People

Korechika Anan
A contemporary of Mamoru Shigemitsu, Korechi Anan (1887-1945), who was born in Taketa, was a military man throughout his adult life and rose to the rank of general in the Japanese…

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At a glance

A Japanese patriot whose last action quelled a rebellion against the Japanese surrender in 1945.

Japan, Oita, 竹田市Taketa, 広瀬神社
Tanso Hirose
Tanso Hirose (1782 - 1856) was a Confucian scholar, teacher and writer of Chinese poetry. Born in Hita as the eldest son to a wealthy merchant family, Tanso, as he is commonly…

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Hirose Tanso and the Kangien school in Hita.

Kangien, 2 Chome-4-2-13 Tanso, Hita, Oita, Japan
Toyo Ito
Ito began his career in Kiyonori Kikutake architectural practice, and he has employed younger leading architects Kuzuo Seijima and Ryue Nishizawa, who together created the SANAA…

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At a glance

Another of Japan's top architects.

Japan, Oita, Kitsuki, Yamagamachi Oaza Noharu, 1612-1 杵築市立山香病院
Toshiko Akiyoshi
Although born in Manchuria, Akiyoshi (1929 - present) moved with her family back to Beppu after the cessation of hostilities in 1945. She was introduced to Jazz by a local music…

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One of Japan's post-war Jazz greats.

Japan, Oita, 別府市
Monkey Mountain Craft Brewery
The Monkey Mountain Craft Beer brewery is one of those pocket-sized delights that Japan as a whole excels in. Except that in this case an American is the source of its life and…

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A charming boutique craft beer brewery producing award-winning craft beers.

Japan, Oita, Funaimachi, 2 Chome−4−5 若竹ビル
Shigeru Ban
Ban caught the attention of the architectural world through his innovative use of cardboard tubes in construction in creating temporary structures that can be quickly and cheaply…

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At a glance

A lauded Japanese architect with several projects in Oita Prefecture.

Japan, Oita, Yufu, Yufuincho Kawakami, 駅前通り
Sadaji Futabayama
Throughout the ages there are some athletes so accomplished they transcend their sport and establish records so substantial that they are considered unbreakable. Futabayama…

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The boyhood home of Japan's greatest ever sumo wrestler.

Japan, Oita, Usa, Shimosho, 双葉山生家
Anthony Gormley & the Kunisaki Art Project
It is surprising to find a work of art by Anthony Gormley, the famed British sculptor, in the very depths of the Kunisaki Peninsula. “Another Time XX” – a life sized cast iron…

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Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, 国見町 アントニー・ゴームリーの鉄の像
Kingo Tatsuno
Tatsuno was one of Japan’s celebrated western-style architects of the Meiji Period, when Japan rapidly changed from a feudal, samurai-led society into a modern society modelled on…

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The architect who designed Tokyo Station and Oita Bank's headquarters, both elegant buildings from the early 20th Century.

Japan, Oita, Funaimachi, 2 Chome−2−1 赤レンガ館
William Adams & Kuroshima
Kuroshima is an unassuming island off the coast of Usuki. Most visitors make the short boat journey in summer months to enjoy Kuroshima’s sandy beaches and to fish. However, here…

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The island where William Adams, the British sailor who became confident of Japan's greatest shogun, was shipwrecked in 1600.

Japan, Oita, Usuki, Sashiu, 黒島
Otomo Sorin
Otomo (1530-1587), who held sway as the daimyo samurai lord across much of modern-day Oita Prefecture, is held in good regard by the locals to this day. He is particularly famed…

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The 16th Century Christian samurai who ruled northern Kyushu from his base in Funai, modern-day Oita City.

Japan, Oita, 大分市
Yukichi Fukuzawa
Fukuzawa (1835-1901) is a very familiar to all Japanese, not least because his portrait has adorned the 10,000 yen banknote since 1984. Born into a low-ranking samurai family in…

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The humble home of one of Japan's leading modernisers of Japan after the Meiji Restoration.

Fukuzawa Memorial Museum, 586 留守居町 Nakatsu, Oita, Japan
Kiyonori Kikutake
Kikutake (1928-2001), who was with Kisho Kurokawa a student of Kenzo Tange, worked almost entirely in Japan.

