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２．Scenery of Kanaike Elementary School, then and now
(1) Oita German prisoner of war（POW) Camp postcards
(2) Panoramic view of the school from Ote Street
(3) School building layout a century ago
(4) The 1st school building
(5) The 2nd school building
(6) The 3rd school building
(7) The 4th school building and the Oita No.2 POW
(8) Distant view of Oita City from the school
(9) A sketch of the Oita Camp by "Siebold the 2nd"
(10) Mr. Julius-Paul's Funeral
(11) Oita the 1st POW Camp
(12) The 72nd Infantry Regiment
(13) Landscape of Mt.Takasaki a century ago
(14) Auditorium and Sanitary Hall
(15) Kanameike Elementary School today
3. "The Spirit of Kanaike"
4. References and websites
1. Introduction as a guide for Colonel Kiesewetter and Oita City Kanaike Elemenary School
I made this site for Colonel Karsten Kiesewetter, the military attaché of the German Embassy in Japan, came to Oita last year to visit the graves of his relatives. Mr. Julius-Paul Kiesewetter, the younger brother of the Colonel's great-grandfather, used to run a hotel in the suburbs of Qingdao, China, but he was called up for service in World War I in 1914, and was captured in an engagement with the Japanese army. He was transferred to Oita, where he died of illness in 1917. Mr. Julius-Paul was transferred to the "Oita 2nd POW Camp," which was created for junior officers by converting part of the facilities of the Oita Normal Elementary School (now Oita City Kanaike Elementary School). The Colonel visited Kanameike Elementary School together with Mr. Ryuji Honmyo (Maritime Self-Defense Force cadet), who was instrumental in supporting the gravesite visit, I heard that he could not find the specific location of the school building where the camp was located, so I looked it up based on historical documents and pictures.
In fact, Kanaike Elementary School is also my alma mater. During the time I attended the school (1975-81), the wooden school building built in 1902 had already been demolished, but I remember the sight of part of the 1st school building that had been moved to the north outside the school and turned into a warehouse, as well as the auditorium built before the war (where the gymnasium is now located), along with the plaque "Kanaike Spirit. Due to the Corona Virus disaster, my research was postponed, but in August this year, I visited my alma mater for the first time in 40 years and was able to see the floor plans and other historical documents that were kept at the school. I also collected nearly 1,000 postcards of Oita for the reminiscence care I provide at my current workplace, a medical institution, and summarized the changes in the school building and the scenery of Oita based on materials available at the prefectural library and on the Internet.
I hope this site will serve as a guide for the Colonel who will be visiting Oita again this October, as well as for the students of my alma mater and those who are interested in the history of Oita.
(P.S.) When I visited my alma mater in August, there was a new school building under construction on the school grounds, and next winter the current school building and administration building will all be torn down to make way for the new school grounds. Many of the large trees that I have grown accustomed to since elementary school will be cut down, leaving the cedar tree near the main gate.
October 11, 2021 Takuya Morimoto, MD and PhD., and local historian
２. Scenery of Oita City Kanaike Elementary School, then and now
（１）Oita German prisoner of war (POW) camp postcard
First, I introduce the scenery of the elementary school where the Oita the 2nd POW camp was located, from postcards of the time.The first photo is a view of the school building seen from the side of present-day Ote Street (where YUHO KOEN is located), postmarked on May 4, 1916, and contains a postcard from a German prisoner of war to Shanghai, celebrating Easter. At that time, the school was called Oita Normal Elementary School, and the facilities from the first to the fourth school buildings, completed in 1902, were the largest in Kyushu. The two-story school building on the far right of the picture postcard was used as an internment camp, and was surrounded by a wall with barbed wire, as shown in the second picture postcard of the POW camp.
(2) Panoramic view of the school from Ote Street
This picture shows the summary of the changes of the main school buildings from Ote street. The 1st, 3rd and 4th school buildings were two-story and the second school building was a one-story wooden building. The 4th school building, which was used as the Oita 2nd POW camp, was dismantled the following year after the German prisoners of war were moved to Narashino Camp in Chiba Prefecture and evacuated, and was connected to the left and right sides of the 3rd school building for integration.
This photographs are including my collection, the Bando Collection of the German Institute of Japanese Studies and the National Diet Libraryand. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all concerned.
(3) School building layout a century ago
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a diagram showing the layout of the school buildings in the Taisho era (a century ago), when the POW camp was located, but I found a diagram from 1938 in the 50th anniversary book of Kanaike Elementary School and the Oita Prefectural Library. Based on the fact that the auditorium and the current gymnasium are almost in the same location, I estimated the layout of the school a century ago based on aerial photos from 1948 and photos from the 80th, 90th, and 100th anniversary books.
