Tanaka Shozo and Ashio

Tanaka Shozo Portrait

Sakura Sogo’s and Tanaka ‘s Appeals

Woodblock print of Sakura Sogo’s appeal to the Shogun on
behalf of the peasants of Shimosa (1652) based on a kabuki play—
one of the only kabuki plays to feature a commoner hero. 

Source: Tanaka Shozo to sono jidai: tenno jikiso hyaku nen shunen

Tanaka Shozo’s reenactment of Sakura Sogo in an appeal
to the Emperor on behalf of the Ashio Copper Mine victims on
10 Dec 1901. This newspaper sketch of the event published the
next day 11 Dec 1901 shows Tanaka being grabbed by police
before reaching the Imperial carriage. The Emperor had just
finished convening the 16th Diet, a body fromwhich Tanaka had
recently retired. 

Source: Tanaka Shozo to sono jidai: tenno jikiso hyaku nen shunen

Text of Tanaka’s Appeal

The appeal Tanaka held in his hand on 10 Dec 1901. The majority of the text was written by fellow Ashio activist and journalist Kotoku Shusui. Tanaka’s last minute edits with his name seal (hanko) in red can be seen between the lines of Kotoku’s text. The original is on display at the Sano City Museum, Sano, Tochigi, Japan.

Ashio Pollution Map

Map of Ashio Pollution, 1899 by Mizuno Masabune 

Polluted Yanaka Village Fields

 Polluted Yanaka Fields

Yanaka Shack Life

The Takezawas’ Yanaka shack—December 1908.

Source: Tanaka Shozo to sono jidai: tenno jikiso hyaku nen shunen

The Mamyodas’ Yanaka shack

Source: Tanaka Shozo to sono jidai: tenno jikiso hyaku nen shunen

Ashio and Yanaka Today

Remains of the Ashio Factory (2002)
photo credit: Robert Stolz

Experimental Hill Reforestation At Ashio (2002)
photo credit: Robert Stolz

Meeting of the Group to Reforest Ashio
Ashio ni Midori o Tsukuru Kai (2002)
photo credit: Robert Stolz

Remains of the Yanaka Cemetery (2002)
photo credit: Robert Stolz

Concrete Bank of Yanaka Reservoir (2002)
photo credit: Robert Stolz