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A famed architect whose one work is the temporarily closed Marine Culture Center in Kamae, Saiki.

1834-2 Kamae Oaza Takenouragouchi, 佐伯市 Oita, Japan
Petro Kibe
Petro Kibe (1587-1639), who is also known as Petro Kasui Kibe, was one of Japan’s earliest christians. Petro Kibe was born into an important samurai and first-generation christian…

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One of Japan's earliest Christians and a martyr, who is still celebrated in his hometown on the Kunisaki Peninsula.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Kunimimachi Kibe, 岐部城
Fumihiko Maki
Fumihiko Maki studied architecture under Kenzo Tange at University of Tokyo before going on to study at Harvard University.

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A leading exponent of modern Japanese architecture since the mid-20th Century.

Japan, Oita, Nakatsu, Aihara, 3032-16 風の丘葬斎場
Akira Kuryu
Kuryu began his career with Fumihiko Maki’s before establishing his own architectural practice.

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Architect who studied under Fumiko Maki.

Core Yamakuni, 130 Yamakunimachi Morizane, Nakatsu, Oita, Japan
Baien-no-Sato & Miura Baien Museum
Baien-no-Sato is a small, onsen hot spring resort atop a hill in the centre of the Kunisaki Peninsula. It also has the additional and very unusual attraction for a hotel of a 65cm…

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Accommodation, onsen hot spring baths and a giant telescope combine in a tribute to a local son who became one of Japan's Edo Period polymaths.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Akimachi Tomikiyo, 2244 梅園の里
Fumio Asakura Museum of Sculpture
This lovely, cosy museum in park setting is dedicated to local son Fumio Asakura, who is regarded as Japan’s leading exponent of natural-realism western-style sculpture, so much so…

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A charming museum to the 'Rodin' of Japan.

Japan, Oita, Bungoono, Asajimachi Ikeda, 1587-11 朝倉文夫記念館
Kengo Kuma
Kuma is the architect of the New National Stadium built for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. An ardent proponent of reinterpreting traditional Japanese construction methods, Kuma is…

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One of Japan's architectural elite.

COMICO ART MUSEUM YUFUIN, 2995-1 Yufuincho Kawakami, Yufu, Oita, Japan
Miura Baien
Muira Baien (1723-1789), born into the family of a physician, spent most of his life in a small village in central Kunisaki and followed his father in also becoming a physician. A…

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One of Japan's earliest polymath who studied medicine, philosophy, economics and science.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Akimachi Tomikiyo, 2507-1 三浦梅園資料館
Garden of the Otomo family residence
Little original remains of Oita City’s samurai heritage but in 2020 the long lost landscaped garden of the Otomo family residence was opened to the public after a painstaking…

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A fascinating long-term project recreating the villa of Otomo Sorin.

Otomo Ruins(Otomo Residence), 10 Uenogaokanishi, Oita, Japan
Kumahachi Aburaya
Dignified statues celebrating heroines and heroes, stateswomen and men, and local personages are common in many countries around the world, and Japan is no different. Found in…

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Local hero and father of Japan's modern tourism industry.

Japan, Oita, Beppu, Ekimaecho, 12, 別府駅
Shozo Uchii
Uchii began his career in the offices of the influential architect Kiyonori Kikutake. Most of his work is found in Tokyo including the Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo, a private…

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The architect of the Oita City Art Museum.

Japan, Oita, 大分市Kotobukimachi, 2−1大分縣立美術館OPAM
Fumio Asakura
A prolific artist, Asakura (1883-1964) is often referred to in Japan as Asia’s Rodin and considered the father of western-style sculpture in the country. He was especially…

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Japan's father of sculptural realism.

Japan, Oita, Bungoono, Asajimachi Ikeda, 1587-11 朝倉文夫記念館
Mamoru Shigemitsu
The scene on the deck of the USS Missouri at the signing of the Instrument of Surrender, when Japan formally yielded to the Allied forces on 2 September 1945, is a familiar scene…

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The boyhood home made into a memorial for a Japanese statesman who served his country through the turbulent years before, during and after the Second World War.

Japan, Oita, Kitsuki, Honjo, 893番地1 重光邸 無迹庵(むせきあん)