Discovery of a samurai's vision for Japan attracts interest(防衛省内に山本覚馬「建白書」)

 

 An opinion paper concerning the modernization of Japan written by a samurai of the Aizu domain, in what is now mainly part of Fukushima Prefecture, has been found at a Defense Ministry institute, it has been learned.
 Yamamoto Kakuma was the elder brother of Niijima Yae, whose life was turned into NHK's annual historical drama "Yae no Sakura" (Yae's Sakura) in 2013.
 The paper, titled "Kanken," is a long-sighted opinion piece about the future of Japan. It was discovered at the ministry's National Institute for Defense Studies in Tokyo.
 The common belief had been that this document was submitted either to the new Meiji government in Tokyo or to the Satsuma domain in what is now Kagoshima Prefecture, although there was no source material to directly back up the theory.
 "It's a precious piece of historical material that proves Kakuma's opinion reached the center of the government," said one researcher.

 大河ドラマ「八重の桜」の主人公、山本(新島)八重の兄で会津藩士の山本覚馬(かくま)が日本の将来を見据えて作成した建白書「管見(かんけん)」が記された文献が、東京都の防衛省防衛研究所で保管されていたことが23日までに分かった。管見は新政府、または薩摩藩に提出されたとの通説だったが、直接的に裏付ける資料が見つかっていなかった。研究者は「政府の中枢まで、覚馬の意見が届いていたことが確かめられる貴重な資料」と話している。

 It is believed that Kakuma, who was suffering from an eye disease, dictated "Kanken" at the Satsuma domain's residence in Kyoto where he was confined after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi in Kyoto in 1868. In the document, he discussed various issues that preempted how a modern state should be, such as separation of powers, the representative government system and improvement of girls' education.
 "He compiled his views on the modernization of Japan more concretely than the famous 'Senchu Hassaku' opinion paper written by Sakamoto Ryoma did," said Hirokazu Koeda, a researcher at the Kyoto-based Doshisha Archives Center for source material of Doshisha University's history, praising the statement.
  "It was a surprise that it was stored at the National Institute for Defense Studies, but then I don't feel that it's strange," he added.

 管見は1868(慶応4)年の鳥羽伏見の戦いの後、目を患っていた覚馬が幽閉されていた薩摩藩邸で、口述筆記させたとされる建白書。三権分立、代議員制、女子教育の充実など近代国家のあるべき姿を先取りした。覚馬を研究する同志社社史資料センター(京都市)の小枝弘和社史資料調査員は「日本の近代化に向けた意見を、有名な坂本龍馬の船中八策よりも具体的にまとめている」と評価する。小枝調査員によると、管見には徴兵制など兵役に関する提言もあり、「防衛研究所に保存されていたことは驚きだが、違和感はない」と語る。

 "Kanken" was discovered in January by Tetsuya Ito, 50, a Saitama-based historian specializing in the final years of the Tokugawa shogunate. He was searching for material regarding the Byakkotai, a group of young warriors of the Aizu domain, when he found it by chance as part of a collection of papers titled "Shokenpakuki" (A record of various opinions). "Kanken" was filed together with other military-related opinion papers submitted to the government from March to September 1868.
 "'Kanken' led to Kakuma connecting with the government authorities and became a starting point for his later performances. I hope this discovery helps shed light on his achievement," Ito said.

 同研究所で管見を見つけたのは、幕末史家の伊藤哲也さん(50)=さいたま市。今年1月、白虎隊士に関連する資料を探していた伊藤さんが、「諸建白記」と表紙に書かれた冊子の中から偶然見つけた。「諸建白記」には1868年3月から9月までに政府に寄せられた軍務関係の提言書がそのままとじ込まれており、管見はほかの人物が提出した文書と一緒にまとめられていた。伊藤さんは「管見は政府関係者と覚馬との接点をつくり、その後の活躍の原点となる文書。これがきっかけとなり、覚馬の業績にさらに光が当たってほしい」と話す。

 Other researchers have shown great interest in the finding.
 "I hope it will be clarified how the newly discovered document came to be in the possession of the institute. Through comparative research on the original paper and its manuscript copies, the correct details about 'Kanken' will become clear," said Naoto Yoshikai, a professor at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, who authored "Niijima Yae: Ai to Tatakai no Shogai," a biography of Niijima Yae. 

 研究者も熱いまなざしを送る。「新島八重 愛と闘いの生涯」の著者、吉海直人同志社女子大特別任用教授は「見つかった文献が防衛研究所に収められるまでの経緯が解明されてほしい。写本との比較研究が進むことで、管見の正しい内容が明確になる」と期待する。

 【Yamamoto Kakuma】as born in 1828 as the first son of Yamamoto Gonpachi, an artillery instructor of the Aizu domain. Kakuma became a teacher at the school for foreign studies, which was newly established at the domain's Nisshinkan school. He also became involved in the westernization of the domain's weapons. He was insightful about modernization and so clear-sighted that he even earned respect from Saigo Takamori, who played a vital role in the Meiji government. During the Meiji era (1868-1912), Kakuma became involved in establishing the Doshisha Academy, the predecessor of Doshisha University. He held such key positions as the Kyoto prefectural government's adviser, the Kyoto prefectural assembly's first chairman and the head of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He died in 1892 in Kyoto, at 64.

( Translated by The Japan News )

 【山本 覚馬】1828(文政11)年、会津藩砲術師範山本権八の長男として生まれた。藩校の日新館に新設された蘭学所の教授を務め、兵器の洋式化にも携わった。近代を見据え、先見性に富んだ覚馬に、新政府の中枢を担った西郷隆盛なども敬意を寄せたという。明治時代に覚馬は同志社大の前身「同志社英学校」設立に関わった。京都府の顧問や府議会初代議長、京都商工会議所会頭などを歴任。1892年に京都で64歳の生涯を閉じた。

 【 2019年9月24日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】

おすすめPickup!ニュースの『玉手箱』

「福島県議選」自民が過半数31議席獲得 国民民主は1減10議席