Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Site of Gessho's Stay

I've written before that just about the time I think I've covered all of the memorial markers in Kagoshima, I stumble on a new one in a completely unexpected place. I was down at the east end of the city, revisiting the brand shop that I'd gone to for the walking guide playtest, in order to spend a little more time to see what else was in the building (mostly offices). On my way back to the Tenmonkan shopping district, I noticed a futuristic-looking building that had a playground in the back. Thinking it was a daycare center, I walked down the half-block to the front of the building, where I discovered that it's a medical beauty clinic. After I took a few photos, I looked across the street and farther down the block and saw an old bank building. It's kind of rare to see old granite buildings here, and I wanted to know if it dated back to the 1800's. As I got closer, I noticed the memorial sign, and the fact that the building has been closed off (the bank moved its offices to a newer building directly across the street. This location is 1 block east of Izuro Street, near the Yamakataya department store. (I didn't see the date for when the building was constructed, though.)

From the sign:
"Memorial of Priest Gessho's Histrical [sic] Site
This is a place of the TawarayaInn where Buddhist Priest Gessho of the Kiyomizu Temple of Kyoto stayed. When he left Kyoto for Kagoshima to flee from the Shogunate's persecution, Gessho relied on protection from Saigo Takamori. After their arrival in Kagoshima on November 8th, 1858, Saigo and Gessho were betrayed by local officials and were transferred to Tawaraya, where they stayed until they jumped into Kagoshima Bay on the dawn of November16th. Although Saigo was revived, Gessho could not be saved."

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