2019年03月07日

'Ohyama Iwao', who served as the War Minister of modern Japanese army, is a cousin of Saigo Takamori, a giant in the field of Meiji Restoration movement.

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Ohyama Iwao was born from a low-level samurai of the Satsuma domain, present Kagoshima Prefecture, in 1842. He was in charge of the batteries on Satsuma side in his youth, when the urban area of present Kagoshima City was fired by British battle ships. Having acknowledged overwhelming military capacity of Western countries through this battle between the Satsuma domains and the UK, he tackled gunnery modernization and strived to improve the performance of old cannons in Japan. As a general of the army, he brought victories to Japan in the two wars against China under the Qing dynasty in 1894, and against Imperial Russia in 1904. In this connection, his cousin Saigo Tsugumichi also fought against China and Russia as the Minister of the Navy. This couple of cousins controlled shoulder to shoulder the dawn of Japanese land and sea forces. In addition, he was the first Japanese customer of 'Louis Vuitton'. The picture shows the bronze statue of him on horseback built in 1919, which stands by the roadside next to Yasukuni Shrinein in Kudan, Tokyo.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 15:09 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年03月04日

The battleship 'Mikasa' was a flagship of the Japanese Imperial Navy at the time of the Russo-Japanese War from 1904 to 1905.

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Japan once hastened the expansion of military capacity, naval power in particular, from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. However the industry standard of Japan at that time was not as high as the Western countries, so Japan was compelled to order four big-size battleships with latest equipment from the UK. Mikasa, which was the last one of the four ships, was delivered to Japan in 1902, and was designated as the flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet in 1903. Just then, Russia was expanding military power to Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula, consequently a military conflict between Japan and Russia broke out. What is called the Russo-Japanese War, which continued for one and a half years, ended in a victory for Japan thanks to 'Togo Heihachiro' on Mikasa, the Commander in Chief of the Combined Fleet. After the war, Mikasa had been active till 1923, and was eternally moored at the pier of Yokosuka City, present cite, in 1925. In this connection, this ship, 131 meters long and 23 meters wide, is the world oldest all-steal battleship still in existence.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:55 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年02月28日

Japan's largest music store district and sports shop street are found in the vicinity of JR Ochanomizu Station.

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Surugadai area, from JR Ochanomizu Station to Ogawa-cho area, is dotted with many universities built in the second half of the 19th century, such as Meiji University and Chuo University. Thus, this neighborhood has been busy as a student quarter since before the Second World War. On the other hand, Western music began to spread thanks to the establishment of orchestras at the beginning of the 20th century. The first music stores began to be erected in Ochanomizu area, one of the most convenient areas in Tokyo, around in those years. As a result of the boom of jazz and pops after the war, this area gradually developed into a full-fledged music store district. About 40 stores, some of them are focusing on a specific instrument, secondhand instrument and just for a lefty.
In addition, rapid popularization of sports, before and after the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, also boosted the sporting goods district in this neighborhood, Ogawa-cho area very close to the music instrument quarter. Because of young students being interested in many things, these two types of unique areas are always busy.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 17:05 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする