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Education at Edos First University As you follow the road along the Kanda River a short distance from Matsudaira-donos residence the man-made waterway enters a narrow canyon between two hills This valley was dug when Tokugawa Iemitsu ordered the Kanda Josui Kanda water supply to be built in 1638 Before that the whole area was one large rolling plateau Today however the river cuts through a deep valley in the neighborhood known as Ochanomizu separating two hilly districts To the south is Surugadai a residential area filled with the homes of lower-ranking samurai To the north is Yushima which is home to Edos largest schools and its only university-the Shoiheizaka gakumonsho The Yushima area has been a center of culture and learning since Edo was built In addition to all the schools in the area which were constructed more recently this district is also home to several influential shrines that were built even before Tokugawa Ieyasu moved to Edo in 1592 One of them- Yushima Jinja-has long been associated with knowledge and learning Yushima Jinja sits on the top of Yushima hill which is one of the highest points in the city This shrine has been one of the prominent buildings in the area since the late Muromachi period From the top of the hill there is a fine view out over the housetops of Kanda and Nihonbashi and the blue waters of Edo Bay sparkle in the distance As the city of Edo grew many popular teahouses and restaurants grew up around the shrine Customers liked to gather for long conversations at the teahouses to enjoy the fine view out across the city In time these teahouses became popular meeting places for teachers students academics and artists They would hold meetings where they would eat study discuss important issues play shogi Japanese chess and enjoy the wonderful view of the city However your destination today is not Yushima which is
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