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GLOVER GARDEN NAGASAKI


 Commanding a stunning view of Nagasaki Harbour from its position on top of the hill of Minami-Yamate, this romantic area retains the atmosphere of a foreign settlement.
 Thomas Blake Glover, who travelled across the sea from distant Scotland, built his home here on Minami-Yamate hill in 1863. At that time, the town of Nagasaki was brimming with the enthusiasm of those dreaming of a new dawn for Japan.
 The merchants of the foreign country who have embraced the dream from other side of the sea, the patriots at the end of the Edo period who fervently aspired to overthrow the Shogunate, and the young men of Japan who aimed to learn the study of the West.
 More than a century later, mementoes of when the Glover family lived here survive unchanged, along with the residences of the traders who loved Nagasaki and made their homes here.
 Welcome to the good old days. Let’s join the Glovers for a stroll through their romantic history.


Overview of Glover Garden

 At the end of the Edo period, the hill of Minami-Yamate was a town of foreigners.
 In 1858, five years after Commodore Perry entered port at Uraga, a succession of ships from various countries arrived seeking trade, pressuring the Shogunate to allow foreign vessels access to Japan. Finally, the Shogunate took steps to open up the country. Five nations concluded trade and friendship treaties with Japan, starting with Britain and the United States.
 The following year (1859), the port of Nagasaki was opened along with Yokohama and Hakodate, and it entered an age of free trade with other nations.
 To ensure there was space for homes and bases of operations for foreign traders in Nagasaki, the Shogunate embarked on a hasty land reclamation and construction programme. The areas of Higashi-Yamate, Minami-Yamate, Oura, Kozone, Sagarimatsu, Umegasaki, Shinchi and Dejima were transformed into a single district: Nagasaki’s Foreign Settlement.
 It was forty years until settlements were abolished and non-Japanese were able to live alongside Japanese throughout the country. During this period, Nagasaki flourished as a free trade port of the new era.
The foreign settlement was divided into three areas from the coast inwards: prime land, middle-grade land and low-grade land. Foreign traders established trading posts and storehouses on the high-rent prime land; the middle-grade land to the rear was filled with hotels, banks, hospitals and recreational facilities; and houses, churches, consulates and so on were built on the hilly low-grade land.
 Even in the hills, whilst Minami-Yamate was used for housing, Higashi-Yamate was at first called ‘Consulate Hill’ as it was the location of the Portuguese and Prussian consulate buildings, amongst others. In this way, a wide variety of Western buildings were constructed, and the settlement took on a unique form with Oura Bund at its centre.
 In 1899 (Meiji 32) the foreign settlements were abolished, but the Western buildings remained, giving Nagasaki the feel of a foreign country. Many years later in 1970 (Showa 45), in an effort to preserve Nagasaki’s gradually-disappearing Western buildings, maintenance was carried out on the Glover residence and other buildings on Minami-Yamate hill. Many Western houses in the city were moved to Minami-Yamate, and Glover Garden was born. Since then, Glover Garden has remained a much-loved major tourist attraction in Nagasaki.


GLOVER GARDEN MAP

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Stone Markers Showing Foreign Settlement Lot Numbers and Boundaries

Beginning in 1641, the Japanese government closed the country to the outside world and expunged elements of foreign influence. This self-imposed isolation, referred to as the sakoku or “closed country” period, ended with the signing of the Ansei Treaties in 1858. The five treaties opened the country to international diplomacy and foreign trade, and they contained provisions effective the following year that opened select ports and allowed foreigners to live in designated areas of certain cities, including Nagasaki. These stone columns were used to designate the lots of the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement and indicate the boundaries with Japanese neighborhoods. The Nagasaki Foreign Settlement was situated at the mouth of the Oura River and the adjacent hills. Residences were built on the eastern and southern hillsides, called Higashiyamate and Minamiyamate respectively, while commercial buildings and consulates clustered near the harbor. Beginning in 1899, foreign residents were no longer constrained to living in the foreign settlements, and the markers became unnecessary. Some of the old markers were collected here as the neighborhood developed.

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Meiji-Era Public Water Tap

Water taps like this one were introduced in 1891 to help prevent the rampant spread of cholera. The disease had reentered the country through Nagasaki in 1858 and swept through the population multiple times over the following decades. The disease was terrifyingly deadly, dubbed “drop dead in three days” (mikka korori) in Japanese. Cholera is a waterborne disease, and public water sources were easily contaminated. Frederick Ringer (1838–1907), a business leader in the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement, lobbied the government of Nagasaki to build a public waterworks to help prevent the spread of cholera and other diseases. In 1886, Ringer and others invited a British man named John W. Hart (1832–1900) to Nagasaki. Hart was the engineer who had designed the Shanghai waterworks, and he submitted a proposal for a similar waterworks to the Nagasaki government. Five years later, the waterworks was completed, and Nagasaki became the third city in Japan with running water. Until water was supplied to every household, a city employee would walk around the city, opening the public taps in the morning and closing them in the evening. The tap at Glover Garden has been retrofitted with a button that opens the tap when pressed.

