KOCHI PREFECTURE

Kochi City 高知市

Castle, Sunday Market, Igosso people

Especially Noted Products: raw and dried bonito, coral crafts, long-tailed cocks, Tosa native dogs and Tosa fighting dogs.

Especially Noted Cuisine: Sawachi-ryori and Katsuo no Tataki (bonito seared only on the surface)

Kochi, the largest city on the Pacific coast, is the capital of Kochi Prefecture, especially known for its marine products, forestry and greenhouse culture of vegetables. The fishing ports dotted along the Pacific coast are usually busy with small boats that bring in bonito and mackerel from the warm current offshore, and sometimes with big boats that have made six- or seven-month voyages after tuna into the Indian Ocean, the Tasman Sea, even the Atlantic.
 
高知市は太平洋が育んだ南四国最大の都市である。県全体としては、昔から漁業と林業がさかんであったが、近年は野菜の促成栽培もさかんである。沿岸に点在する漁港は大体がサバ漁船・カツオ漁船でにぎわっているが、マグロを追って6,7か月、インド洋、タスマン海、はては大西洋あたりまで出かけていく遠洋漁業の基地でもある。

Men in this prefecture have long been known for a trait called igosso. When a man is called igosso, it means he is gallantly generous, obstinately independent, carefree and passionate in his usually unpredictable actions. Women of the same type are called hachikin.

 県人といえば、むかしから「いごっそう」で知られていたが、「いごっそう」とは、豪気一徹、人情に厚く、反骨で、「突飛なことをやりだす」男のことである。女のほうは「はちきん」という。

Kochi was also a castle town. The approach to the castle gate is liveliest on Sunday as the 3-cantury-old Sunday Market is held there, the 1.2 km avenue lined with hundreds of stalls stocked with every kind of local product imaginable - vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees, raw, dried or cooked fish, coral crafts, toys, knives, antiques, old clothes, china, earthenware, kittens, puppies, granny's pickles, cookies, candies, rice cakes, pancakes and sundry items.

* 5 minutes' walk from JR Kochi Station to the entrance of Sunday Market.

 高知市も城下町として発展してきたが、高知城前の追手筋で日曜ごとにひらかれる日曜市は、約300年の歴史をもつ。何百という露店が軒をつらね、海の幸・山の幸をはじめ、地場産業の刃物やサンゴ細工、骨董、衣類、陶器、ぺっと等々、およそ思いつくかぎりのものを並べれば、あたり一帯もこの日ならではのにぎわいを見せる。

Kochi-jo Castle 高知城

Kochi-jo Castle came into being in 1588 when Chosokabe Motochika, who once subjugated the whole of Shikoku, built his castle here on top of the hill. In 1600 Yamanouchi Kazutoyo took over the castle, rebuilt it, and 16 generations of Lords Yamanouchi reigned until 1869 when the Province was officially returned to the Emperor Meiji.

市街のまんなかにあるこの城は、かつて短期間ながら四国全土を制覇した長宗我部元親が、1588年、ここに城を移築したときに始まる。1601年、山内一豊が入国するや、全面的に改築がほどこされ、以後、山内氏16代の居城となる。

The Otemon Main Gate built in 1603 Still stands. The statue seen on entering the gate is that of Itagaki Taisuke, leader of Japan's popular right movement. The other buildings - the highest donjon, turrets and gates - also retain their original style, though they were rebuilt around the middle of the 18th century.

 創建当時のまま残っているのは追手門だけで、他はすべて18世紀中頃の再建であるが、全体にもとの姿をよく伝えているといわれている。追手門を入ってすぐ前に見える銅像は、自由民権運動の指導者板垣退助の像である。

The donjion houses a museum exhibiting a large collection of mementoes of the Yamanouchi Family and historical assets of the province, with one wing dedicated to local people who in the 1860's became a driving force in overthrowing the Shogunate and restoring imperial rule.

