小栗上野介の顕彰   ●            小栗上野介のレリーフ
  Honoring Kozukenosuke Oguri Relief of Kozukenosuke Oguri


Relief of Kozukenosuke Oguri

Activities to honor Kozukenosuke Oguri began in the early Showa period (1926 - 1989).


Relief of Kozukenosuke Oguri
Displayed at the 2nd floor lobby of Gunma Kaikan
(in front of Gunma Prefectural Office)


In 1930, to celebrate the completion of the Gunma Kaikan (in front of the Gunma Prefectural Government Office in Maebashi City), Hideyoshi Shinohara, then president of the Jomo Shimbun newspaper, presented reliefs of "Kozukenosuke Oguri" and "Hikokuro Takayama" as representative of Gunma's great men, and they have been displayed in the entrance to the main hall on the second floor ever since.
When the hall was extensively renovated for the Akagi National Athletic Meet (1983), they were removed and stored in the basement warehouse. In 2001, I borrowed Oguri's relief and exhibited it until November 13, 2001 at Tozenji Temple which independently participated in the National Cultural Festival under the theme of "Learning from Kozukenosuke Oguri."
The creator of the relief was Torizo Morimura, a native of Isesaki City. He is known as the sculptor who created the prototype of the statue of Byakui Kannon statue in Takasaki City. Incidentally, there is a story that it was a young employee, Kakuei Tanaka, who transported the prototype statue to Inoue Industries in Takasaki, but this is not known to be true (Kakuei Tanaka was the prime minister of Japan from 1972 to 1974).
This statue reveals that:
Kozukenosuke Oguri has been honored in Gunma Prefecture since the beginning of the Showa period (1926 - 1989). Many people seem to think that Kozukenosuke Oguri suddenly became famous in recent years, or that he became famous because of the buried treasure fiasco, but this relief shows that, in Gunma Prefecture, Kozukenosuke Oguri was already considered "a great person representing Gunma" and was honored in the early Showa period.



Why was Oguri no longer known after that?
In a lecture at the Oguri Festival in May 2000, Yukio Akatsuka, critic and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Chubu University, said:
"Until the beginning of the Showa period, the Oguri name was known to everyone. In the 1940s, the Sino-Japanese War escalated, and the military intervened in politics by expanding the Emperor's right to command, while the trend toward an imperialistic view of history strengthened and the government of the Shogunate before the Meiji government was denied. So, even today, this trend continues in some parts, and there are even university professors who do not know the name of Kozukenosuke Oguri."
Also, in his book, "Did You Hear Tommy Polka: Kozukenosuke Oguri and Onojiro Tateishi at the End of the Edo Period" (Kazumaysha, 1,785 yen), Mr. Akatsuka states:
"If the Meiji period was a great era, then it was the Edo style of culture, originality, curiosity, and precision that made it a great era, and Edo also had an ideal human image of dignity that had long been sharpened.
In a sense, I believe that Japan's current decadence lies in the fact that the batteries of Edo have been completely cut off."




Kaizan Nakazato, a great writer of the Meiji era, regretted Oguri's death when he wrote the following:
In the section of "Ocean-no-Maki" of his novel "Daibosatsu Touge (The Great Bodhisattva Pass)," Nakazato wrote, "History is, for the time being, the history of everyone on the side of the victors..."
He continued to write, "If the stage is set in the correct way, the actor who stood in front of Takamori Saigo at the time of the Meiji Restoration was not Kaishu Katsu but Kozukenosuke Oguri. It was Kozukenosuke Oguri who stood up against, not only Saigo, but the entire power of the Meiji Restoration."
レリーフの複製 Reproduction of the Relief
募金にご協力ありがとうございました Thank you for your donation!


□複製完成披露 2002年5月26日(日) 「小栗まつり」で完成披露しました。


We were able to reproduce this relief for people who visit Tozenji Temple to see the history of Kozukenosuke Oguri, thanks to your donations. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

□ The duplicate was unveiled at the Oguri Festival on Sunday, May 26, 2002.

(June 2002)

■ The relief statue of Gunma Kaikan was again installed on the wall of the second floor lobby in 2002.