Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Where I meet a samurai warrior (March 17th, 2011)
When I was walking towards the Imperial Palace I caught a glimpse of this little park at the edge of the grounds. I decided to take a look once I was done seeing what I could see at the Palace.
The park is part of Kyoko Gaigen. Walking towards the middle you see this extraordinary statue.
This bronze statue was erected in 1897. Obviously it is someone who was considered very important.
As you look closer you can see the ferociousness and strength the artist wanted to convey.
The horse's eyes bulging, the strain of it's muscles as the rider pulls to hold the horse from charging, this must be the a vision of what they see a true samurai warrior would be.
As he looks down at you it makes you think about what it would have been like to have been to have come across a man like this.
The detailing gives so much to this work.
As this great man sternly peers down at you, you realize that if you were on the opposite side there would be no hesitation in him killing you.
Even the horse's face shows great tension.
This definitely is someone held in high esteem.
Very nice to see a Romaji and Kanji marker for the great statue of Kusunoki Masashige. In 1331 the Emperor Go-Daigo was trying to gain power from the Kamakura Shogunate. Kusunoki answered the Emperor's call for people to defend him from the Hojo.
Battles took place and the Emperor was exiled. But still those loyal to him continued to fight. Kusunoki was not only known for his bravery in battle but was a wise tactician also. Eventually the forces were able to beat the Hojo and Go-Daigo was able to return to Kyoto. But being feudal Japan, there was always someone wanting power and more fighting occurred. In a final battle in 1348, Kusunoki and his forces were defeated and he committed suicide.
There is a very good write-up about Kusunoki Masashige by F.W. Seal at this site. Kusunoki is remembered as a man who fought for his Emperor throughout his life. So it makes sense his statue would stand outside the Imperial Palace.