|小栗上野介と日本海海戦 （HP東善寺） ●● 東郷元帥の謝辞
Kozukenosuke Oguri and the Battle of the Sea of Japan (HP Tozenji Temple) ●● Acknowledgments of General Togo
Kozukenosuke Oguri and the Battle of the Sea of Japan
Acknowledgments of General Togo
Heihachiro Togo (Owned by Tozenji)
In the summer of 1912 (Meiji 45), Heihachiro Togo invited the bereaved family of Kozukenosuke Oguri to his home and thanked them, saying, "It was thanks to Mr. Kozukenosuke Oguri's building of the Yokosuka Shipyard that we were able to achieve complete victory in the Battle of the Sea of Japan.
General Togo's Acknowledgments
When they were invited to Heihachiro Togo's home, Kuni, Oguri's daughter, who was born in Aizu and grew up in Tokyo, stayed at home, while Sadao Oguri, her husbund, and their son Mataichi (12 years old) went out. It was seven years after the end of the Russo-Japanese War.
It is said that Heihachiro Togo advised Oguri and his son to sit in the upper seats, but they declined and took the lower seats. Then, Togo stated that the primary reason for the victory of the Russo-Japanese War was the immense prestige of Emperor Meiji and said, "I can't tell you how much Mr. Oguri's construction of the Yokosuka Shipyard helped us as a primary factor in our military victory," thanking them very nicely and frankly.
Sadao Oguri, younger brother of Meiji-era writer Ryukei Yano
Togo presents his calligraphy
After treating them to a delicious meal, Togo offered to give them his calligraphy as a memento of the day. Sadao replied, "I joined the Oguri family as a son-in-law of Kozukenosuke, so I am not related to Kozukenosuke Oguri. My son, Mataichi, is the granddaughter of Kozukenosuke Oguri. If you are going to go to the trouble of writing a calligraphy, I would like it to be dedicated to my son instead of myself. He also explained the origin of his son's name.
Whenever there were battles in early 1600s, Tadamasa Oguri IV (小栗忠政 an ancestor of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Oguri) was always reported to be "the first spearman!" So Tadamasa IV was given the name "Mataichi" (meaning "the first again") by Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa. When Togo heard that the Oguri family had been honored with that name for generations and that Kozukenosuke had also taken the name "Mataichi," his face beamed and he readily agreed, saying, "That is a good name for you." A short time later, the Oguri family received a calligraphy from Togo with the inscription, "For Mataichi Oguri: Jin, Gi, Rei, Chi, Shin (benevolence, justice, gratitude, cleverness, faith)."
The Calligraphy Donated to Tozenji Temple
We always wanted to start a "more friendly Oguri Festival" that anyone could participate in and, in April 1997, decided to have a festival of that style for the first time that year. We invited the descendants of the Oguri family to the festival commemorating the 130th anniversary of Kozukenosuke Oguri's death. Unfortunately, though, Tadato Oguri, a descendant of Kozukenosuke replied to us by phone and said, "We can't attend it, but I would like to donate the calligraphy written by Heihachiro Togo to the temple so that everyone can see it. If people look at this, it will help restore the honor of my great-grandfather."
This is a phrase implying that Oguri's descendants lament that the honor of Kozukenosuke Oguri, who was innocently killed by the Meiji Restoration government, has yet to be restored.
右から「仁義禮智信 壬子夏為小栗又一君 東郷書」 東善寺蔵
General Togo's calligraphy
From right to left: "Jin, Gi, Rei, Chi, Shin (benevolence, justice, gratitude, cleverness, faith), 1912 summer, for Mataichi Oguri, Togo's calligraphy", owned by Tozenji Temple.
|Descendants of General Togo visit the Tozenji temple
In August 2004, Mrs. Muneko Hosaka, the great-granddaughter of General Togo, visited the temple with her husband, Yoshio, and their two sons. She said that she was surprised to see her great-grandfather's calligraphy introduced on NHK TV's "Sonotoki Rekishi-ga Ugoita - Oguri Kozukenosuke" and wanted to visit the temple.
Mrs. Muneko and her husband attended an international conference in St. Petersburg, Russia in March 2004 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty and she gave a lecture, "My Great-grandfather's Way of Life and I." In the lecture, she mentioned this calligraphy and said that her great-grandfather frankly acknowledged the achievements of Kozukenosuke Oguri, who was killed by the Meiji government forces, and invited the descendants of Oguri to his house to thank them. Mrs. Muneko also said that her great-grandfather was such a person of sincerity.
Calligraphy plaque and great-granddaughter's family
Mrs. Muneko Hosaka, great-granddaughter of General Togo, her husband and their two sons in front of the plaque. August 2004 (Heisei 16)
As an aside, the eyes of Mrs. Muneko resembled Heihachiro Togo's so much that I was quite surprised.