 城山をのぼる途中には「山内一豊の妻」の銅像がある。馬の手綱をにぎっているが、これは一豊がまだ若くて無名だったころ、値がはって手のだせなかった駿馬を彼女がへそくりを持ちだして買いあたえたため、一豊は馬揃えのさい「つねに備えある心がけ」を主君信長に大いにほめられたという話にちなむ。以来、一豊は出世街道を歩みつづけ、ついに土佐藩二十四万石の主となる。

Tosa was at the vanguard when Japan was at this critical turning point in her history. The 15th lord of Tosa Province, Yamanouchi Yodo for his part presented the Shogun a petition for the peaceful restoration of imperial rule. As the Shogun accepted it in 1867 a bloodless transference of the reins of government was tentatively achieved though its aftermath, the Boshin Civil War, was far from bloodless.

 天守閣は、いまは博物館として、山内家の遺品や、県内の文化遺産、土佐が輩出した明治維新の先導者(坂本竜馬・中岡慎太郎・武市瑞山・板垣退助・中浜万次郎等々)にゆかりの品々が展示されている。明治維新といえば、十五代藩主・山内容堂の働きも注目に値する。1967年、大政奉還を建白し、将軍徳川慶喜がこれに従ったため、政権は無血どころではなかった。

At the entrance hall of the museum, there are some exhibitions concerning two of the favorite sons of Tosa Province - Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro. One of the captions is quoted from the postscript to Vol.1 of Ryoma ga yuku, a biographical novel of Sakamoto Ryomo, written by a leading novelist of contemporary Japan, Shiba Ryotaro:

 博物館入口の間には、坂本竜馬と中岡慎太郎にかんする資料が展示されている。その説明のなかに、「竜馬がゆく」(司馬遼太郎)の「あとがき」からの1節が見える。

Sakamoto Ryoma can rightly be called a miracle in the history of the Meiji Restoration. All the heroes who appeared in those days can be classified into categories. Only Ryoma cannot. He stood alone even among thousands of revolutionaries in that period. It was a miracle in itself, too, that Japan happened to have this young man at that turning point in history. If the Unseen Hand had not been so timely, Japan might have had a different history.

坂本竜馬は維新史の奇跡、といわれる。たしかに、そうであったろう。同時代に活躍したいわゆる英雄豪傑どもは、その時代的制約によって、いくらかの類型にわけることができる。 ・・・が、竜馬だけは型やぶりである。この型は、幕末維新に生きた幾千人の意士たちのなかで、一人も類例をみない。日本史が坂本竜馬を持ったことは、それ自体が奇跡であった。なぜなら、天がこの奇跡的人物を恵まなかったならば、歴史はあるいは変わっていたのではないか。

Indeed, only a few Japanese have been admired so much as Ryoma. He was the archetypical igosso, who was born in 1835 in downtown Kochi as a son of a wealthy samurai.

 実際、坂本竜馬(1835-67)ほど日本人に愛されている人物も少ないが、彼こそ「いごっそう」のなかの「いごっそう」であった。竜馬は、郷土の身分を買い戻していた富裕な侍の子として、今の高知市に生まれる。

At 19 he went up to Edo (Tokyo) to sharpen his swordsmanship. But in July of that year (1853), Edo and its vicinity were thrown into chaos: Commodore Perry of the United States arrived at Tokyo Bay, demanding the Tokugawa Shogun sing a treaty. Japan had maintained a national isolation policy for over two hundred years. The confusion that followed was unprecedented in the history of this country. Ryoma was simply a bewildered observer at that time.

 1835年、19歳で江戸へ剣の修業にでるが、同じ年に黒船がきて騒然たる時代が始まる。

In 1858 he returned to Kochi as an acknowledged swordsman. Then he met Kawada Shoryo, an artist-scholar, who was already well-informed about foreign affairs through acquaintance with John Manjiro. Shoryo inspired Ryoma with a vision of modern Japan as a nation fortified against Western colonialism.

