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Chiang Kai-Shek and Japan — his military and social experiences in Takada (Joetsu)

(英語の後に日本語が続きます。) It is well-known that Chiang Kai-Shek — the later Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China (1943-1948), and President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) — as a young man wished to pursue a career in the military. Less well known is the fact that he spent a number of his formative years studying …

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THEODOR VON LERCH – The spy who introduced skiing to Japan and made Niseko famous

(英語の後に日本語が続きます。) On a snowy day in January, 1911, the command “Mettre ski” sounded across the slopes of Mount Kanaya. Eleven selected officers from the 58th regiment of the Imperial Japanese Army put on their skis. A little awkward at first but more easily and quickly over the next few days, and weeks. The Austrian Major …

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The COWRA BREAKOUT

(英語の後に日本語が続きます。) War time events in Australia and Japan brought about an otherwise unlikely connection between Joetsu and Cowra, NSW, Australia. In 2003, the mayors of Cowra and Joetsu signed a Peace and Friendship Agreement. I have described the Naoetsu side of the relationship in “The Naoetsu POW Camp”, and development of the relations between the …

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The NAOETSU POW CAMP

(英語の後に日本語が続きます。) Joetsu’s history is dominated by the exploits of 16th century daimyo, Uesugi Kensin, during the period of the “Warring States”. The 16th century is far enough behind us to be able to ignore the terrible wars fought in those days but it is harder to ignore Joetsu’s role in the second world war, or …

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GANGI-DORI of TAKADA

Google identifies Gangi as the most beautiful village in Italy. Wikipedia does a little better and identifies gangi   (雁木) as an opening in shogi, named after the covered sidewalks (雁木造) that connect buildings in Japan’s Snow Country. (英語の後に日本が続きます。) Gangi are extended eaves of houses to allow passage sheltered from the snow in winter. During the …

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THE TAKADA INTERSECTION of the Hokurikudo and the Hokkoku-kaido

Across the street from a Seven-11 in Takada and around the corner from the Ogawa Kimono Shop is a small shrine and some stone markers. It is the Oiwake intersection of Higashi-hondori. This shrine and the markers are all that reminds us of what historically was an important intersection of major roads in Joetsu. The …

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THE HISTORY OF HISOKA MAEJIMA– and why he should be voted “most notable” person from Joetsu.

At a recent visit to my local post office, all staff, including manager Tanaka, were wearing red T-shirts with an inscription to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japan postal system. A system that was created shortly after the Meiji restoration (1868), during that remarkable period in which Japan had concluded that it was preferable to …

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