6. Tekijuku and the neighboring areas

6. Tekijuku and the neighboring areas

Tekijuku is located in the district of Imabashi in Osaka City. It is bordered on the west by Aishu Kindergarten, the first kindergarten founded in Osaka. There used to be a copper mint at the location and an accommodation for foreigners called Dutch House at the back; however, nothing remains of those two. Two blocks to the south is Dosho-machi, which was famous as a medicine district throughout Japan. Thus, it must have been easy to obtain medicines or information about medical treatment and medicines at Tekijuku. Many letters from students and fellow doctors still remain asking Koan about Western medicines.

In order to expand the road on the northern side of Tekijuku as part of town improvement from 1915 to 1920, the north side of Tekijuku was cut back by two meters in a process known as “eaves cutting.” The current structure is the same size as after the “eaves” had been cut. Because of noticeable damage, renovation was conducted for five years beginning in 1976. While it would have been desirable to reproduce Tekijuku from the period when Koan lived there, it was impossible to restore both the first and second floors on the north side to the condition they were in the Edo Period.

Along with the renovation of other historical buildings in the neighborhood of Tekijuku, the area was improved not only as an Important Cultural Asset but also as a historical park. Parks sporting greenery for beautifying the area and for disaster prevention were built on the west and east sides of Tekijuku. A statue of Koan reading a book is located in the green area to the west, facing people passing through or resting in the park.

A relief, embedded on the north wall of the Ogata Building, indicates that Joto-kan was one avenue away to the south of Tekijuku. Moreover, on the south wall of the Nissei Building facing the Midosuji Boulevard, there is a monument indicating the location of the ruins of Kaitokudo, the origin of the School of Letters of Osaka University. (Click to see the map.) Many buildings built in the Edo and Meiji Periods that escaped damage in the war still remain in the area surrounding Tekijuku. Nakanoshima Kokaido, a Western-style building of the Meiji Period is located in Nakanoshima Park in the area. The Osaka branch office of the Bank of Japan in Yodoyabashi is reminiscent of Western-style buildings of the Meiji Period.

There are some buildings built in the Edo Period around Dosho-machi and the merchants living in them still run pharmaceutical businesses. Among such buildings, the black-painted, big residence, built in the Meiji Period and owned by the Konishi family, conveys the atmosphere of a big old merchant house.

Dosho-machi was a medicine district and Sukunahikonano-mikoto, the Japanese god of medicine, and Shinno-san, the Chinese god of medicine, are enshrined there. There is a medicine museum in the shrine there, explaining the pharmaceutical history of Osaka from the Edo Period up to the present in an easy-to-understand way.

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