 1858年、免許皆伝を得て高知へ帰るが、ジョン万次郎との交わりから海外事情について理解のあった河田小竜と接触し、「これからの日本がとるべき針路」についての示唆を得る。

In 1862 he returned to Edo after disenfranchising himself of goshi status in his home province. Soon he came to know Katsu Kaishu, the Shogun's Commissioner of the Warship Department. Katsu was among the most knowledgeable of internal and external affairs at that time. Two years earlier he had been to America as the captain of the first Japanese boat to cross the Pacific, when the Shogun sent a delegation to Washington to conclude a treaty of friendship and commerce with the U.S.A. He was a man of foresight, too, curiously unselfish and detached from the Shogunate he served.
Ryoma offered himself as Katsu's assistant and learned under him Western navigation and studies including political science, philosophy and law. Katsu also introduced Ryoma to his colleagues and friends. Some of them were progressive scholars or thinkers; others were politically influential.The latter turned out to be instrumental when Ryoma began to carry out his revolutionary plans.

1862年、脱藩して江戸にもどり、幕府の軍艦奉行勝海舟の門にいり、洋楽と技術を学び、多くの人脈を得る。勝の失脚後は、一人だちして、独自の計画を着々と実行に移していく。

First he started a trading corporation with some of the former students of the Navy Training Institute, established by Katsu in 1864 but closed the next year when it was suspected of being "a den of radicals" and Kastu was dismissed.
Now Ryoma knew ships were his passion and that the future of Japan was on the sea - in trading. To begin with, Ryoma approached the Satsuma Clan for a schooner, setting up a corporation in Nagasaki with the Satsuma Clan as a major shareholder. This was Japan's first joint stock company.
 
 その第一は、「日本の未来は海にあり」と見て、薩摩に近づき、スクーナー船を買わせ、薩摩を株主として、長崎に商社「亀山社中」をつくることであった。これは日本最初の株式会社であった。

His second plan was to include the Choshu Clan as another shareholder. Satsuma and Choshu had been hostile to each other, but if united, they could be a formidable power to overthrow the Shogunate, which was now turning to a European colonialist to subjugate Choshu first and then other revolutionary clans.
Ryoma, with his trading company uniting them, made Satsuma and Choshu into allies. From a merchant marine, the company thus developed into the first de facto modern navy in Lapan.

第二は、長州をもう一方の株主にすることによって「薩摩連合」をなしとげることであった。犬猿の仲であるこの二大勢力も、このようにして手をむすばせれば、いまや外国の力を借り、日本を植民地化してでもみずからを守ろうとしている幕府をもたおすことができるはずであった。

His next idea was to have someone bring forward a motion to the Shogun for the Restoration of Imperial Rule. Ryoma brought his Eight - Point Plan to Goto Shojiro, Chief Secretary of Lord Yamanouchi Yodo in Tosa, his home province. Goto felt it could be acceptable not only to the Emperor but also to the Tokugawa family if not the Shogunate itself.

第三は、幕府のにぎっている政権を平和的に朝廷にゆずらせることであった。竜馬は、自分で考え出した「八ヶ条をもって土佐藩の重役後藤象二郎をうごかし、実質上の藩主山内容堂を立てて、将軍徳川慶喜に「大政奉還」を勧める。

In fact, his Plan, slightly revised by Goto, did prove to be acceptable to all sides including Lord Yamanouchi who agreed to present the motion in his own name. On October 15, 1866, the Shogun Yoshinobu adopted it to avoid a great deal of further bloodshed.
That very night Ryoma planned how to organize a provisional government for the new era to come. The next day he produced a list of cabinet personnel. Both were agreed upon by all concerned.
At first they were surprised not to see the name of Ryoma himself on the list. Wasn't he the leader of this revolution? When asked why, Ryoma simply answered, "I am not interested in working in an office. I think I' ll go back to sea - the seas of the world."
Yet he stayed busy guiding the Meiji Restoration and planning the new government. But a month later, on November 15, on his 33rd birthday, Ryoma was assassinated in Kyoto.

