Thursday, December 30, 2010

Miyazaki Station

Original Miyazaki Station January 1914

I wish to thank the station master at Miyazaki Station for having JR Kyushu email me this picture.  The station opened December 1913 and was destroyed in bombing during WWII.  People used to picnic on the massive grounds and Miyazaki's festivals during the year took place there.  Miyazaki is the largest station in the prefecture and is the main station to travel to Kagoshima, Nobeoka, Nichinan, and Oita.
The station was rebuilt in 1946 and was extensively remodeled in 1967 and in 1993.  The rebuilt station's entry was lined with over 50 haniwa, and two are still in the central garden in the bus round-about.  Miyazaki's first Mister Donuts and KFC opened in the station in 1976.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Important People From Miyazaki

Mansho Ito (1570 - 1612)
Born in Tonokori which is present day Saito, Mansho was selected by the Catholic faithful Daimyo of Oita Lord Otomo to be the head diplomat to an embassy that visited Pope Gregory XIII in 1586.  During the embassy trip Mansho won great respect of the Vatican and helped to advance the mission work of the Jesuits and Franciscans in Hyuga as well as all Kyushu.  Mansho also helped to assure Vatican help for the missions through more funding as the Catholic population in Japan was (and still is) so small.  He died from a long bout of pneumonia in Nagasaki.  One of his several graves is on the grounds of the Tonokori Castle ruins in Saito.  Others are in Obi, Nagasaki, and Oita.  A memorial of his emabassy trip is in Nagasaki where one of his bones is entombed in the monument, it was erected during the Meiji Era.  The Nagasaki memorial to Mansho is one of the most revered by Catholics and non-Catholics alike in Nagasaki.

Tanetatsu Akizuki (1833 - 1904)
The final of the Akizuki Daimyo of the Takanabe Domain, he was born in Takanabe.  Akizuki was selected to be vice president of the Kogisho, the precursor to the modern Japanese Diet.  He supported the abolition of the Council of Lords (daimyo) and supported Emperor Meiji's plans for rapid modernization and more open trade with Western and Asian nations.  Akizuki worked closely with Saigo Takamori until Saigo split with the reform government.

Jutaro Komura (1855 - 1911)
Born in Obi to a merchant family, Komura attended the clan school and went onto graduate from the prestigious Imperial University in Tokyo.  He was one of the first students to study abroad after graduation, he received a law degree from Harvard.  As one of the most skilled diplomats in Japan, Komura was an ambassador to Britain and helped negotiate the treaties of Portsmouth and Peking in 1905 that ended the Russo-Japanese War.

Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa
(1886 - 1966)
Born in the Koyu District of Takanabe, Ozawa was an able cadet at Japan's Naval Academy.  He also studied naval warfare at Anapolis.  He gained the nickname "The Gargoyle" because of his seriousness and stern disposition.  His first assignment as an officer was aboard destroyers based in Nagasaki Navy Yards.  During World WarII he made distinction for his command in the Philippine Theatre and was vice commander of Navy forces during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  Upon return to the mainland he was promoted as the final Commander in Chief of the Combined Fleet.  After the war he was known for his charity work and for his support of Miyazaki becoming an industrial center.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Higashikokubaru May Run For Tokyo Governor

From the Mainichi Newspaper
Current Miyazaki Gov. Hideo Higashikokubaru may run in the Tokyo gubernatorial race next spring, according to sources close to the 53-year-old governor.

Higashikokubaru had already announced his decision that he won't run for Miyazaki governor after his first term ends in January, but had not yet disclosed any details about his future plans.

He is already said to be telling those close to him about his determination to address the decentralization of power from central to local governments, saying, "Tokyo is the biggest local jurisdiction in Japan."

When Higashikokubaru announced in September that he would not be running for Miyazaki governor, he revealed that he had come up against the limitations of local government during his dealings with the central government over the handling of the spread of foot-and-mouth disease among livestock -- which severely damaged the prefecture. Moreover, at a press conference on Nov. 16, when asked about his plans after his term in Miyazaki ends, he hinted for the first time the possibility of running for Tokyo governor.

"Becoming a legislator or a governor of a metropolitan area is definitely a consideration," he said.
If he would run it is uncertain he would face four term incumbent Shintaro Ishihara who is expected to run for a fifth term as Tokyo governor.
Many questions linger as to Higashikokubaru's credentials and experience to lead Japan's largest prefecture, muchless his experience in politics being a comedian turned politician just three years ago. Some see this as opportunism and not serious desire to serve the public through political office.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kono Elected New Miyazaki Governor

From the Japan Times
Former Miyazaki Vice Gov. Shunji Kono has defeated his three opponents and will succeed Hideo Higashikokubaru as governor of Miyazaki Prefecture.

Kono, 46, who has said he would continue Higashikokubaru's policies, gained considerable support for the election, including from agricultural cooperatives.

Higashikokubaru has decided to step down after only one term in office. He plans to seek office in national politics to "give greater help to Miyazaki than I could as governor".

Kono ran as an independent but was supported by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition force, the Liberal Democratic Party, as well as New Komeito.

Kono ran against strawberry farm operator Daizen Miyamoto, 39, and former prefectural official Shoichi Chuman, 64, both independents, and Tadakatsu Tsushima, 65, of the Japanese Communist Party.