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80 Satsuma domains retainers lost lives for the water control work of other prefectures. I felt a strong friendship between Kagoshima and those prefectures thanks to Satsuma retainers.
Explanation of Memorial
During Edo period, three river (Kiso river, Ibi river and Nagara river) frequently caused floods after heavy rain. Those 3 rivers flow on Gifu Prefecture before they flow into Ocen Pacific at Aichi Prefecture.
In 1753, Tokugawa Military Government ordered Satsuma Domain to do the water control work of 3 rivers. Satsuma dispatched 1,000 workers for the work, but the work itself was a terribly dirricult one. Heavy rain destroyed their embarkment and retainers of Tokugawa Government hindered the work (destruction of embarkment and provision of foods in low quality). As a result 84 Satsuma restainers lost their lives (51 committed suicide and 31 died for diseases). I think that it is very pitiful and lonely for them to die in foreign land far from hometown…!
The work was completed in 1 year and 3 month. But the debt for the work doubled and the total amount reached 30 billion yen.
The work leader Hirata Yukie killed himself to take responsibilities for loss of lives and huge amount of debt.
Satsuma Domain had not announced the incident to the Tokugawa Military Government until the memorial were built in 1920 to pay respects for Hirata and those who died for the work.
Photos of Memorial
You can come to see the memorial if you take “Kagoshima City View Bus” and get off at bus stop “Memorial of Loyal Retainers of Satsuma”.
Many stones of retainers surrounds the stone of Hirata at the top of memorial.
A travel guide stationed at the memorial told me that people from Gifu Prefecture put the bottle of 3 rivers in front of the memorial to pay respect to Satsuma retainers who sacrifices their lives.
Thanks to the efforts of retainers of Satsuma, Kagoshima Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture has a very close relationship and have cooperate in the various fields such as exchange programs of youth and school teachers.
Stones of 3 rivers are put in front of the memorial as offerings.
“We will never forget our gratitude to you”.
Video of Memorial
Information of Memorials
The memorial is located near Tsurumaru Castle. It is convenient to come to memorial by Kagoshima City View Bus.
Kagoshima City View Bus
Bus Stpos of Kagoshima City View Bus (Shiroyama & Iso Course)
Click a marker to see its article!.