Fujiwara Yoshie Memorial Museum (Former Ringer Residence)
Holme, Ringer & Co. was a British trading company significantly involved with in the development ofin Nagasaki. Uryu Shoten, which was established as an agency in what was previously Nishinanbe-machi, Shimonoseki City in 1889, was the first foreign company in the city. When initially established, business could not be conducted using a foreigner’s name, so it operated under the name Hajime Uryu since business could not be conducted using a foreigner’s name. This building is situated atop a hill overlooking the Kanmon Straits. It was a residence built in 1936 for the manager’s son, Michael Ringer. A little while after its construction, it was used as the Ringer’s private residence, and because Ringer worked as the British consul’s proxy, it was also characterized served as the official residence of the British consul. Today, the 1st floor is open to the public as the Fujiwara Yoshie Memorial Museum. Yoshie Fujiwara was an opera singer representative of Japan who was active between the Taisho era (1912–1926) and Showa era (1926–1989), and affectionally known by the nickname, “Our Tenor.” He was born in 1898 to Kiku Sakata and the Scotsman, Neil Brodie Reid who was the manager of Uryu Shoten. As president of the Fujiwara Kagekidan (Fujiwara Opera,) he popularized opera in Japan and was also active on the world stage. He posthumously received the Second Order of Merit. In association with the fact that his father, Neil Brodie Reid lived in a Western-style building next to this building as the manager of Uryu Shoten, this building has been used since March 1978 as a Memorial Museum displaying materials related to Yoshie Fujiwara. The building is a 3-story, reinforced concrete construction standing on high ground that affords a panoramic view of the straits. Part of the 2nd floor protrudes out, and there is a tall chimney for a fireplace on the right edge facing the entrance area. There are windows of varying sizes that open outward of varying sizes on the smooth white walls, but no other decorations. The door is placed on the side of the entrance area, and the sea can be viewed from the fixed window on the front. Upon entering the spacious entrance hall, on the right side is a receiving room with a fireplace, while on the left is a dining room. Further into the entrance hall is a gently sloping staircase, and on the 2nd floor are 3 bedrooms and a bathroom/toilet. On the 3rd floor are 2 bedrooms, a simple kitchen, and a bathroom/toilet. The interior is not decorative at all, and the walls and ceiling are white. The design technique makes the most of the structure. Inside the museum, his beautiful singing voice is played and you can gain a glimpse of what life was like back then. In addition, one room on the 2nd floor is called the “Vagabond’s Aria Room.” Because the Naoki Prize-winning novel by Kaoru Furukawa , A Vagabond’s Aria, introduced Yoshie Fujiwara, this room displays approximately 300 items, such as Furukawa’s manuscripts and his favorite fountain pen.
Address：3-14 Amidaiji-cho, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Hours : 10:00–11:30, 13:00–16:00 (calling in advance is required)
Closed : No regularly scheduled closings, year-end/New Year’s (12/30–1/3) *Temporary closings possible
Fee : None
Category: Constituent cultural properties
Genre: Story 3