Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa Memorial Museum, Nakamura Park, Nagoya 名古屋市秀吉清正記念館
Hideyoshi was the second of the great unifiers in the Azuchi-Momoyama Period at the end of the 16th century of Japanese history, along with his predecessor and patron Oda Nobunaga, and the man who followed him to finally unite Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Kato Kiyomasa, Hideyoshi's cousin, was a master castle builder, responsible for both Kumamoto Castle and Nagoya Castle, as well as a number of fortresses in Korea during the Imjin War (1592-1598) - Hideyoshi's vainglorious and failed attempts to conquer Korea and China.
Myogyo-ji Temple, just to the east of Nakamura Park, is said to be where Kiyomasa was born and he had the temple reconstructed from wood left over from his work on Nagoya Castle.
Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa Memorial Museum Exhibits
The interesting and free Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa Memorial Museum is located on the second floor of the Nakamura Koen Culture Plaza, which also contains a theater.
The museum, above the first floor library, displays armor, war helmets, personal effects and letters of the two great warriors as well as wall panels and videos explaining the history of the period and the many battles the pair engaged in.
Highlights of the museum, which is a branch of Nagoya City Museum, include the distinctive helmet Hideyoshi wore into battle and a horo, a kind of silk cloak that inflated like a balloon, to deflect arrows. Also on display are early firearms, Kiyomasa's tall battle helmet and numerous original documents.
Though most of the material is presented only in Japanese, the museum is still interesting for fans of Hideyoshi and Japanese samurai history.
Access - how to get to the Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa Memorial Museum in Nagoya
The Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa Memorial Museum is located in Nakamura Park, a short walk from Nakamura Koen Station on the Higashiyama Line of the Nagoya subway, four stops from Nagoya Station. Walk through the large torii gate and continue straight on for about 5 minutes. At the entrance to the park, you will see the modern concrete building on your left.
Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa Memorial Museum
2F, Nakamura Koen Culture Plaza
Tel: 052 411 0035
Hours: 10am-5pm; closed Monday or the next day if Monday is a national holiday.