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Tenshaen is a nationally designated site of natural beauty[1] located in Uwajima, in Ehime prefecture. It was established as a retirement garden for Date Munetada, seventh lord of Uwajima han, in 1866, and served as a meeting place for Imperial loyalists such as Saigô Takamori, Ômura Masujirô, and Takano Chôei. The site was previously, since the late 17th century, a seaside mansion for the Uwajima daimyô.[2]

The garden's name derives from a poem written by Date Masamune. Munetada, also known as Shunzan, especially enjoyed tea, and calligraphy, and included in the a tea house called Sen'enkan which, years later in 1922, was famously visited by the Shôwa Emperor when he was still Crown Prince. He also included a calligraphy hut, called Harusame-tei. Constructed without nails, in a traditional manner, Harusame-tei still stands today and is considered a valuable piece of architectural heritage.

Munetada's heir Date Muneshiro built a tower called Myôshinrô in the garden; this was dismantled in 1896. The garden is particularly known for its bamboo, irises, and wisteria.


  • Pamphlet from the site.
  1. 国指定名勝
  2. "Tenshaen." Multimedia マルチメディア. Shogakukan, 2011. Accessed via JapanKnowledge online resource, 6 June 2011.