(The Scene of Nogi’s Suicide through Fidelity called “Junshi”)
In Japanese history, there have been tremendous numbers of Junshi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junshi). General Nogi did that along with his wife when the Emperor Meiji, who Nogi admired to his bone as his lord, passed away. There were several occasions when it would have happened before that. However, Nogi finally did that admirably with his spouse, because of which Nogi Maresuke is enshrined as a god in Nogi Shrines (Note: There are several Nogi Shrines in Japan, which were established by the people who were sincerely impressed by Nogi’s Junshi.) all over Japan.
Nogi is indubitably the Japanese hero. Nobody, if he knows him or what he did, would ever doubt if he should be a Japanese hero. He was an excellent samurai, general in the Imperial Japanese Army, and educator. Nogi has innumerable episodes that tell you how impeccable he was in his jobs no matter what job he might take. Besides, everybody respected him for the nobility of his mind. Still he was a man of heart. Nogi was exceptionally strict with himself and his family while he was merciful to his men in the army and their families for his whole life.
(Portrait in front of His House)
Nogi is well-known for being involved and leading his men successfully in Satsuma Rebellion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satsuma_Rebellion), First Sino-Japanese War (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Sino-Japanese_War), and Russo-Japanese War (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Japanese_War). However, he conspicuously stood out in Siege of Port Authur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Port_Arthur). This battle was so hard for him to win that Nogi prayed for the fulfillment of his wish, saying to the god, “Please take my life away so we will win this battle.” It is said that the god appeared in front of him, saying, “I won’t take your life yet, but your sons’ so your wish will come true!” That is what happened. Nogi’s sons got killed in the battle, but Japan led by Nogi won!
(As a Merciful Commander)
When he saw the leader of the opponents after winning the battle, Nogi showed full respect to his old enemy, letting him wear the sword, which was unthinkable in those days. That way, even opponents showed utmost respect toward Nogi.
Every time he came back from the wars, Nogi visited his men’s families to apologize for the loss of them, saying, “I wish I could kill myself in exchange of your loss. But I am still usable to contribute to the country of Japan. I live just because this is not the time. I will join your husband, son, father, or brother when the time has come.” He not only visit their families one by one for apology, but also he was willing to offer as much help as he could to them.
(On the Morning of the Day of their Junshi)
(Swords Used for their Junshi)
The day came when Nogi and Mrs. Nogi killed themselves following the Emperor Meiji’s funeral in 1912. Even his political foes and philosophers who had been against General Nogi admired and worshiped him and his wife, Shizuko. Now Count Nogi is enshrined in Nogi Shrines in Japan.
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