1867年10月15日、将軍がこれを受けいれるのを見とどけると、ただちに新政府の青写真を作り、その準備に飛びまわる。といっても、竜馬自身の名は政府要人のリストには加えない。目が早くも「世界の海」に向いていたからである。が、それからちょうど1ヶ月後、33歳の誕生日に、京都で何者かにおそわれ、絶命する。

Before his untimely death, however, Ryoma seemed to have done everything he thought he had to. The administrative policy he had prepared was willingly adopted by the new government.
The Five-Point Imperial Oath delivered by Emperor Meiji in 1868, in effect the first constitution of modern Japan, was derived from the Eight-Point Plan Ryoma had made two years before.

生前、周到に用意していた政策は明治新政府によってさっそく用いられる。近代日本の最初の憲法ともいうべき「五ヶ条の御誓文」も、竜馬が考案した「八ヶ条」が下敷きになっている。

Here comes another igosso, Itagaki Taisuke (1837-1919). During the Boshin Civil War. Itagaki led his Tosa legion to subjugate the pro-Shogunate clan of Aizu(Fukushima Pref.).

ここに、もう一人の「いごっそう」が現れる。板垣退助(1837-1919)である。

During the battle he keenly felt the necessity for the equality of people, when he saw only the privileged class of warriors upholding the Aizu cause in that test of loyalty. The other classes, who had long been left in the cold, simply fled. Itagaki said to himself, "It's only natural ; only where there are rights is there duty."
A few years later when Itagaki retired from the cabinet in Tokyo, he started working to implement the First Article of the Imperial Charter Oath delivered by Emperor Meiji - "Deliberative assemblies shall be established on an extensive scale, and all measures of government shall be decided by public opinion."
In 1873, he and other members of the Aikoku Koto Party - the first political association of the Meiji era - presented a resolution to the government, requesting the establishment of a parliamentary government, but without success. He returned to Kochi and established the Risshi - sha society to propagate democratic principles, a pioneer among political societies emerging at that time.
By 1881 the national movement for democratic rights had reached its zenith and finally obtained the government's pledge to inaugurate a National Assembly in 1890.
But when the first Deliberative Council was finally assembled and the Liberal Party was reorganized, it had already lost its original spirit. To the frustration of Itagaki, it was difficult for liberalism, especially in politics, to take root in Japan.
Yet Kochi is regarded as the birthplace of Japan's Movement for Democratic Rights. It was also in this prefecture, in the town of Kamimachi in 1880, that women first acquired suffrage, 65 years earlier than women in the rest of the country, who attained it in 1945 only after World War II .

戊辰戦争で土佐軍をひきいて会津で戦ったとき、「四季平等」の必要性を痛感したが、のちに新政府の参議をやめると「五ヶ条の御誓文」の「広く会議を興し、万機公論に決すべし」の項を具体化するため、日本最初の政党愛国公党をおこし、民撰議院設立を提案し、「自由民権運動」の火ぶたをきる。やがて高知にもどると、立志社をおこし、各地の民権運動を指導し、1881年政府に国会開設の詔勅を出させる。10年後、国会は開設した。が、結局、真の自由主義は根づかず、板垣は失意の人となる。

*There is the Memorial Museum of this Movement for Democratic Right, Jiyuminken Kinenkan, on the Sambashi-dori near the ferry port. Open daily except Monday and days after national holidays. Admission: \300 (Students: \100)

だが、高知市は日本における「自由民権運動発祥の地」として記憶され、桟橋通りのフェリーのりば近くには自由民権記念館がある。月曜と祝日の翌日は休館。
1880年、女性が初めて参政権を獲得したのも、同県土佐郡の上町である。他県の女性に先立つこと65年であった。

The Wife of Yamanouchi Kazutoyo (山内一豊の妻)

Halfway up the castle hill by the stone steps are statues of a woman and a big horse. She is the wife of Yamanouchi Kazutoyo, widely known as "a model of an exemplary wife."

In one well-known episode, when her husband was still an unknown young samurai in Owari (Aichi Pref.) she heard he was anxious to have a fleet steed but could not afford it, and promptly produced a sufficient cache of money she had carefully saved.
By virtue of that wonderful horse, Kazutoyo's readiness to help his master was first recognized by Oda Nobunaga, ultimate victor of the long Civil War from 1477 to 1573. Kazutoyo continued his successful career until he was appointed Lord or Tosa Province by the Tokugawa Shogunate with a fief of 240,000 koku, the largest in Shikoku.

