collection included
Hours 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (no entrance after 4:30 p.m.)
Closed July 10 (Mon), 18 (Tue) 24 (Mon), 31 (Mon), Aug 7 (Mon), 21 (Mon), 28 (Mon)
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History


Sakura barracks and brigade headquarters (1889)

The Museum conducted collaborative research on "The Sakura Regiments and the Local Populace" from 2002-2004 stemming from the Museum's location in Sakura Castle Park, where the 2nd and 57th Infantry Regiments had been stationed. Preparation for this special program has also been undertaken in conjunction with the scheduled opening of Gallery Six for permanent exhibits, which covers Japan from the 1930s to the period of rapid economic growth. This special program consists of four parts, each covering "The Age of War" in modern Japan as viewed from the perspective of the Japanese people.

1) From Sakura Castle to Sakura Regiments

This first part shows the transformation of Sakura Castle in 1874 to army barracks for the Sakura Regiments. The location of the Museum in Sakura Castle Park in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, is the former site of the barracks of the Sakura Regiments. The transformation of Sakura Castle to barracks is presented from the perspectives of archaeology and architectural history using panoramic models of the barracks reproduced from remains and relics uncovered in an archaeological survey of the site undertaken before the construction of the Museum.

2) Sakura Regiments and daily life in the barracks

In the second part, we show life inside the barracks. We see a sample of daily life in the barracks from models of the army barracks as they were in the late 1920s and 1930s, and a vast number of photographs of Sakura. We examine the transformation of ordinary young men conscripted into the Japanese army to soldiers while undergoing military training.

3) Sakura Regiments and the local area

In this part, we look at the links between the barracks and the surrounding area. The 57th Infantry Regiment was a typical "local regiment" that conscripted soldiers from throughout Chiba Prefecture. Due to the high demand for goods generated by the several thousand men stationed at the barracks, there were more than a few merchant families who traded with the regiments. The various relationships that existed between the regiments and the local populace and war are presented, including the findings of interviews. These relationships include the way in which the soldiers were sent off to the front, ways of keeping in contact with their families and the area, the way in which the war dead were mourned, and events that were held jointly by the regiments and the local area.

4) Sakura Regiments and war

Lastly, we look at the extent to which the regiments participated on the battlefield. One of the oldest infantry regiments in Japan, the Sakura Regiment fought in the Seinan War, Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War and the Second World War. The regiment was decimated on Leyte Island in the Philippines during the Second World War. These encounters with war by the regiments are illuminated using a variety of materials founded on solid evidence, including items, documents, photographs and various statistics.

佐倉連隊表門と連隊長の絵はがき 昭和期 本館蔵   除隊記念の急須 本館蔵   除隊記念の盆 本館蔵
1. Postcard of the front gate of the Sakura regimental barracks and the regimental commander Showa period,
Museum collection
2. Tea set commemorating discharge from the army
Museum collection
3. Tray commemorating discharge from the army
Museum collection
除隊記念の盃 本館蔵   日露戦争・旅順の戦いの中で佐倉連隊の将校が書いた軍事郵便 1904(明治37)年 個人蔵   慰問誌『銃後千葉』1943(昭和18)年 個人蔵
4.Sake cup commemorating discharge from the army
Museum collection
5.Military mail written by an officer of the Sakura Regiment from the battle lines of the Russo-Japanese War 1904,
Private collection
6.Magazine called "Jugo Chiba" sent to soldiers at war 1943,
Private collection
兵士の日記帳 昭和初期 個人蔵   千葉県中根村の託児所・共同炊事風景 日中戦争期か 本館蔵    
7.Soldier's diary Early Showa period,
Private collection
8.Scenes of children's day-care center and communal cooking in Nakane Village, Chiba Prefecture Probably during Sino-Japanese war,
Museum collection

Note: Please note that items in the exhibition are subject to change.