The Prefectural Office has more than a few little-known features. Here are some of them.
●Monument to the First Governor, Michiyuki Matsuda (west side of the main building front yard)
Michiyuki Matsuda acted as the first governor of Shiga from November 1871 to March 1875, and died in July 1882, at the age of 43. This monument was raised in his illustrious memory in November 1882. Matsuda was enlightened; he established the first legislative assemblies in the country, in addition to a school of European learning to spread foreign languages. Initially, the monument was built at Bizoji temple, near Takakannon (Kinshoji), and then-Shiga governor Yasusada Koteda wrote the inscription. Bizoji was later abandoned, and the monument was covered in vegetation for a long time before being relocated to its current place in 1982.
●Monument to Emperor Meiji (east side of the main building front yard)
The official reception hall of the old main building functioned as Emperor Meiji’s office during his imperial visit to attend the opening of the Lake Biwa Canal in April 1890. That is why, during the reconstruction in 1939, it was decided that the hall should be preserved. It was moved to the 5th floor, where it became the Memorial Room. This monument was raised at that time. The Memorial Room is currently used as an office.
Monument to the Emperor Meiji
The original chrysanthemum ornament still remains over the Memorial Room’s door today
●Bronze Statue (main building front yard)
This female nude statue, titled ”Sea”, is the work of sculptor Kiyoshi Nakagawa (1897-1977). Nakagawa was from Nagahama, and won prizes in the Imperial Academy’s art exhibition after graduating from the Tokyo Art School. He then received the Japan Art Academy Award in 1962 and served as director of Nitten, the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, in 1969.The statue was donated to the prefecture in the years after his death by the surviving Ms. Yukie Nakagawa.
This fountain was constructed as a symbol of Shiga in 1965. It is comprised of three basin levels and a plate supported by a bronze statue of three female nudes, from which the water pours out. The statue, entitled ”Mother Lake”, is the work of Shigetaka Imuro, who was an assistant professor at Shiga University at the time.
”Sea” bronze statue
Fountain at the main building front entrance
●Main Building Courtyard
■Weeping Cherry Tree
This cherry tree is located at the very center of the prefectural office main building. The circumference of its trunk is about 120 cm (47 in). Every spring, splendid cherry blossoms bloom to the delight of visitors and staff alike. Looking up at the tree from the courtyard and down from the landing of the main staircase present two very different views. Don’t hesitate to come compare them yourselves.
■Main Building Roof Ornaments
These roof ornaments were moved to the courtyard after being used on the main building from 1939 to 1998. Weighing approximately 1 t, they are made of exposed aggregate manufactured stone, and their fronts and backs are separate parts.
■Capital from the Old Prefectural Office Main Building
These decorations were used as capitals for columns at the front entrance of the old prefectural office’s main building. They are made from granite, and weigh approximately 2 t.
The courtyard’s weeping cherry tree
Main building roof decoration
Capital from the old prefectural office main building.
The governor’s office is divided into a parlor and an office. The parlor is decorated with wooden panels to create a warm and elegant setting for welcoming visitors. As for the office, the interior design is influenced by early Showa era (1926-1989) style, and gives out a calm, dignified vibe.
（The photographs of previous governors are displayed near the ceiling of this room.）
Governor’s office (desk)