Naturally many wives in Japan still like to cite "Yamanouchi Kazutoyo's wife" to justify their secret savings.

Chosokabe Motochika (長曽我部元親)

Chosokabe Motochika (1539-99), like many other warlords in the Civil War Period that lasted about a century from the close of the 15th Century, fought for his autonomy and for the increase of his fief until he finally subjugated the whole island of Shikoku (1584).

But soon he had to fight against Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the successor to Oda Nobunaga as the strongest civil-war baron steadily unifying the country. When Motochika was defeated, he had to give up all the Lands he had invaded - Awa, Sanuki and Iyo. And it was only by helping was formally appointed Lord of Tosa.

Soon after his death, however, his heir Morichika fought a losing battle against the Tokugawa at Sekigahara, only to be deprived of his fief. In 1615 he was killed during the Tokugawas' siege against Osaka Castle. This spelled the end of the Chosokabe eminence.

When Yamanouchi Kazutoyo became Lord of Tosa, he brought his own samurai from his former fiefdom (60,000koku) of Kakegawa (shizuoka apref.), thus badly icing Chosokabe's samurai called goshi or country samurai all through the Edo Period. No wonder those goshi from Tosa ware among the main forces to over throw the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Godaisan Hill (五台山)

* 25 minutes' bus ride from Seibu Terminal (Tosa Dentetsu Bus bound for Chikurinji).

Chikurin-ji Temple, situated on top of Godaisan Hill, is one of the biggest of the 88 temples. The main image, Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of wisdom and intellect, and 19 other Buddhist images in the treasure house are all Important Cultural Properties.
Just next to the temple is Makino Botanical Garden, a 30,000 m garden with 1,200 species, built in memory of the world-famous botanist Makino Tomitaro (1862-1957). He was an igosso, too. The self-taught man spent his life traveling to every corner of this country, making a collection of no less than 400,000 specimens, discovering and naming about 1,000 new species, and writing a number of books containing his own precise illustrations.

Makino Bunko Library in the Garden houses 42,000 volumes from his library, part of which is open to the public. Open daily except December 28 -January 3. Admission:\350.

浦戸湾を見おろす五台山には、四国霊場第三十一番竹林寺がある。本尊文殊菩薩をはじめ、宝物館にある19体の仏像もすべて重要文化財である。すぐ隣には、世界的植物学者・牧野富太郎(1862-1957)を記念する牧野植物園があり、約1200種の植物がかんしょうできる。かれも「いごっそう」だったのであろう、ほとんどどくがくで研究にふけり、採取のために全国をくまなく歩き、その標本は40数万点、新種の発見は命名したものだけでも約1000種にのぼる。自筆の精密な挿絵をそえた著書も多い。園内の牧野文庫には寄贈の図書役42,000冊が収められ、一部が公開されている。年末年始の7日以外は年中開園。

Katsurahama Beach (桂浜)

* 30 minutes' bus ride from Harimaya-bashi (Kochi-ken Kotsu Bus bound for Katsurahama)
* For Ryoma Kinen-ken Memorial Museum, get off at Hotei Keishokaku mae Bus Stop.

This beach on the Pacific Ocean is among the most popular in Shikoku. The Shell Museum near the bus stop displays a collection of 100,000 specimens. Open daily. Admission: \500.

The Aquarium on the beach is another attraction. Open daily. Admission: \950 (High school studeants: \600)
Looking over the ocean is a statue of Sakamoto Ryoma erected in 1928 by Ryoma admirers on top of a small hill near the Tosa Fighting Dog Center. On another hill behind is the Ryoma Memorial Museum, which was also funded by Ryoma admirers all over the country. High technology is utilized in various ways to introduce his dramatic life.
Open daily. Admission: \350

* Another museum dedicated to Ryoma is the Ryoma Wax Doll Museum that features the 25 scenes from his life.

