Monday, June 27, 2011

Seen around 3

Ushijima Mitsuru was the Japanese General during the Battle of Okinawa at the end of WW II. He was born and grew up in Kagoshima, and committing seppuku instead of surrendering to Allied Forces on June, 1945. For some reason, I don't remember seeing an explanatory historical marker in English here. The marker location is along the Kotsuki river, a little past the Meiji Restoration Museum.

This wall mosaic is on the outside of the building across the street from the Houzan Hall, on the east end of Central Park, and represents several facets of Kagoshima culture.

At the south end of Central Park, (opposite Houzan Hall) there's a marker where an Edo-era medical institute used to stand. The text reads:

"Site of the Medical Institute
The 25th Shimadzu lord, Shigehide, considered the most enlightened of the Shimadzu rulers, built the Meijikan, Embukan, and Zoshikan educational buildings here. Shigehide was deeply interested in medicine, and in 1774, built a medical institute next to the Zoshikan. The medical institute, based on the Tokyo (Edo) Medical Institution, provided a forum for medical lectures and discussion and was a place where all citizens were allowed to attend."

("Tear down a medical institute, put up a walking plaza"... No... Not quite the same thing, and definitely doesn't scan.)

Miami Douri runs from the east side of Kagoshima station down to Tenmonkan. About halfway, and 6 short blocks to the northwest, there's the "Miami Post Office".

Just before getting to the Cultural Zone on Nakanohiratori, there's a dry cleaner's on the south side of the street. Looking closer at one window, you can see that the owner is a Monkey Punch fan.

Murata's monument is alongside a building next to the sidewalk, along route 3 heading towards the Meiji Restoration Museum. From the marker:

"Murata Shinpachi (1836-1877)
Since his childhood, Murata Shinpachi was an ardent supporter of Saigo Takamori regarding him as his brother. Prompted by Saigo, Murata traveled abroad to Europe with Iwakura Tomomi in 1871. Upon his return to Japan in 1874, he realized that Saigo and his comrades had already returned to Kagoshima from Tokyo after they were defeated in a dispute over sending envoys to Korea, and although Okubo Toshimichi tried to persuade Murata to return to the Tokyo government, he insisted on rejoining Saigo in Kagoshima. Once back in Kagoshima, he dedicated himself to educating young people at the Shigakko School.

And though he fought bravely in the Seinan Civil War, Murata took his own life after witnessing Saigo's death on the last day of the war at Shiroyama."

(I may have used this Satsuma-era map already in the History Road entry, but it's a nice map, so I'll include it here anyway.)

"The birthplace of Iwao Oyama
A rascal in Shimokajiya Goju
... founder of the Japanese Army and a man devoted to modernizing Japan ...
'A strategist like Napoleon I', 'An incredible commander like a bulldog', 'His personality is like General Grant Jackson'... General Iwao Oyama brought a victory as a commander in chief of the Manchurian army in the Russo Japanese War at the battle of Mukden and his fame spread throughout the world.

He was born and named Iwajiro in 1842. He was a lively boy and brought up in Shimokajiya machi, where Takamori Saigo was in charge of the goju. He was a very close friend to Tsugumichi, Takamori Saigo's younger brother. It is recorded that, because of their hot blood, they were confined to their houses for the Teradaya incident in Kyoto. They joined a suicide squad disguised as fruit (water melon) sellers to attack the English flagship Julian. He studied abroad in France and learned artillery. He joined the army and devoted himself to its modernization. He was the first Minister of War and was bestowed the highest honor, Prince General, for his contributions to both the Sino-Japanese and Russo Japanese Wars.

Contrary to the image of a frugal Asian hero, he dressed as a dandy and lived in a Western style grand mansion. He died in 1916 and was accorded a national funeral."

The Oyama memorial is across the street from Murata Shinpachi's, and is much more elaborate. Murata got gypped.

Tsugumichi was Takamori Saigo's younger brother, and he had purchased land in Tokyo for a mansion for Takamori, but since his brother had died in the fighting at the end of the Meiji revolution, Tsugumichi took the mansion for himself. The rocks from the garden were relocated to Kagoshima at the site of Takamori's birth. I may have run this photo already, too.

Cartoon decals in the window of a security company.

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