Suekawa Memorial Hall (末川記念会館)

Suekawa Memorial Hall is a facility of Ritsumeikan whose headquarters are located in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.

Construction was completed on the Kinugasa campus of Ritsumeikan University in November of 1983. It was constructed for commemorating the accomplishments of the late Doctor Hiroshi SUEKAWA who was a master of the civil law and was also an honorary president of Ritsumeikan University. The construction of the hall was funded by contributions from the alumni, the school personnel and well-wishers in various quarters. Within the hall, in addition to the 'Memorial hall' where Doctor SUEKAWA's belongings as well as his social or academic accomplishments are exhibited, a jury court that was in fact used in Kyoto District Court for 15 years from 1928 was moved and reconstructed as 'The MATSUMOTO memorial hall, a jury court' and is open to the public free of charge. In the lecture room, 'Saturday courses by Ritsumeikan,' lecture courses by the university for the general public opened on March 31, 1946, are still held even now on every Saturday as well as lecture courses for the general public.
In addition, the hall also houses 'The office for compiling the century history of Ritsumeikan,' 'Calm, a restaurant' and 'The Shirakawa-commemorating oriental writing culture research laboratory.'

When construction of the hall was completed, lectures commemorating it were held, and the contents were later put together in 'Towards the future: lectures given commemorating the completion of Suekawa Memorial Hall' (by the administration office of Suekawa Memorial Hall of Ritsumeikan University, 1985).

Facilities in the hall

A Hiroshi Suekawa memorial room

In the room located on the first floor of the memorial hall, in addition to the panels that are hung on the walls for showing the doctor's accomplishments, the goods that the doctor loved, his major literary works, hanging scrolls, calligraphic works and paintings, and photographs are also exhibited. You can also view video images that show some aspects of his real life and can hear his real voice as well. The room is also provided with a study and reception room which reproduces, in the actual size, the ones in his house.

The lecture room in Suekawa Memorial Hall

The lecture room, located on the western side of the first floor in the memorial hall, is mid-sized, with a capacity of 185 persons, and is used for the Saturday courses by Ritsumeikan as well as for symposiums, for lecture meetings and for explanation meetings. In the hall in front of the lecture room, "A commentary on the Theodosius code, that my father loved," an oil painting by Yoko KUBOTA, Doctor SUEKAWA's second daughter, is exhibited, which depicts "A commentary on the Theodosius code," his beloved 1664-version book he bought in an old-book store while he was staying in France for study. The commentary book itself is kept in the Ritsumeikan University library.

The MATSUMOTO memorial hall, a jury court

"The MATSUMOTO memorial hall, a jury court" located on the west side of the second floor in the memorial hall is "the 15th court" in fact used in the Kyoto District Court, which was dismantled and has been reconstructed here. The construction of the court was completed in 1928, and the court was used six times in total by 1943 when the jury law was abolished. Initially, it was decided to destroy the court, but Nisuke MATSUMOTO, an alumnus of Ritsumeikan University, contributed to the dismantlement of the court and its complete reconstruction in Suekawa Memorial Hall. The inside design of the court is stately and unusual in that a traditional European building style, using hanging lighting apparatus and an arch-style ceiling, and the age-old traditional Japanese building style, using wood materials, are integrated. The seats for prosecutors are placed beside those for judges but those for defense attorneys are located in the lowest place, plainly showing a feature of the judicial system at that time. Twelve seats are provided for the jury, with seats for defendants, for clerical persons and for the public are provided as well.

The other jury court still remaining in Japan is 'the special court' in the Yokohama District Court which was dismantled and reconstructed in Toin University of Yokohama in 2001.

"The MATSUMOTO memorial hall, a jury court" is open to the general public in addition to students, and has been used for simulated trial lessons and for symposiums as well.

Shizuaka SHIRAKAWA commemorating oriental writing culture research laboratory

This research laboratory was established for making known to the general public the research accomplishments on oriental writing culture by late Shizuak SHIRAKAWA, professor emeritus of Ritsumeikan University, who was also an alumnus of Ritsumeikan University and a recipient of "order of Culture," and also for promoting the research in the field. Its two main pillars of the activities are culture-related business and academic research.

Summary of the facilities

One floor under ground and three floors above ground: a total floor space of 2,518.81 square meters

The construction was completed in November of 1983.

Restaurant 'Calm' is located at ground level.

[Original Japanese]