Tosa Fighting Dogs (土佐闘犬)

Near Katsurahama Bus Stop there is the Tosa Fighting Dogs Center where a dog fight is shown when they have an audience of 30 or more. (\1000).

Kochi Prefecture is known for the two types of dogs - the native Tosa Dog as a Natural Monument and the Tosa Fighting Dogs, crossbreeds of the native dogs with mastiffs, bulldogs are St. Bernards.

Here dogs are carefully trained and the game is conducted under strict rules.

A dog that whines or turns its hind to the opponent is judged the loser.

Like sumo wrestlers, the dogs are graded into a hierarchy according to the points they have recently earned.

* The long - tailed cocks called onaga - dori exhibited in another corner are also peculiar to this prefecture. The tail of a fullgrown cock reaches as long as 6 m. How this species came into being is unknown.

茫々たる太平洋をのぞむ桂浜は、四国でも有数の観光地である。バス停近くの貝類博物館には、約100,000点の標本を展示する。その近くには、土佐犬センターもある。30名以上が集まれば、闘犬の実演がみられる。高知県には、もともと天然記念物の土佐犬がいるが、これにマスティフ、ブルドッグ、セントバーナードなどを交配・改良して出来上がったのが土佐犬である。犬は日ごろからよく訓練されている。試合は厳密な規定にもとづいて行われ、すこしでも弱音を出すか、相手に後ろを見せれば「負け」になる。相撲のような番付がある。同センターでは、高知名物の尾長鳥も飼育されている。雄鶏の尾は6mにもなるが、起源は分からない。
水族館もある。その先の小高い丘の上には、坂本竜馬の像が海を見渡して立っている。うしろの丘の上にも、竜馬を敬愛する人々の募金によって建てられた竜馬記念館がある。ハイテクを駆使して竜馬の劇的な生涯を紹介している。龍河洞へいく途中の野市町にも竜馬歴史(蝋人形)館がある。

Ryugado Cave 龍 河 洞

Ryugado Stalactite Grotto deep in Mt. Sampo is one of the biggest three of its kind in Japan. Visitors are guided along a 1 km path, about a quarter of the whole grotto, thought to be 150,000,000 years old.

For those who are not claustrophobic, stalactites of various shapes and sizes highlight a narrow maze where falls resound and streams murmur. There are about 100 animal species living in the darkness--bats, shrimp, crabs and so on.

When the grotto was discovered in 1931, they found not a few relics from the Yayoi Period (roughly 300 B.C.-300 A.D). In one corner, more than a dozen earthenware vessels remained almost intact, together with some stoneware, animal bones and shells. Another corner had a water jar to collect water dripping from above--now a stalactite.

Nakamura City  中 村 市

Situated on the Shimanto, the largest river in Shikoku, the city is known as Little Kyoto because of its origin, its checkered streets and places named after those in Kyoto. The origin of the city dates back to 1468 when Ichijo Norifusa, the former Chief Advisor to the Emperor, chose to live here, taking refuge from the Onin Civil War in Kyoto.

The Onin Civil War (1467-1477) fought between 2 groups of the Muromachi Shogun's vassals and warriors reduced Kyoto to ashes, starting the Civil War Period that lasted about 100 years.

When Norifusa Became Lord of Tosa, the small village of Nakamura was made the capital of the Land of Tosa and remained so for about a century until 1573 when Chosokabe Motochika banished Lord Ichijo`s descendents to Kyushu.

Ichijo-jinja Shrine 一条神社 built at the site of the residence of the Ichijo family, Fuwa Hachimangu Shrine 不破八幡宮 and Taihei-ji Temple 太平寺 are among the historic spots remaining from the heyday of Nakamura. A most spectacular Gion-Matsuri Festival (the1st weekend in August) at Gion-jinja 祇園神社 was also started by Ichijo Norifusa.

