Local Heroes

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In addition to the examples of local heroes discussed in the page on Shiba Ryotaro, there are many other figures central to the history and identity of their home regions. They are famous because of their repeated depiction in major works of popular culture entertainment, particularly NHK’s Taiga Dramas or other major films/novels. Many are figures connected to war and conflict, albeit usually from the 15th to 19th centuries rather than Japan’s modern wars. Or local heroes are famous writers, artists or other creative people. Visiting any of these places identified with a local hero typically involves (war-related) contents tourism.

A few examples include:

Atsuhime (Ibusuki city)

Date Masamune (Sendai city)

Kuroda Kanbei (Himeji city)

Niijima Yae and Byakkotai (Aizu-Wakamatsu city)

Sanada Yukimaru (Ueda city)

Takeda Shingen (Kofu city)

Yamamoto Isoroku and Kawai Tsuginosuke (Nagaoka city)

And rather than being a single “great (wo)man of history”, the kamikaze have also become local heroes and significant tourism resources …

Forward to The Kamikaze