JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Iimoriyama Hill (Byakkotai) 飯盛山
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Monument from Rome, Italy, given in 1928 by Mussolini. The column is from the ruins of a palace in Pompeii.280 views
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Byakkotai souvenirs198 views
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Monument from a German, Hasso von Etzdorf (1900 - 1989).194 views
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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 Aizu181 views
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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).176 views
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About the monument from Rome.155 views
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Graves of the 19 teenage Byakkotai warriors who killed themselves with their own swords.145 views
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Painting depicting Byakkotai suicide on Iimoriyama Hill142 views
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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).140 views
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Sazaedo139 views
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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.138 views
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Byakkotai Gravesite. It is on a flat area which also has several other Byakkotai monuments including those from other countries.134 views
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Approach to the Byakkotai gravesite.128 views
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Slope where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地128 views
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Another monument127 views
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Byakkotai statue outside the Byakkotai Memorial Museum125 views
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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.123 views
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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123 views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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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123 views
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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.121 views
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On the right side are more gravestones. These are 31 Byakkotai members who died in battle. 戦死121 views
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Statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.121 views
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Arrow points to Tsuruga-jo Castle.119 views
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This has become a national shrine, almost as important as Sengakuji where the 47 masterless samurai are buried.118 views
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Site where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地118 views
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Names of Byakkotai members, all 14 to 17 years old.117 views
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Sazaedo, a unique wooden, hexagonal structure which you will see when coming down from Iimoriyama.116 views
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Byakkotai Graves115 views
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Byakkotai Graves115 views
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Sazaedo115 views
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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.114 views
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Byakko Kannon statue114 views
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Monument for teenage samurai who died in battle.111 views
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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.111 views
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Sazaedo110 views
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About Iinuma Sadakichi (later changed his first name to Sadao)109 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.108 views
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Their names, age, and "senshi" 戦死 (died in battle) are engraved on the stones.103 views
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Statue faces Tsuruga-jo Castle which can be seen in the distance.102 views
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Uga Shrine 宇賀神社102 views
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai warrior who survived and told the story of this valiant teenage group.101 views
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Byakkotai enshrined in Uga Shrine101 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.97 views
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A recent addition is this statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.96 views
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