Tamematsu Koen Park 為松公園, laid out on the former site of Nakamura-jo Castle built by Lord Tamematsu before Ichijo Norifusa arrived, now features a local historic museum housed in a newly-built donjon. The museum displays mementoes of the Ichijo family, historical assets of this neighborhood and some writtings and belongings of Kotoku Shusui 幸徳秋水, a native of Nakamura and another igosso who led Japan's first pacifist-socialist movement.

Kotoku Shusui (1871-1911) : As a boy he took part in the national movement for democratic rights . As a young man he made himself a student of Nakae Chomin 中江兆民(1847-1901), another igosso from Kochi City, a political thinker who first translated and propagated Jean Jacques Rousseau's Du Contrat Social.

Then he turned to pacifist-socialism and firmly opposed the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5), advocating democracy and a peaceful society.

As the goverment was oppressing socialism ,4 syndicated workmen plotted to assassinate Emperor Meiji, but were detected in 1910. Kotoku was not directly involved, even though he had turned to anarchism. But the government, anxious to eli0minate such elements, accused him of being the main conspirator and in the following year condemned him to death together with 11 others.

The Dragonfly Reservation and Museum トンボの王国 represents the local people's will to keep the Shimanto--the last unpolluted river in Japan--as it is. There are over 70 varieties seen in summer and early autumn.

   Cape Ashizuri  足 摺 岬

Cape Ashizuri, the southermost tip of Shikoku, crowns the Ashizuri Uwakai National Park. A few hours' hiking promenade on the cliff covered with camellias and subtropical trees centers on Kongofukuji Temple 金剛福寺, which provides both a Pilgrims' Lodge and a Youth Hostel.

Gazing out over wide stretches of ocean rewards the extensive travel required to reach there. But the breakers below the high rocky cliff look and sound forbidding.

Nevertheless, stories from the 12th to 15th centuries celebrate men who set out from these rocks and let the wind and the currents carry them into the void of the ocean. They ware Kannon worshippers, who tried to reach the blessed land of Kannon--Fudaraku, from Potalaka, a rocky mountain at the tip of Cape Comorin in India.

The holy man who chose to sail over the seas for Fudaraku had utmost faith in Kannon, the Buddhist embodiment of compassion. But his disciples, seeing their master and his boat carried away on the unknown sea, were stricken with grief. In tears they stamped their feet on the rocks. This is, we are told, why this cape is named Ashizuri or Foot-Stamping.

Kongofuku-ji Temple, which Emperor Saga designated as the East Gate to Fudaraku, has traditionally been a training place for traveling monks and ascetics since 822 when it was reportedly founded by Kobo Daishi (Kukai).

[John Manjiro ジョン万次郎]

In 1841, a local boy was borne away by winds and tides. But unlike the Kannon worshippers in former days, he returned home as a young man equipped with a wealth ofinformation from abroad. He is known as John Manjiro ジョン万次郎 (1827-1898), whose statue marks Ashizuri-misaki Bus Stop. Manjiro was born in present-day Tosa Shimizu City as the second son of a firsherman who had died when Manjiro was nine.

To help his widowed mother who had to support five children, Manjiro worked hard as an assistant fisherman.

 One day in January when he was 14, his master's boat fishing off Tosa Bay was caught in a storm. The five in the boat were thrown into mortal fear. Thirteen days later, they were cast upon the rocky shore of Torishima, an uninhabited island 580 km off Tokyo Bay.

Five months later, they were rescued by an American whaler. When she anchored in Honolulu the Japanese fishermen gratefully disembarked. But Captain Whitfield, who found Manjiro unusually bright and diligent, was eager to bring him to his hometown, New Bedford. He offered his plan, and Manjiro gladly accepted it.

Four years passed before the whaler returned home to Massachusetts. By that time Manjiro had become a good whaler himself. John Mung, as Captain Whitfield liked to call him, spent three years on land learning the reading and writing of English, mathematics, navigation and mensuration.

Then he was again on board a whaler , which brought him to southern Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australia, Java, New Guinea, Manila, the East China Sea, Taiwan, Okinawa and Hawaii. Two years later he had another opportunity to go to sea and when he returned to Massachusetts it was as the vice-captain of the whaler.