The following figure is a comparison of a photo taken in 1902 and the present day using Google Earth. Since the school is now surrounded by tall buildings, it is difficult to imagine what the school used to be like in the rice fields, but I hope this diagram will help you understand.
I will now show you the details of each school building with pictures.
（４）The 1st School Building
The old main gate was located on the north side of the main entrance to the first school building. The cedar tree planted on the side of the first school building as a memorial tree for graduation was moved to the side of the present Main Gate (West Gate) in 1957 and has become a large tree.
（５）The 2nd School Building
（６）The 3rd School Building
（７）The 4th School Building and Oita POW No.2
On the east side of the fourth school building, there was a tennis At the elementary school field day in October 1915, a gymnastics performance was shown here to the elementary school students. It is surprising to think about it now, but it shows one aspect of Japanese-German exchange where elementary school students and their parents enjoyed a field day together on the camp grounds, which were surrounded by barbed wire walls.
From the garden on the north side of the forth school building, the third school building is very close and silhouettes of what appear to be two elementary school students can be seen.
（８）Distant view of Oita City from the school
Here is a view of Oita City taken by a German prisoner of war from the second floor of the 4th school building. In the Taisho era, the school was surrounded by rice fields, and the buildings of the city's banks and electric power companies could be seen.
There is a photo taken from the same angle during the flooding in July 1918.
For reference, I used Google Earth to compare the landscape with the current buildings lining the street.
（９）A sketch of the POW by "Siebold the 2nd"
Fritz Rumpf (1888-1949), later known as the "Siebold the Second" and a famous scholar of Japan, was also interned at the Oita No. 2 POW camp, and he wrote a picture book about his experiences in Oita called Das Oita-Gelb-Buch ~Ein Buch für (Oita Yellow Book: A Book for Barbed Wire Patients). In the fourth school building, surrounded by barbed wire walls, the book vividly depicts with humor how they enjoy playing tennis and drinking in the summer heat, watching Japanese wemen planting rice by on the side of the walls, and how they look forward to the mail delivery from their home countries.
In this section, I have introduced some of the images of Das Oita-Gelb-Buch published by Hans-Joachim Schmidt, who has a home page on the history of World War I in Germany. The photos of Rumpf's time in the Oita POW camp were published by the Japanese-German Center Berlin in 1989 as "Du verstehst unsere Herzen gut -Fritz Rumpf im Spannungsfeld der deutsch-japanishen Kulturbeziehungen" published by the Japanese-German Center Berlin in 1989. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all concerned.
Mr. Julius-Paul Kiesewetter, the younger brother of Colonel Karsten Kiesewetter's great-grandfather, was also interned in Oita 2nd POW camp. Mr. Julius-Paul used to run a hotel near Qingdao, China, but in 1914, he was called up for service in World War I. He was taken prisoner of war in an engagement with the Japanese army, and was transferred to Oita. According to the Colonel, he had been a motivated and cheerful person even as a child. He died at the age of 37 because of illness . There are photos of the funeral service held on May 10, 1917. It shows how the funeral was held at the Oita Methodist Church from the elementary school where the camp was located, and how he was buried at the present Sakuragaoka Sanctuary through Takemachi Street.
The left person is Mr. Julius- Paul Kiesewetter.
Prof. Ryuji Honna of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) cadet school conducted a survey and found that the person on the left is Mr. Julius-Paul Kiesewetter.
The photo on the left above was identified as Takemachi Street from the postcard of Takemachi Street in our possession, as the "signboard of Gionya on the left," the "postbox on the right," and the "silhouette of the former Oita Bank" matched. The church also turned out to be the Oita Methodist Church, which has a history dating back to the Meiji era, according to a document ("One Hundred Years of the Church," Oita Church of the Christian Church in Japan, 1988).
Mr. Julius Paull's grave is located at Sakuragaoka Sacred Ground in Shite, Oita City, under the generous care of the local people for a century.
The warehouse shown in the photo of the funeral in the collection of the German Institute for Japanese Studies had been in the Taisho era for a long time, but it was recently rebuilt. The photo on the left was provided by Mr. Rokuro Hisano.
Here, I would like to introduce the locations of Kanaike Elementary School, Oita Methodist Church (at that time), Takemachi Street, the former 72nd Infantry Regiment, Sakuragaoka, etc., where the POW camp was established, using (1) the current Google Map, (2) an aerial map of 1948 (owned by the Oita Prefectural Library), (3) a 1933 map of Oita City (owned by the author), and (4) a 1937 bird's eye view of Oita City (western and eastern). (3) a 1933 map of Oita City (owned by the author), and (4) a 1937 bird's-eye view of Oita City (western and eastern parts) to introduce the geography of the area. The map can be enlarged by double-clicking on it, and I hope it will help you understand the details of the city.
