Yamato Takeru

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Statue of Yamato Takeru in Kenrokuen, Kanazawa
  • Japanese: 健命 (Yamato Takeru)

Yamato Takeru is a legendary figure, supposedly a son of Emperor Keitai, who was sent both to Kyushu and to Eastern Japan to subdue barbarians or outsiders who resisted being brought under the authority of the Imperial Court (that is, the Yamato state). He came to be seen in the modern period as one of the heroes and progenitors of the Japanese Nation, and a statue of him at Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, erected in 1880, was the first modern-style bronze statue of any historical figure erected anywhere in Japan.

The statue is 5.5 meters tall, atop a 6.5 meter high stone pedestal, and was erected in memory of some 400 men from Ishikawa prefecture who died in the suppression of the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion.[1]


  • Sven Saaler, "Public Statuary and Nationalism in Modern and Contemporary Japan," Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 15:20:3 (Oct 15, 2017), 5.
  1. Takashi Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy, University of California Press (1996), 123.