JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


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.297 views
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Byakkotai souvenirs230 views
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Monument from a German, Hasso von Etzdorf (1900 - 1989).217 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 Aizu195 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).195 views
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About the monument from Rome.175 views
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Graves of the 19 teenage Byakkotai warriors who killed themselves with their own swords.157 views
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Painting depicting Byakkotai suicide on Iimoriyama Hill156 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).151 views
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Another monument150 views
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Sazaedo150 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.149 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.146 views
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Approach to the Byakkotai gravesite.141 views
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Byakkotai statue outside the Byakkotai Memorial Museum141 views
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Slope where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地139 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.134 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134 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134 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.133 views
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On the right side are more gravestones. These are 31 Byakkotai members who died in battle. 戦死133 views
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Statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.132 views
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Arrow points to Tsuruga-jo Castle.132 views
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Byakko Kannon statue131 views
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This has become a national shrine, almost as important as Sengakuji where the 47 masterless samurai are buried.129 views
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Site where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地129 views
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Names of Byakkotai members, all 14 to 17 years old.128 views
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Sazaedo, a unique wooden, hexagonal structure which you will see when coming down from Iimoriyama.128 views
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Byakkotai Graves127 views
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Byakkotai Graves126 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.125 views
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Sazaedo125 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.124 views
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Monument for teenage samurai who died in battle.122 views
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About Iinuma Sadakichi (later changed his first name to Sadao)121 views
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Sazaedo121 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.119 views
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai warrior who survived and told the story of this valiant teenage group.115 views
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Their names, age, and "senshi" 戦死 (died in battle) are engraved on the stones.114 views
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Statue faces Tsuruga-jo Castle which can be seen in the distance.114 views
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Uga Shrine 宇賀神社114 views
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Byakkotai enshrined in Uga Shrine113 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.108 views
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A recent addition is this statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.107 views
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