JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.

Image search results - "hill"
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Entrance to Iimoriyama Hill, site of the Byakkotai "White Tiger" Battalion gravesite. In 1868, a unit of teenage warriors called Byakkotai (White Tiger Battalion) fought against the Emperor-backed Imperial forces encroaching their domain of Aizu
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The Byakkotai were outnumbered and forced to retreat. Twenty of them escaped to Iimoriyama Hill where they saw what looked liked a burning Tsurugajo Castle. Photo: Pay a small fee to take the escalator up the hill. Or climb up the steps for free.
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In despair, the boys decided to kill themselves rather than die in the hands of the enemy. Photo: Escalator to go up Iimoriyama Hill.
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Escalator to go up Iimoriyama Hill. Their tombstones are on this hill near where they killed themselves. Their story has become legend.
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Byakkotai Gravesite. It is on a flat area which also has several other Byakkotai monuments including those from other countries.
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Approach to the Byakkotai gravesite.
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Graves of the 19 teenage Byakkotai warriors who killed themselves with their own swords.
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Byakkotai Graves
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Byakkotai Graves
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Byakkotai gravestones. Each one shows the name, age, and method of death called "jijin" (died with one's own sword 自刃).
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This has become a national shrine, almost as important as Sengakuji where the 47 masterless samurai are buried.
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On the right side are more gravestones. These are 31 Byakkotai members who died in battle. 戦死
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.
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Their names, age, and "senshi" 戦死 (died in battle) are engraved on the stones.
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Monument for teenage samurai who died in battle.
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Names of Byakkotai members, all 14 to 17 years old.
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On the left of the gravestones, there is a monument for a poem composed by Lord Matsudaira Katamori, the last Aizu lord and whom the Byakkotai died for. 幾人の 涙は石にそそぐとも その名は世々に 朽じとぞ思う幾人の 涙は石にそそぐとも その名は世々に 朽じとぞ思う
Ikutari no namida wa ishi ni sosogu tomo sono na wa yoyo ni kuji to zo omou
"No matter how many people pour their tears on these stones, these names will never fade from the world."
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A short walk away is the grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai survivor who had slit himself, but was rescued by a villager passing by when everyone else had killed themselves.
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai warrior who survived and told the story of this valiant teenage group.
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi (Sadao) (1854-1931). His grave was built here in 1957 for the 90th anniversary of the Byakkotai's demise. 飯沼貞吉
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About Iinuma Sadakichi (later changed his first name to Sadao)
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Slope where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地
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Site where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地
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A recent addition is this statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.
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Statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.
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Statue faces Tsuruga-jo Castle which can be seen in the distance.
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Arrow points to Tsuruga-jo Castle.
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Byakko Kannon statue
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Monument from Rome, Italy, given in 1928 by Mussolini. The column is from the ruins of a palace in Pompeii.
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Monument message in Italian. After WWII, the US Occupation authorities wanted this monument removed. But all they did was remove the engraved message (later restored).
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About the monument from Rome.
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Monument from a German, Hasso von Etzdorf (1900 - 1989).
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Another monument
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Opened in 1956, the Byakkotai Memorial Museum has numerous artifacts related to the Byakkotai as well as the Shinsengumi. Photography inside is not allowed. Admission 400 yen.
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Byakkotai statue outside the Byakkotai Memorial Museum
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Uga Shrine 宇賀神社
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Byakkotai enshrined in Uga Shrine
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Painting depicting Byakkotai suicide on Iimoriyama Hill
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Sazaedo, a unique wooden, hexagonal structure which you will see when coming down from Iimoriyama.
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Sazaedo
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Sazaedo
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Sazaedo
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Byakkotai souvenirs
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Ticket gate and entrance to Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill (Hitsujigaoka Tembodai). 500 yen admission is charged so someone from the ticket office boarded our bus to collect admission fees.
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Approaching Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill. The place is open every day from 8:30 am to 6 pm or 7 pm during spring and summer. Slightly shorter hours during winter (Oct.-April).
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The place has a large parking lot and restaurant, shops, and wedding chapels. A little tourist village has formed over the years since the Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill opened in 1959.
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Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill is accessible by a 10-min. bus ride from Fukuzumi Station (Toho subway line). See the famous statue of William Clark on the fringe beyond the parking lot.
