Statues - Hither & Thither

Japan
Tokyo - 東京

square in front of the Yasakuni-jinja
(Chiyoda-ku 千代田区)

大村益次郎

Masujiro Omura

大村益次郎, Province of Suo 1824 - Osaka 1869
Japanese general and vice minister of war.
(Wikipedia)
Ujihiro Okuma
1893

Tokyo - 東京 /  大村益次郎   Tokyo - 東京 /  大村益次郎

Description

Bronze statue on high pedestal.

Inscription(s)

Extensive text in Japanese.

Information Sign

The information panel reads:

Tokyo - 東京 - 大村益次郎
Omura Masujiro,who played a seminal role in the creation of the modern Japanese army during the "Meiji Restoration", (a period of exceptional turbulence when Japan was in the midst of frenzied efforts for rapid modernization and re-establishment of the imperial rule, was born in 1824 to a physician's family in the Province of Suo(Choshu; presently Yamaguchi Prefecture). He studied Confucian philosophy under Hirose Tanso and followed Duch studies under Ogata Koan. He also studied Western medicine, military tactics and technology and had the honor of designing the first Western-style warship in Japan. He jumped into the national limelight as a military tactician in 1866 when the Choshu army under his command handily defeated the Shogunate troops sent against his province in the second of the Choshu expeditions. He was appointed vice-director of the military affairs department of the new Meiji goverment at the time of the Boshin Civil War and played an important role in subjugating the rebel troops in the Tohoku region. When he was later appointed vice-minister of war, Omura strongly advocated for the Westernization of the nation's military system, thereby incurring the wrath of the extreme natinalist reactionaries. In September, 1869, he was attacked and seriously wounded by a band of discontent samurai. He died in Osaka on November 5 of the same year because of the wound. He was 46 years old. Yasukuni Shrine, which is dedicated to the spirits of those who died for the country in wars in and after the Meiji Restoration, owes its inauguration to Omura Masujiro's immense efforts. In 1882, a decision was made to establish a bronze statue of Omura in the premises of the shrine and Sculptor Okuma Ujihiro was commissioned to design the statue. In the hope of doing full justice to the honor, Okuma went to France and Italy to closely study Western sculpture. In 1894, the statue of Omura Masujiro, the first Western-style bronze statue to make its debut in Japan, was installed at the present site. Later, Okuma designed a string of other bronze statues, including those of Prince Arisugawa-no-Miya Taruhito and Prince Komatsu-no Miya Akihito and acted as a judge at the Ministry of Education's fine art exhibitions. (copied from this website).

Annotation

In 1882, a decision was made to make a bronze statue of Ōmura. The sculptor Okuma Ujihiro was commissioned to design the statue. In the hope of doing full justice to the honor, Okuma went to France and Italy to closely study Western sculpture. In 1894, the statue – the first Western-style bronze statue to make its debut in Japan – was installed at the present site built in his honor and was the first Western style sculpture in Japan.

Tokyo - 東京 - 大村益次郎

Old Postcard(s)

   
Click on the thumbnail for an enlargement.

Sculptor

Tags

Location (N 35°41'41" - E 139°44'46")

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Item Code: jp008; Photograph: 31 January 2008
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