Construction of this building, which housed classrooms of the Fifth High School, began in February 1888 and continued for one and a half years until its completion in August 1889. It was built using brick and mortar, and its eaves and interior are adorned in the Western style. Architecture was overseen directly by the Ministry of Education, with the Ministry’s renowned architects Hanroku Yamaguchi and Masamichi Kuru in charge of design and construction. It is the oldest still-standing structure of this historic school.
Main Building Second Floor Hallway
Known as “Akamon”, this was the main gate of the Fifth High School. Constructed at the same time as the main building of the Fifth High School, this gate features posts and wing walls made from a combination of brick and natural stone to convey an air of dignity to passersby on the former Bungo Highway (now Prefectural Road No. 337).
The gate has been doorless since its initial construction, and there were crop fields beyond it on the campus grounds, as referenced in a verse by Natsume Soseki: “Beyond the stern gate/Buckwheat flowers bloom.”
Early designs for the main gate (circa 1889)
Built from brick and dating back to the same era as the main school building, this facility contains lecture amphitheaters, pharmaceutical storage rooms, and laboratories. The laboratories are equipped with draft chambers that use the upward air currents from lamps to ventilate the rooms. This is the last remaining chemical laboratory building from the Fifth High School era.
This building was completed in 1908 as the machinery test site of Kumamoto Junior College of Technology. It was designed by Ministry of Education experts. It was subsequently taken over by Kumamoto University and used as a test site until a new machine engineering building was completed in 1970. The 11 pieces of machinery here are extremely valuable, as they were purchased in the late 1800s/early 1900s and have been kept in working condition through to the present. As such, the machines were designated as important cultural properties along with the building itself.