In pre-WWII Japan, the Emperor was still revered as a living deity and to look upon him was thought of as an immense privilege. Distribution of the Imperial Family Portraits was not compulsory and schools had to petition to the Ministry in order to receive one, which was usually granted on grounds of academic excellence. Because the official portraits were on loan from the Imperial Household Ministry, protecting the picture from harm was deemed of utmost importance. Having the picture lost or damaged, even from natural disasters like fires or earthquakes, was seen as such a serious failure of duty that there were incidents of school officials committing suicide in an act of repentance.
There are plenty of pictures of the house and contents, but Gakuran has many more photographs he did not publish because of the fine line between documenting history and invading the former occupant's privacy. Link -via Metafilter