|小栗上野介随想（HP東善寺） ●● ほんとうの「幕末明治日本の産業革命の地」横須賀造船所 Essays for Kozukenosuke Oguri (Tozenji Temple) ●● Yokosuka Shipyard, the real "site of the industrial revolution of late Edo and Meiji Japan"
The Place where Japan's Industrial Revolution started
Yokosuka Shipyard Built with the Future in Mind
"House for sale with a storehouse"
The Yokosuka Shipyard was
"Japan's first integrated factory"
powered by steam engines.
|Traditionally, the driving force of Japanese industry has been human power, oxen, horses, and water wheels. The Yokosuka Ironworks was the first integrated factory in Japan powered by steam engines from the beginning. It is truly the site of Japan's industrial revolution. This is what Ryotaro Shiba meant when he wrote that it was "the source of all modern engineering in Japan." (Miura Peninsula Chronicles).
| Joun Kurimoto, who supervised the construction of the Yokosuka Shipyard,
wrote, "Oguri laughed, saying, 'If this is finished, the honor of
a house for sale with a storehouse can be left behind. ("Hoan’s Posthumous Essay - Management of Yokosuka Shipyard -")
In the Meiji era (1868-1912), Saburo Shimada, a former vassal of the Tokugawa Shogunate, recalled the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate and wrote, "Kozukenosuke Oguri said that, once this is completed, we can eventually leave the honor of selling a house with a storehouse behind. It's not a good idea to just leave the rest to fend for itself." (Dohokai Report, No. 1)
|▼There is a photo of the Washington Naval Shipyard taken by the Japanese Mission to the U.S. 1860. Tadamasa Oguri, one of the envoys, is in the photo.
| Visit to Washington Naval Shipyard, April 5, 1860
(Tadamasa Oguri is second from the right in the front row)
| When the envoys were guided into the shipyard premises, they found that
it was not just a shipbuilding facility. In the factories that lined in
the premises, iron parts were made by steam engine mechanisms, ship engines,
cannon and rifle parts were made, and screws were made for the machines.
Artillery shells and bullets were being made one after another. Pots, pans,
knives, spoons, forks, and even doorknobs were being made. In the next
factory, the hulls of ships were being made from wood. Beyond that, ships
were being assembled. This was an integrated factory. The New York Times
went on to say, "The Japanese were eager to see it," and "Oguri
was particularly enthusiastic, saying that he would love to build such
a facility in Japan in the near future."
The Meaning of the Photo of the Washington Naval Shipyard Tour
* They realized in the United States that the race had already started.
* The name of the international race was "Modernization."
* The feature of the "Modernization Race" was that it was not a simultaneous start, but the countries that were ready were allowed to start running. America was running so far ahead that they couldn't even see their backs.
* Japan can't start...it can't even get to the starting line because it's not ready to run yet. This was something that Tadamasa Oguri, one of the Japanese envoys to the United States, felt keenly during the trip. What should we do to get started?
* The Washington Naval Shipyard was a general factory... A shipyard was a general factory that used steam engines as a driving force to build anything and everything, including ships. Oguri was convinced that, if Japan could build a shipyard, it would be able to start the race for modernization.
* There were many problems to be solved, such as where to build, how much it would cost, which country would provide technical assistance, how many years it would take, etc. However, the photo above shows his face when he started thinking, "Anyway, if we build a shipyard, we can participate in the race for modernization.
* You may see the same photo in some history books, but please don't be fooled by the books that only describe it as a photo of "commemorative photo of the visit" explanation.
After returning to Japan, Oguri had to work at a dizzying pace to deal with both foreign and domestic issues related to the problem of forces advocating the expulsion of the foreigners and the overthrow of the shogunate. When he was appointed to the post of accountant while finances were stretched, he proposed the construction of a shipyard.
Naturally, he is met with opposition. They argued that it was premature and unnecessary, that there was no money, and that if there was money, the army should be strengthened. Kaishu Katsu also said, "We can build a warship in Japan in a few years. But it will take 500 years to train people to run a fleet. It is more important to do that first.
What Oguri wanted to build was not a shipyard that only built ships. He wanted to build not only a shipyard to build ships, but also a comprehensive factory for heavy industry, which he had seen in the United States. Convinced that Japan's modernization would progress from here, he persuaded the Shogunate that he would take care of the money. He and a French engineer looked around Edo Bay and found the perfect place. It was Yokosuka. Five years after his return to Japan, in November 1865, he was able to start construction.
The shipyard began with the name, "Yokosuka Ironworks." However, the word of "ironwoks" did not mean the word currently used, but meant only "a place where all kinds of iron products are made." In 1871, the name was changed to Yokosuka Shipyard and, in general, the word of "ironworks" became what it is today: a place that extracts iron from iron ore. This is a historical term that requires attention.
In the United States, the delegation was amazed to see disused iron products strewn all over the city. "This country is full of iron! " In those days in Japan, iron was so valuable that when a fire broke out in Edo, people would dig up the remains of the fire, pick up nails, hammer them back together, and use them again. The mining of iron at Nakaosaka mine of Shimonita Town in Gunma Prefacture was done in connection with the Yokosuka Ironworks.
|A crane set up on the wharf
| Crane at Yokosuka Steel Works
Two handles, one for lifting and lowering the load, and one for turning to the left and right, seem to be of the manual type. It was probably made in Holland or France.
