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Minato city Course (Shirokane-Takanawa)

4 Meiji Gakuin Imbri-kan (Meiji Gakuin Imbrie House)

National Cultural Important Properties (Buildings)
Designated on December 25, 1998

Meiji Gakuin Imbrie House

James Curtis Hepburn MD,LL.D, who is famous for putting together the first full-fledged Japanese-English dictionary, contributing to the translation of the Bible into Japanese and establishing a new system for romanization of the Japanese language, called Hepburn style, came to Japan in 1859 as a Presbyterian missionary from America. He opened the Hepburn School in 1863 and dedicated himself to English education in addition to medical activities.

Hepburn founded Meiji Gakuin School at the present place in 1887. School buildings and dormitories were constructed and one of western houses for missionaries built around 1889 still exists. It became to be called Imbrie House because Dr. W. Imbrie, a professor of School of Divinity, lived there for a long time.

The architectural style came from the wooden houses of the United States in 1870s and was the first authentic western wooden house in Japan. There are many features such as the gable wall with saw toothed pattern, its open plane plan with the entrance hall at the center of the house, the use of different parquet flooring for each room and coating wooden parts with vanish which had never seen in houses before in Japan. Nevertheless, Japanese carpenters constructed the house with Japanese materials.

After having finished its role as a house for missionaries, it was used for various purposes, and it was moved to the current location in 1964 because of the expansion of National Route 1. The major renovation from 1995 to 1997 helped it regain its original appearance.


Inside of Chapel and Meiji Gakuin Chapel

Meiji Gakuin Reihaido (Meiji Gakuin Chapel)

Tangible Cultural Properties of Minato City (Buildings)

Designated on October 25, 1989

This chapel was built in 1916 and became a symbol of Meiji Gakuin. The building was designed by William Merrell Vories whose own wedding ceremony was held in there in 1919. The features of English Gothic Revival Architecture are clearly visible along with the structure of scissors truss which was popular in the United States at that time.


Meiji Gakuin Memorial Hall

Meiji Gakuin Kinenkan (Meiji Gakuin Memorial Hall)

Tangible Cultural Properties of Minato City (Buildings)

Designated on October 23, 1979

Meiji Gakuin Memorial Hall, built in 1890, was a schoolbuilding with a library for the theology school. The building is two-storied in a neo-gothic style. Originally constructed entirely of brick, wood was used for the part above the second floor in the reconstruction of the building following damaged sustained in large earthquake in 1894. SHIMAZAKI Haruki, famed novelist by the pen name of SHIMAZAKI Toson who was active from the Meiji through the early Showa periods, made frequent usage of the library while a college student at Meiji Gaukin.

Opening Information

Please make an inquiry below if you have any questions related to the Opening Information

TEL : Maiji Gakuin 03-5421-5230 (9:00-16:00)