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遣米使節 小栗忠順の従者
 三好 権三
Gonzo Miyoshi
Follower of Tadamasa Oguri, Japanese envoy to the United States


Of the nine followers of Tadamasa Oguri, one of the Japanese envoys to the U.S. in 1860, only Miyoshi Gonzo could not be identified until now. Recently, I found out that he was from Nichihara, Tsuwano-cho, Shimane Prefecture, so I visited his grave and did some research.


Nichihara is located in the western part of Shimane Prefecture, which is long from east to west, and is a mountainous town along the Takatsu River about 25 kilometers south of Masuda City. It was in the autumn of 1982, the year before the Akagi National Athletic Meet in Gunma Prefecture, that the Shimane National Athletic Meet was held, and I stayed in the nearby town of Muikaichi for a week to observe the mountaineering events. I didn't realize at that time unfortunately that Nichihara was related to Kozukenosuke Oguri, and I had to visit it again. (November 2004)

◇小栗上野介の『家計簿』の文久二年五月二十二日に、一金弐分  三好権三病死いたし候ニ付遣スとの記載がある。以下はその病死の時の様子も含めて仔細が判明したルポ。

◇ In the "Household Account Book" of Kozukenosuke Oguri, there is an entry on June 19, 1862 (May 22 of Bunkyu 2 in Japanese calender), "Gonzo Miyoshi died of illness, so I sent 2-bu as condolense money to the bereaved family." The following is a report on the details, including the circumstances of his death.



Visit to the Miyoshi Family in Nichihara
Gonzo Miyoshi died two years after his return to Japan, in the Oguri family residence in Surugadai, Edo, so he is little known in Shimane Prefecture.
三好権三の墓(小栗上野介・遣米使節) 三好権三(小栗上野介・遣米使節)
右側・「七代三好藤左衛門秀紀ノ八男 俗名三好権三義路事 行年二十八才 文久二年五月二十二日江戸駿河台ニテ死ス」

Tomb of
Miyoshi Gonzo

On the front: posthumous Buddhist name of "Shaku Kyo Cho Shinji"
On the right: "Gonzo Yoshimichi Miyoshi, eighth son of Tozaemon Hidenori Miyoshi VII, died at the age of 28 in Surugadai, Edo, on June 19, 1862 (May 22 of Bunkyu 2 in Japanese calender)."

I offered "Oguri monaka (bean-jam-filled wafers)" that I had brought from Gonda village and recited the sutra.
背面・「万延元年一八六〇年最初ノ遣米使節ハ新見豊前守副使村垣淡路守監察小栗豊後守忠順也 三好権三ハ小栗豊後守ノ小姓トシテ渡米 当時ノ米国大統領ジェームスブカナン胸像入り銅メタル一個記念トシテ受領

On the back:
"The first Japanese mission to the United States in 1860, in the first year of the Man'en Era, consisted of the senior envoy Buzennokami Shinmi, the vice envoy Awajinokami Muragaki and the censor Bungonokami Tadamasa Oguri. Gonzo Miyoshi went to the U.S. as a follower of Bungonokami Oguri. He received a bronze metal with a bust of James Buchanan, President of the U.S. at the time, as a memorial."
 左側・「元墓石風化破損セルニヨリ 十代妻三好筆子再建之」


On the left:
"Former tombstone was damaged by weathering, so this tombstone was rebuilt by Fudeko Miyoshi, wife of the 10th family head."

Ms. Fudeko, who passed away in 1984, was concerned about the damage caused by weathering before she died, so when her tombstone was erected, Mr. Masamichi Terai, a family member of her parents house, rebuilt it.
左「寛政十一巳未年仲秋下旬 六代三好勝右衛門藤原秀寿改建」

Tomb of the original founder of the Miyoshi family

On the front: Posthumous Buddhist name of "Shaku Chogen Zenjomon"
On the back: "Tomb of Tozaemon Fujiwara Kunitsugu Miyoshi, the founder of Miyoshi family"
On the right: "February 1, 1665"
On the left: "Mr. Hidehisa Fujiwara Katsuemon Miyoshi, the 6th family head of the Miyoshi family reconstructed the tomb in late August of 1799"

The tomb was located on the left side of the Miyoshi family graveyard near the town hall.

The Graveyard of the Miyoshi family: The gravestones of the Miyoshi family line up.

Mr. Kuwabara of the town's Board of Education and Mr. Murakami, chairman of the Cultural Properties Protection Association, showed us around.

The house of Miyoshi Family
The house was rebuilt about 20 years ago. The current head of the family is in Tokyo, so the house is vacant.

Gate of Miyoshi House
The gate was moved to Ganryuji Temple, the family temple of the Miyoshi family, and is now the temple gate.

