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.274 views
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Byakkotai souvenirs195 views
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Monument from a German, Hasso von Etzdorf (1900 - 1989).187 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 Aizu178 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).172 views
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About the monument from Rome.150 views
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Graves of the 19 teenage Byakkotai warriors who killed themselves with their own swords.142 views
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Painting depicting Byakkotai suicide on Iimoriyama Hill139 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).137 views
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Sazaedo136 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.135 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.131 views
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Approach to the Byakkotai gravesite.125 views
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Slope where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地125 views
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Another monument122 views
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Byakkotai statue outside the Byakkotai Memorial Museum122 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.120 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120 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120 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.118 views
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On the right side are more gravestones. These are 31 Byakkotai members who died in battle. 戦死118 views
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Statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.118 views
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Arrow points to Tsuruga-jo Castle.116 views
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This has become a national shrine, almost as important as Sengakuji where the 47 masterless samurai are buried.115 views
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Site where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地115 views
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Names of Byakkotai members, all 14 to 17 years old.114 views
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Sazaedo, a unique wooden, hexagonal structure which you will see when coming down from Iimoriyama.113 views
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Byakkotai Graves112 views
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Byakkotai Graves112 views
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Sazaedo112 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.111 views
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Byakko Kannon statue111 views
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Monument for teenage samurai who died in battle.108 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.107 views
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Sazaedo107 views
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About Iinuma Sadakichi (later changed his first name to Sadao)106 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.105 views
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Their names, age, and "senshi" 戦死 (died in battle) are engraved on the stones.100 views
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Statue faces Tsuruga-jo Castle which can be seen in the distance.99 views
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Uga Shrine 宇賀神社99 views
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai warrior who survived and told the story of this valiant teenage group.98 views
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Byakkotai enshrined in Uga Shrine98 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.94 views
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A recent addition is this statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.93 views
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