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Nagasaki Masonic Lodge Gate

This gate once marked the front of the Nagasaki Masonic Lodge where local Freemasons held their meetings. The Freemasons are a fraternal society that is believed to trace back to the associations of professional stonemasons that were active in Europe during the Middle Ages. A symbol of the Masons, the Square and Compasses, has been carved into one of the pillars of this gate. The Nagasaki Masonic Lodge was founded in 1885, and Scotsman John Calder (1847–1892) served as its first Master. Meetings were later held on the second floor of Arthur Norman’s (1854–1897) newspaper office in Sagarimatsu. Most of the founding members of the lodge were British men employed at the Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard. Despite much speculation, there is no evidence that either Thomas Glover (1838–1911) or Frederick Ringer (1838–1907) was ever a Freemason. However, masonic symbols can be seen on some of the graves in Nagasaki’s international cemetery. The Nagasaki Lodge disbanded in 1919, and the building was torn down sometime in the late fifties or early sixties, but the front gate was saved and moved to the lawn between the Former Glover House and the Former Ringer House. It was later moved again, this time next to the Former Ringer House. Like many other stone structures in the foreign settlement, the gate is made from Amakusa sandstone.

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Tamaki Miura and Giacomo Puccini Statues

After World War II, Japan was occupied by the Allied Forces, and the Former Glover House was requisitioned for officer housing. The last resident was US Army Captain Joseph C. Goldsby, who lived there with his wife, Barbara. Inspired by the scenery and the unique design of the house, the couple nicknamed it “Madam Butterfly House” after Puccini’s famous opera, Madama Butterfly. The opera tells the story of a young Japanese bride living in Nagasaki as she waits in vain for the return of her husband, a US Navy officer. Despite lacking any genuine connection to the opera, the house kept the nickname even after the couple left in 1949. After the occupation, the Former Glover House was returned to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and donated by the company to Nagasaki City in 1957. It was opened to the public the following year and Nagasaki City promoted the house as the “Place Connected with Madam Butterfly.” In 1963, the city installed a bronze statue of prima donna Miura Tamaki (1884–1946), who was famous for performing the role of Madam Butterfly more than 2,000 times. The nearby statue of Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was donated in 1996 by the province of Lucca, Italy as a symbol of friendship.

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Frederick Ringer’s Asphalt Path

Frederick Ringer (1838–1907), owner of the Former Ringer House, had this asphalt path installed in 1906. Ringer suffered from heart disease, and in the final years of his life, it was difficult for him to climb the steep hill. The path allowed him to travel to and from his house by rickshaw. In the nineteenth century, most roads were paved with stone or gravel, but gravel roads were exceptionally dusty, and stone pavements were bumpy and uneven. By the 1900s, engineers in Europe began adding asphalt or tar to the gravel mixture to trap dust and increase the lifespan of the road. Gravel-based macadam roads had been introduced to Japan in the 1870s, but asphalt paving was rare in Japan until the 1920s. The rickshaw, a two-wheeled carriage pulled by a single driver, was invented in Japan in the late nineteenth century. The word “rickshaw” comes from the Japanese jin-riki-sha, meaning “human-powered-cart.” Rickshaw were used widely in cities throughout Japan until the 1920s, when they were largely replaced by automobiles, trains, and trams.

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Takashima-Style Cannon

This cannon is thought to have been made in the last decades of the Edo period (1603–1867) by a student of Takashima Shūhan (1798–1866), a gunsmith from Nagasaki who studied Western artillery and military tactics. In the early 1800s, Shūhan became concerned by the technological gap between Western and Japanese weaponry, in particular Japan’s lack of cannons and firearms. Shūhan acquired firearms from the Dutch traders living on Dejima, and by studying them he was able to learn how to make them himself. In 1834, Shūhan formalized this knowledge and founded the Takashima School of Gunnery. However, in 1842 he was arrested and imprisoned in Edo (now Tokyo) for his support and advocacy of Western technology. Shūhan was kept a prisoner until 1853, when the arrival of Commodore Mathew Perry (1794–1858) and his squadron of warships convinced the Japanese government of their technological and military inferiority. Shūhan was pardoned and released, and in 1856 he became a military instructor for the Tokugawa shogunate.

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Former Tennis Lawn

The space between No. 2 and No. 3 Minamiyamate (the former Ringer and Glover houses) was once a lawn where the residents played games such as tennis, badminton, and croquet. Grass lawns, which were unusual in Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912), were maintained by the residents for playing sports as well as holding concerts, luncheons, wedding parties, and other gatherings. The grass lawn between the Former Ringer House and Former Glover House has been paved over and is now the site of an outdoor café, but the heavy stone roller used to flatten the grass for tennis matches is preserved nearby.



ENTRY FEES

  Standard High school student Elementary/Junior High School Student
 Individual ¥620 ¥310 ¥180
Group(more than 15 people)  ¥520 ¥250  ¥140 


ACCESS

〇From Nagasaki Airport : Airport connection bus (via Dejima road) to Nagasaki Shinchi bus terminal(approx. 35 minutes)

→By tram : Take line 5 (Ishi-bashi) from Shinchi Chinatown to line 5 (Ishi-bashi) and take the tram to either Oura Cathedral or Ishi-bashi. (approx. 15 minutes)

→Walk to Glover Garden (approx. 8 minutes)

→Access from Nagasaki Airport


〇By Japan Rail from Hakata : Special Kamome to Nagasaki Station(approx. 1 hour 55 minutes)

→By tram : Take line 1 (Shokakuji Temple) from Nagasaki Eki-mae to Shinchi Chinatown.Transfer to line 5 (Ishi-bashi) and take the tram to either Oura Cathedral or Ishi-bashi. (approx. 15 minutes)

→Walk to Glover Garden (approx. 8 minutes)

→Nagasaki Electric Tramway