This statue was built in 1958 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Hakodate Port’s opening and also in honor of Kahei’s achievements. It was made by the sculptor Yanagawa Goichi who was a native of Hakodate.
Kahei was born on Awaji Island in 1769 and came to Hakodate at the age of 28, He made great contributions to the initial development of Hakodate and returned to his hometown in 1818. He managed a shipbuilding and marine transportation business along with a fishery here in Hakodate and he developed the ocean lanes and fisheries in both Kunashiri and Etorohu Islands.
He is also famous as the mediator of the Golovnin Incident, a Russo-Japanese international conflict, in spite of the fact that he was a civilian. This statue depicts him at the scene of Golovnin’s being handed over to the captain of the Russian warship Diana in 1813. He is in a traditional Japanese full dress of a hakama, white tabi, straw sandals and a sword. In his right hand he is carrying an admonition of the Matsumae magistrate and in his left hand he is holding the everyday cloths which he had changed from in the warship.
Another name for this slope is “Shiomi Zaka.” In days gone by this slope was called “Shokonsha no Saka” and “Tosan Zaka.” It was once named “Shiomi Zaka” because the area at the upper part of this slope is called Shiomi cho. It was also once called “Shokonsha no Saka” because at the top of this slope is a shrine Shokonsha (now called “Gokoku Jinja, or a shrine for the war dead”) which was established in 1869. “Tosan (bankruptcy) Zaka” came from the saying that if anyone erected a gate facing this slope, he would be destined to go bankrupt because of God’s punishment. Therefore, people tried to observe this tradition. CITY OF HAKODATE
Mt.Hakodate used to be a protuberant isolated island in the sea after many volcanic activities. About 3,000 years ago sand got accumlated gradually from the port side and the open sea. That then grew to be a sand bar.Mt Hakodate was connected by this sand bar to the Oshima Peninsula.
The nature of the soil in Mt. Hakodate is andesite which erupted about 25,000,000 years ago. When Goryokaku and the Benten Fort were constructed, stones from Mt. Hakodate were used.
The top of Mt. Hakodate called Mt. Goten is 334 meters above sea level. As the shape of Mt. Hakodate together with Mt. Yakushi, Mt. Kannon Mt. Kurakake, and Senjojiki looks like a lying cow, iti is calledgagyuzan meaning Mt. lying cow. From the top of the mountain one can see the wonderful sight of a fan-shaped city. Also from the top of the mountain, on a clear day, one can see Mt. Komagatake, the Shiokubi cape, and the shimokita Peninsular of the main island. The night view looking from Mt. Hakodate is notably remembered as one of the most fantastic views in the world. At the foot of the mountain there are many noted places and historic spots such as a foreign cemetery to the west, on the right of Mt. Hakodate, and the Tachimachi cape to the east on the left of Mt. Hakodate.
On the Tachimachi cape there is a tombstone for an ill-fated poet, Takuboku,and his family. A wall relief for the memory of Tadataka Inou’s first measuring in Hokkaido in 1800 is on the surface of a wall in the observatory deck. In the square in front there is a monument of Blakiston who is famous for the Blakiston line. Scientifically, too, this mountain is significas.
In 1897 construction of Hakodate Fort started on Mt. Hakodate and it was completed in November 1899. In April 1927 it was renamed Tsugaru Fort.
The whole site of about 160,000 tsubo ( 632,320 square yards) including the forest reserve, Gotenyama, Yakushiyama, Senjojiki and Yachigashira was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of War until May 1946. Until then not only was it forbidden for citizens to enter the mountain area, but sketching, taking photographs and surveying were also strictly forbidden. Even today some underground shelters still remain.
THE PLANTS ON MT. HAKODATE
Mt. Hakodate, only 334 meters above sea level and about 9 kilometers in circumference, has a complicated and divergent topography. Over 600 species of plants grow here, including plants which can be found in both northern and southern parts of Japan.
This whole mountain can be called a huge natural botanical garden. Here can be found gregarious Japanese cedars and pjne trees, which were planted by Hakodate Bugyo ( commissioner ) and the Kaitakushi ( Hokkaido Colonization Bureau ).
Common dandelions along the road side and on the uncultivated lands are thought to have entered Japan from abroad in the early days of the Meijj period.
It is said that about thirty various plants among them were naturalized in Japan.
These plants grew untouched because the military prohibited people from entering the area for nearly 50 years after the construction of the Fort.
Mt. Hakodate is also known as a paradise for birds. Thomas W. Blakiston who came from England, researched the birds on Mt. Hakodate and discovered the geographical distribution of animals ( now called the Blakiston Line ).
This line is drawn along the Tsugaru Straits.
At present there are about 150 species of both resident and migratory birds.