In the 1950s, the Ministry of Finance offered to dispose this crane to Yokosuka City, but the city turned it down. If it had remained, it would have become an important industrial heritage of Japan along with the steam hammer... what a shame!
Photo: From "List of Famous Places in Japan," which was treasured by Mr. Barborani, the Italian Minister to Japan in the early Meiji period (donated by Mr. Hiroyuki Yasuike).
Although many French engineers gave instructions, Japanese carpenters, masons, and blacksmiths did not understand French. Later, though, young people who had studied at Japan's first French language school in Yokohama could pass on the language of French engineers to the workers in the region, and workers who had studied at the school could eventually become executives of the completed shipyard. Kozukenosuke's adopted son, Mataichi Oguri, also studied here. After the Meiji Restoration, the Meiji government took over the construction of the shipyard, which started full-scale operation around the second year of the Meiji Era (1869) and full-scale shipbuilding in the fourth year of the Meiji Era (1869), becoming the driving force of Japan as a maritime nation.
Later historians have used his achievements as a basis for accusing him of being a traitor, saying that he built the Yokosuka shipyard to strengthen the Tokugawa Shogunate. However, Joun Kurimoto, recalling those days in the middle of the Meiji period. wrote the following in "Hoan’s Posthumous Essay - Management of Yokosuka Shipyard." "Oguri laughed, saying that if this was completed, the honor of a house for sale with a storehouse could be left behind." Kurimoto was in charge of the construction representing the Japanese government because of his ability to speak French and commanded the work at the site.
It is clear that three years before the Meiji Restoration, Oguri had already foreseen the deadlock in the politics of the Tokugawa Shogunate and was building a shipyard for the future. Kurimoto said, "I thought it was a joke on the spot, but now it's just as he said. It breaks my heart to think about what he was going through at that time. It hurts us too. (Added to an opinion piece in the Jomo Shimbun, March 11, 2000)
| The theory that Joun Kurimoto made up the famous words of Kozukenosuke
Oguri, "A house for sale with a storehouse."
There is a theory that Joun Kurimoto, who mourned Oguri's death, created the text in which he wrote that Kozukenosuke Oguri spoke of "the honor of selling a house with a storehouse". According to this theory:
"It is doubtful that Kozukenosuke Oguri would utter the line "a house for sale with a storehouse" foreseeing the collapse of the Shogunate three and a half years later. As "Joun Kurimoto must have rearranged the facts and interjected his own creations in order to make the story more florid in memory of Kozukenosuke Oguri, who died an untimely death."
(Hiroyuki Adachi, "Yokosuka Shipyard and Tadamasa Oguri: Everything about Tadamasa Oguri*" p. 122, Shin Jinbutsu OhraiSha, 2008).
Note*: This book is "edited by Taiken Murakami." However, the fact is that Shin Jinbutsu OhraiSha collected manuscripts from other authers, and until the book was published, they did not show the manuscripts to Murakami.
This theory is based on the preconceived notion that such foresight of Kozukenosuke Oguri is unthinkable. If this theory, without any evidence, is accepted as it is, then it is also accepted that Mr. Adachi says the following:
"Kozukenosuke Oguri must have first learned that the plan to construct an ironworks was underway after he assumed the post of accountant on August 13, 1864, the first year of Genji."
(ibid., p. 136).
Can we say that Kozukenosuke Oguri did not have such foresight, and therefore it was someone other than Oguri who proposed the construction of the Yokosuka ironworks? For a more detailed discussion, please refer to the next page:
→ → "The fate of the Shogunate, the fate of Japan, a house fo sale with a storehouse" in the words of Kozukenosuke Oguri"
(In this page, the words of Saburo Shimada who recalled the words of Oguri Kozukenosuke in his lecture in 1895 are refered to ("Report of the Dohokai," No. 1). Those who adopt the theory of "Joun Kurimoto's creation" have the burden of proving that Saburo Shimada's testimony is also a creation.)
◇"Property to be sold with a storehouse attched" The Yokosuka Shipyard is a storehouse attached to a house for sale.... The words of Kozukenosuke Oguri
◇Yokosuka Ironworks: Three Features… These features show that Yokosuka is the site of Japan's industrial revolution.
◇The 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 page (link)
◇Reading the "Detailed Drwing of Yokosuka"： Yokosuka with advanced facilities of modern industry was crowded with 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.
◇The theory that the Yokosuka ironworks were built with borrowed money : It was wrongly alleged by a writer who misread the historical materials.
◇Falsely accued Oguri - he used Shikoku and Ezo as collateral：A baseless theory in the turmoil of the late Edo period
◇The Story of Yokosuka Ironworks (link)
◇The Story of Yokosuka Ironworks (link)
◇Japan's modernization would not have been possible without the Yokosuka Ironworks (link)
◇Latest Aircraft Carriers and Docks at the End of Edo Period： Yokosuka Shipyard Tour
◇Tomioka Silk Mill：Exciting Exploration of Technology (link)
◇"The fate of the Shogunate, the fate of Japan" by Kozukenosuke Oguri