Thursday, June 19, 2008

Uncle Samurai?

I have been to the imperial garden in Tokyo where this statue stands. It is made of bronze. It stands about twenty feet high in the middle of a park, surrounded by the city. My mothers side of the family is descended from this loyal retainer, who lived and fought...and died with great honor in the 1300's...He is the reason why I chose the name Uncle Samurai.

My true uncle samurai Kusunoki Masashige... (last name first)

A poem:

I could not return, I presume
So I will keep my name
Among those who are dead with bows.

This poem was written 12 years after Masashiges death, by his son.

After the Meiji Restoration,
when a new government was searching for a way to reconcile Japan's samurai past with her Imperial present, Kusunoki Masashige came to the fore. A samurai loyal to the emperor, even to his certain death, was a valuable symbol, and much exploited during the era of Japanese Imperialism.

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