Walking and the pedestrian environment
October 21, 2006
Nogi Rise (Tokyo)

乃木坂 のぎざか
Nogi-zaka, Nogi Rise

Between Akasaka 8-11 and 9-6

This article is part of the special feature Akasaka on the Rise. Check it out in my Live Maps Collection.

The official description:

Nogi Rise map, 1905大正元年(1912)乃木将軍の葬儀と同時に幽霊坂という名は廃され、乃木坂に改められた。また行合坂、なだれ坂とも呼ばれた。
In the inaugural year of the Taisho Era, at the time of General Nogi's funeral, the name Ghost Rise was replaced with Nogi Rise. It's also called Junction (Yukiai) Rise or Avalanche (Nadare) Rise.

Unofficial explanation:

Nogi Rise monumentNogi Rise begins at the intersection of Outer Gardens East Boulevard (外苑東通り, Gaien Higashi Doori) and Akasaka Boulevard (赤坂通り, Akasaka Doori), heading down to the east. It runs along the former home of Nogi Maresuke (乃木希典). Child of the lord of Nagasu Domain (長州藩, Nagasu-han), which is now Yamaguchi Prefecture (山口県, Yamaguchi-ken), he was actually born at the main estate of Nagasu, which is now Roppongi Hills. This was a lesser estate. [Photo of monument for Nogi Rise]

Nogi Rise, topNogi Maresuke (1849-1912) was an important figure in Meiji Period Japan. He fought for the Emperor in the Satsuma Rebellion (西南の役, Seinan no Eki) in 1875, and led the Japanese against Russia in the successful siege of Port Arthur in 1904. [Photo from top of rise]

Nogi Rise, bottomHe committed suicide (自刃, jishin) with his wife after the funeral of the Meiji Emperor, each disembowling themself, getting their appearance in order, and then slitting their own throat. According to the Nogi Wikipedia entry, there were three major impacts of his suicide: (1) marked an end-point to the warrior-based society that the Meiji Restoration forbade; (2) served testament to the loyalty that soldiers swear to the emperor; and (3) dismissed the growing cynicism that the Imperial, feudal system of Japan was out-dated and needed to be replaced. These would have great social implications as Japan moved through the Taishou (大正) and into the Shouwa (昭和) Period. [Photo from bottom of rise]

Nogi ShrineNogi is enshrined in Nogi Shrine (乃木神社, Nogi Jinjya) at his former residence neighboring Nogi Rise. [Photo of tree at Nogi Shrine, growing up through the building.]

Nogi statueAlong with the shrine is Nogi Park (乃木公園, Nogi Kouen), and Nogizaka Subway Station (東京メトロ千代田線乃木坂駅, Toukyou Metoro Chiyouda-sen Nogizaka-eki), as well as an assortment of buildings and intersections sporting his name. As part of the park, his home and stables are preserved, with a statue of his father speaking to him as a boy.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at October 21, 2006 6:35 PM
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