Mayor of Hagi City
We Wish for Every Citizen of the City to be Successors of this Heritage
Kato If one does not learn, one cannot guide, and in terms of that, Hagi City is doing a rather great job at it. This is especially true for the education of children. At Meirin Elementary School, which stands on the site of the Meirin-kan of former Hagi domain school, they recite the words of Yoshida Shoin at morning assembly.
Tanka Yes, they do. Other primary schools have started to do it as well. We teach our children to recite 18 verses over the course of six years, one per term. In the first term of the first year of primary school, it was "From this day forward, I will shed my childhood heart, become a man, and tread the path" and in the third term it was "Parental love is stronger than the love for parents, how would they feel when they hear today’s news.” In the third term of the sixth grade, the lesson becomes quite difficult to understand: "There is great virtue in heaven and earth, you owe your father a great debt of gratitude, and one must repay virtue with your heart and body, since this day will not come again, and this life will not come twice. If we do not do this, we shall never be able to end our lives.” It is difficult to understand, but it will sink into the malleable brains of schoolchildren and they will be able to remember it for the rest of their lives. I hope that the words of Mr. Shoin will give them the strength to live at various times in their lives. It is our hope that this will help them to develop a sense of pride in their homeland.
Kato That is wonderful.
Tanaka In addition, in honor of the Choshu Five (Shunsuke Ito, Monta Inoue, Yozo Yamao, Kinsuke Endo, and Yakichi Nomura) who violated the national ban and traveled to London at the end of the Edo period, we have the “University of London Summer School Program,” which five junior high school students are selected every year from Hagi City to study at the University of London for a period of two weeks.
Kato What are the main subjects of study?
Tanaka As part of our international exchange program, we send students to the UK as language trainees. The aim is to broaden the students' horizons by exposing them to people from different countries and to develop them as global citizens. We hope that they will gain confidence as Chosyu Five Juniors and use their experience for the benefit of local activities.Then we have a drawing competition for primary and junior high school students in the city, based on our industrial heritage. We also promote activities in which children volunteer to act as guides for tourists.
Kato How do you educate people to become guides?
Tanaka We have a lot of retired teachers who volunteer as guides, so the students get guidance from them, and we do this in primary and junior high schools in the city.
Kato Please tell us if there are any problems you are facing.
Tanaka In addition to the five World Heritage sites, Hagi has more than 200 other cultural properties, and preserving them and passing them on to future generations is a major challenge for our generation. For example, we have just finished repairing the former residence of Shunsuke Ito, but we will continue to focus on conservation activities. We are also working vigorously to dig up buried cultural properties and pass them on to future generations. This is a difficult task, which requires a lot of money and time, but it is inevitable. If we do not do what we can, the number of cultural properties in need of repair will pile up.
Kato I would like to pay tribute to the high aspirations of the citizens of Hagi City, who all aim to be the inheritors of heritage. As the birthplace of the Meiji Restoration, Hagi was the birthplace of many warriors, and the spirit of Hagi is still alive and well.
Tanaka Thank you very much.
Kato When Corona has settled down, please visit the “Industrial Heritage Information Centre,” which has opened in Shinjuku City, Tokyo. There are many Hagi-related materials on display, including a large photo of the Choshu Five. I hope that people living in the City of Hagi will be able to see this.
Tanaka I have heard that it is a very impressive facility. I am looking forward to seeing it.
Kato I wish you all the best with Corona and I am praying for it to end. Thank you very much for your time today.
Composed and written by Akane Maruyama
Former Director of the Sano Tsunetami Memorial Museum (currently known as Sano Tsunetami and the Mietsu Naval Dock History Museum)
Director of NPO Association for Thinking about Satoyama
Director of National Congress of the Industrial Heritage
Honorary Chief Priest Toshinari Ueda
Former Mayor of Omuta City
Archaeologist and Heritage Conservation Specialist
A fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies
Team Member of the Industrial Project Team Office for the Promotion of World Heritage Listing under Cabinet Secretariat
Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture
Mayor of Hagi City
Mayor of Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture
The Former Employee of Nippon Steel Corporation
An Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Iwate University
Chairman of the Tourist Guide Association of Misumi West Port
President of Kuraya Narusawa Co., Ltd.
Chairman of Izunokuni City Tourism Association
Director and General Manager of Gunkanjima Concierge
Producer of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum
Owner at Tōge Chaya
Chairman: Mr. Hidenori Date
President: Mr. Masahiro Date
Proprietor, Houraikan Inn
Representative Director of Egawa Bunko non-profit incorporated foundation
The 42nd head of the Egawa Family
Democratic Party for the People (DPP) Representative for Nagasaki Prefecture
President of the NPO, Way to World Heritage Gunkanjima
MI Consulting Group
President of Watanabe Production Group and Honorary Chair of Watanabe Productions Co., Ltd.
Member of the House of Councillors
World Heritage Consultant
Director and Dean, The Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership
Representative Director, SUMIDA, Inc.
Journalist, founder of the Shimomura Mitsuko Ikikata Juku School
Representative, Rally Nippon
Chairman, Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Route Promotion Council Director, National Congress of Industrial Heritage
Representative Director, General Incorporated Foundation National Congress of Industrial Heritage (Advisor, Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Capital Markets Research Institute）
Mayor of Nagasaki City
Policy Director at Heritage Montreal
World Heritage Consultant
Executive Director of Kogakuin University
Heritage Architect and International Consultant
Head of Data Acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation
Head of Industrial Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh
Scottish Ten Project Manager, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh
Mayor of Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Pro-Provost and Chairman of Council of the Royal College of Art. Heritage advisor of Canal & River Trust for England and Wales.
Dean of Tokyo Rissho Junior College
Professor emeritus of Keio University
Mayor of Kitakyushu City
At the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee convened in Bonn, Germany, from June 28 to July 8, 2015, the decision was approved to inscribe the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on the World Heritage list.
At a celebratory party held to mark the occasion, some of the primary promoters of the project spoke of their joy in achieving their goal and of the trials and tribulations to getting there.
Director and Managing Executive Officer, Hanshin Expressway Company Limited
Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage
Vice-Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture
Mayor of Hagi City
Chairman, Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.
Mayor of Omuta City
Deputy Director-General, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, MEXT
Former Counsellor, Cabinet Secretariat
Mayor of Kamaishi City
Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage Counselor, Shimadzu Limited
Chairman of the Consortium for the World Heritage Inscription of Modern Industrial Heritage (Kyushu-Yamaguchi) and governor of Kagoshima Prefecture (as of 2015)