Gate Tiles
The tiles used for the gate were stored in the Nichihara History and Folklore Museum of Tsuwano town.

This is the palanquin used by the Miyoshi family.

Nichihara History and Folklore Museum of Tsuwano-cho
In addition to the Miyoshi family's roof tiles and the palanquin, a wealth of folk materials, mainly collected by Mr. Yoshimi Ohba, are well organized.

Takatsu River
The Takatsu River is known as one of the clearest rivers in Shimane prefecture and is said to produce a lot of sweetfish.

Nichihara Elementary School
I thanked the elementary school for making "Gonzo Miyoshi" on their website.

Former Nichihara Town History Books
There is a little bit about Gonzo Miyoshi in the town history, but since he died in Edo (now Tokyo) at a young age, little is known about him.

Nichihara Elementary School
I hope that the children of this town will learn about "Gonzo Miyoshi from Shimane Prefecture, one of the first Japanese people to circumnavigate the world" and be proud of him.
Gonzo Miyoshi's relics and related materials
The case of the commemorative medal from James Buchanan, the 15th President of the U.S.
The case was neatly preserved in a box, and when I opened it, I found the familier pattern of the medal which I had seen before on Yuzo Ebata (Arakawa)'s medal.

Commemorative medal
The words around the medal read "JAMES BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES." He was the 15th President of the United States and succeeded by Abraham Lincoln.

Gonzo's spirit tablet
The one made in Edo was enshrined.
「三好権三 右御供頭被仰付 御給金四両弐分被成下 九月」

Appointment letter of a follower
"Gonzo Miyoshi, you have been appointed as the leader of the retinue and will be paid 4-ryo 2-bu. September."

Mrs. Terai said, "Since his retirement, my husband has been so absorbed in deciphering and organizing these records and documents that he hasn't helped me a bit with weeding the fields. I had been wondering why he was so absorbed in these useless documents, but today, when you all came all the way from Gunma prefecture, I finally understood the meaning of what he was doing..." She smiled happily.
関連ページ Related Pages 






Bridge of Hope (English) … 小栗上野介の業績を紹介するJEWL発行の書籍











 ■ Journey Around the World: They were the first Japanese to go around the world with a purpose.
■ Itinerary of the Japanese Mission to the United States: The Itinerary of the first Japanese to go around the world
Visiting the course of the mission to the U.S. (Philadelphiai)
■ Visiting the course of the mission to the U.S. (Washington DC): The main gate of the naval shipyard still existed.
Visiting the course of the mission to the U.S. (New York): They bypassed the Broadway to continue the parade on the way to the hotel.
Leaflet in Japanese and English, "Three ships that carried the mission to the U.S. and around the world": We have made the leaflet to advocate removing the Kanrin Maru from school textbooks.
Bridge of Hope (English) ... JEWL (Japanese Executive Women's League) in Los Angeles praises the achievements of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Oguri in the book they have published.
President's medals: Gold, silver, and bronze medals were presented to the envoys and all the followers.
Toshichi Sato, a village master who traveled around the world: Gonda village master traveled around the world as a follower of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Oguri
Sadayu Tamamushi: The world that a Sendai clan samurai saw was fresh.
Oguri's Followers on the Mission to America: Nine Followers of Tadamasa Oguri
Achievements of the Japanese mission to the U.S.: Oguri brought back a screw nail.
Three ships for the Japanese mission to the U.S.: The USS Powhatan brought the mission to the U.S. by crossing the Pacific ocean and the Kanrin Maru was not used for the mission.
The Japanese envoys to the U.S. decided to use the Hinomaru as the national flag: They chose the Hinomaru as the national flag of Japan, which was originally a ship's seal.
Tommy Polka: Music of Onojiro Tateishi, a boy interpreter who became very popular in the U.S.
Mission to the U.S. and American Dairy Farming: The first Japanese to eat ice cream

Izu Shimoda, the town of the USS Powhatan
■ A letter of thanks to Mr. Hideyuki Okazaki, a model sailing ship artist: Thanks to him, we have three ships of the mission to the U.S.

<Regarding Kanrin Maru>
There have been false theories recently that "Settsunokami Yoshitake Kimura was a deputy envoy" and that "the ship on which the deputy envoy boarded was the Kanrin Maru." Where are the roots of them?
Japanese people with the "Kanrin Maru disease": A syndrome that they feel uncomfortable unless they mention the Kanrin Maru and Kaishu Katsu in every occasion
Captain Brooke: The Kanrin Maru did not sink thanks to Brooke and John Manjiro.
The Kanrin Maru myth created by Shushin textbooks: The "story" of the Kanrin Maru was taught in the national textbook "Shushin" from 1918 to 1945, and it still confuses Japanese people.