Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sites seen around Kagoshima, 1

As of the time I write this (May 22), I have 96 photos backlogged and I'm running out of specific topics for tying them all together. My goal has been to average 20 photos per post just to go through them more quickly, but even so I keep running into new things to shoot or write about. Very frustrating. For this reason, I've decided to just go through what I have now more or less alphabetically regardless of some kind of overshadowing theme.

You wanted to know where the Angel Heart manga was set? Well, here it is. Just east of Kagoshima-chou station.

I'm not sure if this is really the Kagoshima Chamber of Commerce or not. Basically, this is the "Kagoshima Local Products Display" on the first floor of the Aimu (I'm) Building, on Tram Douri, a little less than a kilometer from the Kagoshima-chuo station. That display of bottles at the back wall are the different kinds of shochu made in the area.

Incidentally, the Aimu Building also houses the Japanese government-run Hello Work job finding service, if you're looking for employment. Unfortunately, this isn't one that has foreign language support (you need to go to either Fukuoka or Beppu for English, Korean or Chinese speaking staff.)

Daikin car.

Gajiro (not to be confused with Gojira). This is a restaurant based on the "Otoko wa Tsurai yo" (It's Tough Being a Man) series, and is named after actor Sato Gajiro. It's located in the shopping plaza just outside of the Kagoshima-chuo station east exit.

The menu board has the Fujio Akatsuka (Tensai Bakabon) cat character on it.

Going farther east towards the bay, there's a small park just past Tenmonkan and Izuro Douri, with a statue dedicated to Godai Tomoatsu. From the historical marker:
"A samurai in spirit and a merchant in talent.
During the upheaval of the closing days of the Tokugawa Shogunate there was a man who from the beginning kept his eyes open on advancing Japan in the world. He was Godai Tomoatsu.

Godai was born in 1835 at Jogatani, Nagata-cho, as the second son of a Confucianist. He was called Saisuke when he was young. From childhood, he had shown much interest in world affairs, doing such things (in that era) as copying a world map and working on a terrestrial globe. In 1857 we went to study in Nagasaki, and in 1862 he was ordered by the Satsuma Clan to travel to Shanghai, where he bought a German steamboat and took over as its captain. He voyaged China on the Chitosemaru.

During the Anglo-Satsuma War, he was held in England as a prisoner of war. Having been in England during the conflict, for a while he was suspected by some of having betrayed his homeland and had to go into hiding. After being allowed to return to Satsuma, he proposed a plan for building up "A rich country with a strong army" to the government.

In 1865, he led students from Satsuma (modern day Kagoshima) to England, where he made every effort to purchase steamboats and spinning mills. After returning from England, he became a Konando magistrate, being in charge of various duties for the Lord. Godai was deeply involved with naval maters, and in Nagasaki he supervised the construction of the first modern Japanese navy yard.

Due to his remarkable achievements during the Meiji Restoration, he was appointed as a consultant to the Cabinet of the new Imperial Government. However, he later resigned his post and moved into the business world.

In 1878, Godai Tomoatsu established a stock exchange and a commercial code assembly hall, becoming the chairman of these organizations. Until he died of illness in 1885 at the age of 49 he devoted his life to the development of Osaka, commercial city. He is buried at Abeno Cemetery in Osaka."

Happy Realization Party, the political arm of the Happy Science religion, was in the news during the last major diet elections in 2009 for it's attempt at providing an alternative to the two main parties, the LDP and the DJP. It was most noted for having a manga artist, Fumiya Sato (Kindai'ichi Case Files) drawing promotional materials for them. Turns out that there's a church in Kagoshima, 1 kilometer east from the chuo station out along Napoli Douri.

Found this "Hello Kitty Milk" sticker on a store front window. For some reason, this one strikes me as vaguely disturbing.

Kimura Tangen isn't a very well-documented artist in English. And the historical marker for him alongside a bridge just east of Kagoshima-chup station when heading towards Hirata Park is kind of lonely-looking. When I first set out looking for it, because it was clearly marked on my tourist map, I actually went by it twice without realizing it. Kind of a shame. The marker reads:
"Birthplace of Kimura Tangen
The famous artist, Kimura Tangen was born here, in 1679 near the Kotsuki River. Since his childhod he excelled in art, and at the age of 25, he went to Edo (Tokyo) to study under Kano Tanshin.

Kimura drew the famous paintings on the sliding doors of the Tsurumaru Casle [sic]. The painting, "Clouds Over Fuji," owned by the City Art Museum is designated as a Prefecture Cultural Asset."

Finally, we have Komatsu Tatewaki (AKA: Komatsu Kiyokado), who is standing right in front of Houzan Hall next to Central Park. From the wiki entry, he was a samurai from the Satsuma area, who became a local high-ranking official, and then a member of the newly-formed Imperial government prior to his death in 1870. Apparently he also helped hide Ryouma Sakamoto from the shoganate at one point.

From the marker:
"Komatsu Tatewaki was born in 1835 (Tempo 6) as the third son of the Kimotsuki Family, the lord of Kiire. When he was 20 years old, he was adopted by the Komatsu Family, the lord of Yoshitoshi (Hiyoshi Town), and renamed himself Komatsu Tatewaki. Even as a child Komatsu Tatewaki excelled in academic work and martial arts, and became a chief retainer at the age of 27. He assigned Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi to important posts, and made a great contribution to the Meiji Restoration by concluding the Satsuma-Choshu Alliance after having worked through the Teradaya Incident, the Namamugi Incident (the Richardson Affair) and the Anglo-Satsuma Battle. Tragically, at the height of his importance to Japan, including a post as diplomat after the Meiji Restoration, he died when he was 34 years old.

In 1867 (Keio 3), the 15th Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, called for an assembly of local lords in Nijo Castle and asked whether political sovereignty should be returned to the Emperor. Komatsu Tatewaki, the chief retainer of Satsuma at that time, was the first to report this historically significant transfer of power. This statue, facing the Terukuni Shrine, where the statues of three distinguished men of the Shimadzu family (Shimadzu Nariakira, Shimadzu Hisamitsu and Shimadzu Tadayoshi) now stand, depicts the moment of his reporting."

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