Kodama Tokaido Shinkansen slides smoothly into Kakegawa station. Out the window, the white walls of the castle atop a hill-top grab attention. Kakegawa Castle is important in Japanese history, being part of the story of the growing power-base of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japan's most famous Shogun who started the Edo Period and set up a new capital in what is now modern-day Tokyo. Also in the castle you can see the 3 leaf ensign of Yamauchi, the local lord assigned to Kakegawa Castle by Tokugawa. The ensign looks vaguely familiar for a reason - it is the base for Mitsubishi's three-diamond brand.
Almost every Japanese elementary school has a statue of Ninomiya Kinjiro. The statue shows the youth in his famous pose, studying a book whilst hauling firewood on his back. The message needs no words - everyone has the opportunity for self-improvement, regardless of circumstance, by being diligent. Some people also take the meaning that one … Continue reading Ninomiya Kinjiro