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While there, you will likely hear this bell being rung constantly. The place is managed by the Sapporo Tourist Association.
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Clark Bon Voyage Bell クラーク旅立ちの鐘
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Most postcards of Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill show only this famous statue. So I had no idea that there was also a little tourist village.
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An endless line of people taking pictures and posing in front of the statue.
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Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill's lookout deck.
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"Boys, Be Ambitious" This famous statue of Dr. William Clark was built in 1976 to mark Dr. Clark's 100th anniversary of his coming to Hokkaido, the 100th anniversary of Hokkaido University's founding, and the USA bicentennial.
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Dr. William S. Clark (1826-1886) was a professor from Massachusetts. The statue was made by a Japanese sculpturer and sponsored by the Sapporo Tourist Association. Hokkaido University has a bust of Dr. Clark which is also popular among tourists.
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Clark came to Hokkaido for 8 months during 1876 to 1877 as a founding vice president of Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University). When he departed, he supposedly said, "Boys, be ambitious!" to the students seeing him off.
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The low hill overlooks Sapporo from the southeast.
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Sapporo Dome can be seen on the right. It is near Fukuzumi Station.
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Another prop for photos. "I love Sapporo!"
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Hitsujigaoka means Sheep Hill, and it actually has sheep.
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Yujiro Song Monument for a Sapporo song called, "Koi no Machi Sapporo" (恋の町札幌) sung by Ishihara Yujiro whose bust is on the right. Built in 1991.
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Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters baseball team monument marking the team's founding. Built in 2004. 北海道日本ハムファイターズ誕生記念碑
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The monument has handprints and autographs of the players.
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Handprint and autograph of Tsuyoshi Shinjo who was the team's most famous player.
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Clark Chapel on the left, and on the right is the Sapporo Snow Festival Museum which opened in 2001. It used to be a wedding chapel. さっぽろ雪まつり資料館
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The Sapporo Snow Festival Museum has display panels of all the past Sapporo Snow Festivals, dating from 1950.
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Panel for the 33rd Sapporo Snow Festival in 1982 which featured Iolani Palace of Honolulu, Hawaii.
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Snow Festival poster
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The museum also has rooms showing scale models of the giant snow sculptures built in the past. These scale models were made when the respective snow sculpture was being designed.
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Scale model of Hawaii's Iolani Palace made of wood, painted white. Built for the 33rd Sapporo Snow Festival in 1982.
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Scale model of the Iolani Palace made of wood, painted white. Built for the 33rd Sapporo Snow Festival in 1982. The palace is in Honolulu, Hawaii, built by King David Kalakaua in 1882.
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Top view of Iolani Palace scale model.
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Here's what it looked like in Feb. 1982. Iolani Palace made of snow. More Sapporo Snow Festival photos here.
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Sculpture of Commodore Perry's visit to Japan (2003).
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More scale models in this room.
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Horyuji temple, Nara
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Palace in Thailand (2007)
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Left is the capitol building in Norway (2005), and on the right is Flinders Street Station in Australia (2006).
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Concert Gebouw, Holland (2000)
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Salzburg Cathedral, Austria (1996)
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Munich National Museum, Germany (1997)
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London St. Paul's Cathedral, UK (1998)
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Schloss Linderhof castle, Germany (1995)
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Tools used to carve the snow sculptures.
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Sapporo Snow Festival memorabalia.
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Sapporo Snow Festival pins
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Sapporo Snow Festival postcards
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Snow Festival book
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Sheep house
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Inside sheep house
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On the left is the Rest House with a restaurant (built in 1985), and on the right is the Austrian Pavilion moved here in 1972 after the Sapporo Winter Olympics. It houses gift shops.
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Mon-chi-chi with a melon cap.
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Wedding chapel. Not for tourists, but you can take the elevator to the top floor for fine views of the surrounding area.
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Girl and Sheep sculpture at Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, Sapporo, Hokkaido
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On the second floor there was a quilt exhibition by Morgan Hill, California, Mizuho's sister city.
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Quilt exhibition on the 2nd floor of the Koshinkan in Mizuho, Tokyo, by Morgan Hill, California, Mizuho's sister city.
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Koshinkan official Website
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Quilts from Morgan Hill, California were forwarded to people in Tohoku.
   
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