Two meanings of Togo's gratuity
1. Minesweepers & Destroyers: Most of the large battleships that fought in the Battle of the Sea of Japan, including the Mikasa, were made in England, Germany, and the United States. Destroyers and minesweepers, which were ordered to sortie in the evening, chased the Russian ships that were damaged by the daytime bombardment between battleships and fled, and approached them closely at high speed, fired mines and sank them without fail, resulting in a complete victory. Most of those small and medium-sized minesweepers and destroyers were built in Yokosuka and Kure.
2. Ship Repair Yard: The ship repair technology that developed along with shipbuilding enabled a complete overhaul of the combined fleet ships before the Baltic Fleet arrived, bringing out the maximum of the ships' capabilities. The existence of dry docks dug up with mokkos (a net of rope with ropes attached to the four corners to carry earth and stones) and pickaxes during the late Edo and Meiji periods was particularly significant.
These two factors led to Togo's appreciation of how useful they were in the Battle of the Sea of Japan. If Japan had been defeated in the Battle of the Sea of Japan, the sea would have become one that could not be freely traversed, and Japan's national destiny, with Russia breathing down its neck, would have developed in a very different direction. We can say that the storehouse, which Oguri laughed at, saying, "It will eventually become a house for sale with a storehouse," saved the country.
A causal story about May 27
In the "Tsushima Incident" (February 1861), which occurred when Kozukenosuke Oguri was the foreign magistrate, he was unable to immediately evacuate the Russian warship Posadnick, which was trying to establish a base on leased land in Tsushima, and badly let down.
Forty-four years later, Japan was able to defeat the Russian fleet in the Battle of the Sea of Japan off Tsushima on May 27th and 28th, 1905 thanks to the Yokosuka Shipyard. Kozukenosuke Oguri was killed by the western army on May 27th, 1868 (leap day of April 6th in Keio 4th year). That is why Kurabuchi town holds the Oguri Festival every year on May 27th, or the Sunday just before that date.
If you have read this page, you are eligible for membership in the Association to Remove the Kanrin Maru from School Textbooks.
Member's responsibility: Insist on removing the picture of the Kanrin Maru, which is used to explain the Japanese mission to the U.S., from junior high and high school history textbooks and supplementary readers, and putting a picture of the mission's visit to the Washington Naval Shipyard in its place.
Member's privilege: You can reveal your knowledge such as "Kaishu Katsu was not an envoy to the U.S.," "Kaishu Katsu returned from San Francisco," "The envoy to the U.S. did not board the Kanrin Maru," "The construction of the Yokosuka shipyard was conceived from Kozukenosuke Oguri's visit to the Washington Naval Shipyard," etc.
| Related pages
◇ The theory that the Yokosuka ironworks were built with borrowed money : It was wrongly alleged by a writer who misread the historical materials.Yokosuka Shipyard's Loan: Misreading the Contract
◇ Falsely accued Oguri - he used Shikoku and Ezo as collateral：A baseless theory in the turmoil of the late Edo period Yokosuka shipyard's loan to Shikoku and Ezo
◇ Yokosuka shipyard, "House for sale with a storehouse"
◇ The construction of Yokosuka Shipyard
◇ The bricks of Yokosuka Shipyard: Bricks made in Yokosuka, which we could finally get.
◇ Advocacy of forest protection and cultivation： Shipbuilding requires a lot of wood...
◇ Chief Engineer Francois-Leonce Verney： Yokosuka City Website (link)
◇ Reading the "Detailed Drwing of Yokosuka"： The shipyard was equipped with the most advanced facilities of modern industry and was crowded with many visitors.
◇ Yokosuka Shipyard "Japan-U.S. Friendship Base History Tour" (link)
◇ Kaishu Katsu's "500 Year Navy Theory"： The authenticity of "Kaishu's Diary" wavers.
◇ General Togo's Acknowledgement： Victory in the Battle of the Sea of Japan was thanks to Mr. Oguri...
◇ Structural reforms at the end of the Edo period：Kozukenosuke Oguri brought a screw as a souvenir.
◇ Dutch Steam Hammer (link)
◇ Latest Aircraft Carriers and Docks at the End of Edo Period：Tour of the former Yokosuka Shipyard
◇ Tomioka Silk Milll：Exciting Exploration of Technology (link)
◇ Tomioka Silk Mill to a World Heritage Site： The Mill is now on the World Heritage Tentative List and is one step closer to becoming a World Heritage Site. (link)
◇ "The fate of the Shogunate, the fate of Japan" by Kozukenosuke Oguri