Manjiro might have spent the rest of his life in America. He had been kindly accepted by the community. He liked the American way of life--democracy, freedom and independence. Yet he thought he must return to Japan to help Japan open her door to the rest of the world. To Manjiro who had visited many ports around the world, Japan's policy and behavior seemed quite outdated.

Then the gold rush brought him to California. With some money he got there, he managed to sail to Honolulu to join the Japanese fishermen he had parted with earlier. In 1851, ten years after they left home, Manjiro and two fishermen succeded in returning as close as Okinawa. One had already died, another had chosen to stay in Hawaii.

The first-hand overseas information and skills Manjiro brought home were eagerly sought after by those who had already felt the necessity for the opening of Japan. It was not long before he was summoned by Lord Shimazu of Satsuma Province (Kagoshima Pref.) to which Okinawa belonged, and then by lord Yamanouchi of Tosa, his home province.

In 1853 Commodore Perry arrived at Uraga with his black ships. Nakahama (John) Manjiro 中浜万次郎, now a samurai of Tosa Province, was summoned by the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (Tokyo) for his knowledge of the world he had sailed around and of the United States where he had been living.

He taught them English, translation, navigation, mensuration, shipbuilding, and whaling. The next year a treaty of friendship and commerce was signed. In 1860 when the Tokugawa Shogun sent a delegation to the U.S.A to conclude the treaty, Manjiro again crossed the Pacific as their interpreter.

After the Meiji Restoration in 1867 the new goverment also needed his help, offering him a post at the Kaisei School for Western Learning, which later became part of Tokyo University, Japan's first national university.

Manjiro was the first modern Jaoanese to acquire a global viewpoint--a very rare case. But sometimes he could be a hard case in Japan, a land of feudalistic conformity. Yet Manjiro as a true individualist and igosso, did as much as he could for his two countries--Japan and America.

John Mung House ジョン万ハウス is dedicated to the Japan-America friendship Manjiro established in the 19th Century.

Tatsukushi & Minokoshi

Sandstone carved into fantastic shapes by waves and winds provides "the Forty-eight Surprises" along the coast of Tatsukushi. The glass-bottom boat, which leaves the Kanko Noriba Pier, brings passengers to Minokoshi across an aquatic park that features corals and other subtropical life.

Along the coast of Minokoshi, even more spectacular than Tatsukushi, the promenade leads to Byobuiwa Rock with ripple marks fossilized on the sea-bed. At least 2 hours are required in Minokoshi alone.

Cape Muroto

Cape Muroto, the principal attraction of the Muroto Anan Quasi-National park, consists of a 100 m-high-terrace and the rugged rocky shore around it. On the terrace there stands Hotsumisaki-ji Temple.

Next to the temple are a lighthouse and a meteorological station, good places for whale-watching. This area, a preferred route for typhoons, is the windiest part of Japan, average years having over 180 days with winds of gale force.

The statue of a young man that marks the bus stop is that of Nakaoka Shintaro (1838-1867), an associate of Sakamoto Ryoma. They were assassinated together in Kyoto in Ryoma's room at the Omiya Inn. Shintaro is viewed as gazing upon Ryoma at faraway Katsurahama Beach.

The shore can be explored by following the promenade. About 25 minutes' walk will bring you to a couple of caves, one of which is called Shimmei-kutsucelebrating Kukai's having achieved enlightenment there at the age of 19.

Whale-watching

The towns and villages along the Pacific coast were known for whaling for about 300 years Today they attract visitors interested in whale-watching.

Whales and dolphins in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans migrate to warmer seas in their breeding season, so in spring they are seen going north along the western coast of the cape, and in winter going south along the eastern coast.

Whale-watching cruises are available at the ports of Muroto-misaki and Ogata near Nakamura City.


From the English-Japanese Shikoku Bilingual Guidebook, by Akiko Takemoto and Steve McCarty. Takamatsu: Biko Books. E-mail the Editor of this Website: Steve McCarty.


Updated 22 October 2016

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