Friday, July 27, 2012

Great Figures in Kochi - Ryoma Sakamoto (1835-1867)

   Ryoma Sakamoto is Kochi’s greatest son. You can't think of Kochi without thinking of Ryoma Sakamoto, and he is well known not only in Kochi but also nationwide.

   He was born in 1835 in Kochi City and he was said to be a very weak crybaby. His elder sister Otome, a quintessential Hachikin woman – as strong as 4 men – toughened him up. By the time he was a young man, he had been awarded a swordsmanship license.He also studied a lot of things about foreign countries and had remarkably progressive views considering Japan was then officially sealed off from the outside world.

   Later he became a key player in forming the Saccho alliance that served as an impetus for the Meiji Restoration. He greatly contributed to the modernization of Japan, but was assassinated in Kyoto on his 33rd birthday.

   The bronze statue of Ryoma Sakamoto is in Katsurahama, Kochi City. The height, including the pedestal, is 13.5m. Every year around November 15th, the day of his birth and the anniversary of his death, an observation deck is built beside the statue and we can experience the view that this statue commands.

   As the first person in Japan to go on a honeymoon, the first Japanese person to found a corporation, and the only person whose name is lent to a Japanese airport, you can’t miss the opportunity to go to Katsurahama to see Ryoma Sakamoto for yourself!

No comments:

Post a Comment