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Tatebayasi is a hometown of a Japanese novelist Katai Tayama (1872-1930) who wrote many autobiographical novels, typified Japanese naturalistic novel as “Futon” (The quilt) and “Inaka Kyoshi” (Country Teacher). “Futon” was wrote about his confession between his female pupil Michiyo Okada, which is said to be the sensational novel dealed with the first autobiographical story in Japan. I like his “Inaka Kyoshi” that was about the young boy’s ambition and failure. At Katai’s memorial hall in the ex Tatebayashi castle, you can watch Katai’s photos, his den and so on. I was very glad to find the photo of the novel’s model who was hero, Shuzo Kobayashi in “Inaka Kyoshi” (his name was changed Seizo Hayashi in the novel). Katai wrote it based Shuzo’s diary. When I read “Inaka Kyoshi”, I deeply felt sorry and sympathy for his destiny that he died after trying to fight against poverty and dreaming to success life.

Katai Tayama and his relic

Katai Tayama and his relic


Katai Tayama's home, Tatebayashi

Katai Tayama’s home where he lived from 1879-1887.


Katai Tayama memorial hall’s ticket

Katai Tayama memorial hall’s ticket.  人誰が錦を着て故郷に帰るを願はさらん 「ふる郷」より


Katai's den

Katai’s den in his memorial hall. There are Daudet’s “Sappho”, A. Dumas’s “Duchess Annette” and Turgenev’s “Virgin Soil” on his bookshelf.


frontispiece in "Futon" Katai Tayama

Frontispiece in “Futon” , drawing by Shokichi Kobayashi


"Country Teacher"'s model

“Country Teacher”‘s models: Left Kisaburo Hagawara as Hidenosuke, center Hyakusuke (Momosuke?) Niijima as Kohata, Left Shuzo Kobayashi as hero Seizo Hayashi. They were wearing traditional formal dress Haori and Hakama.


Katai Tayama's house, Tatebayashi

Katai’s house. Roof is thatched, wooden house.


Katai Tayama's house in Tatebayashi

Katai’s house. It is a typical samurai house before the Meiji Restoration in 1867.


Katai Tayama's house (inside)

Katai’s house. Tatami mat, desk, shoji slidiing paper door.


Katai Tayama, Japanese novelist

Katai Tayama. He was a tall man of those days. (about 170cm)

In the ex Tatebayashi castle, there are a city hall, Chiaki Mukai Memorical Science and Technology Museum for Children, Katai Tayama’s memorial hall and his parent’s house. Next to Katai’s parent’s house, Jyomo Muslin Company’s Office was rebuilt. This area was famous for textile manufacture, and this company was started as modern factory of basic company in this town. This office was a symmetry Western style building. I think it is one of the symbols for modernization and Westernization in Meiji period at Tatebayashi town.

Jyomo Muslin Company's Office, Tatebayashi

Jyomo Muslin Company’s Office


Jyomo Muslin Company's Office

Jyomo Muslin Company’s Office


color sample of muslin, Tatebayashi

color sample of muslin


Carriage of the Empress Michiko's grandfather

Tatebayashi is a town where Emperess Michiko’s grandfather lived. Her relative’s company is Shoda Shoyu (Shoda soy sauce) Company at Tatebayashi and her grandfather (Teiichiro Shoda), her father (Hidesaburo Shoda) were president of Nisshin Seifun (miller) Company. Her grandfather was the first honorary citizen in Tatebayashi. This carriage was his.


Factory's wall of Jomo Muslin Company

Factory’s wall of Jomo Muslin Company. The mark is sheep.