（11）Oita the 1st POW Camp
The Oita the first Prisoner of War Camp was established in the Oita Branch of the Japanese Red Cross Society, located in present-day Takasago-machi, Oita City, as a German prisoner of war camp for senior officers. There are no buildings there now, but a monument to the "Birthplace of the Oita Branch of the Japanese Red Cross Society" and a pine tree planted in 1922, which has grown to over 10 meters tall, are carefully preserved. Also, the Oita Prefectural Hospital was located very close to the Oita Branch of the Japanese Red Cross Society.
（12）The 72nd Infantry Regiment
The main gate of the 72nd Infantry Regiment is now the main gate of the Special Support School attached to the Faculty of Education of Oita University. From here, you see Mt. Ryozen and Mt. Hongu in the distance to the south. Other postcards of the entire regiment's barracks were taken from the mountainside to the west and from that viewpoint you can see the central Oita to Ueno Hill in the distance.
I have also the postcard showing a scene from the gymnastics bars at the 72nd Infantry Regiment. It is interesting to see the similar equipment and photos of the bars that were located near a tennis court on the east side of the 4th school building, as mentioned earlier.
（13）Landscape of Mt.Takasaki in the Taisho Era
（14）Auditorium and Sanitary Hall of the School
（15）Kanaike Elementary School today
Forty years ago, I remember that in front of the food service center of the Kanaike Elementary School that I attended, there was a large panel with a photo of the school in the countryside during the Taisho era and a photo of Germans lifting weights at an athletic event. At the time, I had no idea of the direction or the location of the gate when I looked at the old school photos, but now I know the direction and location of the photos of the school building where the POW camp was located, as well as the surrounding buildings. There is a saying in medicine, "You can't see what you don't know," and I realized that this is true.
I hope that this site will be of some use to Colonel Kiesewetter and the current elementary school students who will be visiting the elementary school.
Lastly, I would like to introduce the words of Mr. Yoshinori Sato, the former principal of the school, who trained me from the Kindergarten to elementary school, about the "KANAIKE DAMASHII(=Spirit)," which was displayed in the auditorium. Whenever I read this word, I feel my back straighten.
We can express the tradition of our school as "Kanakie Spirit". In fact, it is said to be "the spirit of perseverance and unbeatable spirit. I believe that this spirit does not mean that we behave wildly in a group, but that each one of us is motivated in our academics, sports, and daily activities to the end. It's about you winning yourself over and giving it your all.
I believe that the "Kanaike Spirit" is nurtured and formed in each and every person who studies at our school, just as there is no blue bird to be found. I hope that our school's education will continue to improve and that each of our graduates will be able to contribute to society, and that their spirit will develop into a spirit of love for school, love for their hometown, and love for their country, and spread throughout the world.
The 21st Principal of Kanaike Elementary School (1974-1977)
Mr. Yoshinori Sato
I express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Teruyo Ishikawa, the principal of the school, and Mr. Takashi Goto, the vice principal, for allowing me to enter the school building of Kanaike Elementary School for the first time since my graduation in August to see the valuable historical materials and for giving me a tour of the school. I also thank Prof. Ryuji Honmyo of the Maritime Self-Defense Force Academy for his many teachings and interesting discussions since he introduced me to Colonel Kiesewetter last year.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the following people
Prof. Miyuki Yasumatsu, Faculty of Letters, Beppu University
Prof. Seiji Sato, Faculty of Engineering, Oita University
Mr. Hirokuni Watanabe, Elderly Welfare Division, Welfare and Health Department, Oita Prefecture, and
Mr. Hans-Joachim Schmidt,
Oita Prefectural Library
Oita City Museum of History
The Library of the German Institute for Japanese Studies
Mr. Midorou Kuno
Mr. Tokio Kiyokuni.
And of course, I am very grateful to Colonel Karsten Kiesewetter for giving me the opportunity to research the history of my alma mater. I wish you continued good health and happiness in the future.
October 13, 2021
Takuya Morimoto, MD and PhD., Local Historian.
５．References and Websites
ベルリン日独センター「Du verstehst unsere Herzen gut －Fritz Rumpf im Spannungsfeld der deutsch-japanishen Kulturbeziehungen」1989年
ドイツ日本研究所 DIJ板東コレクション 大分俘虜収容所
DIJ Bandō-Sammlung (dijtokyo.org)
Tsingtau - historisch-biographisches Projekt
安松みゆき「大分にあった俘虜収容所」別府大学文学部芸術文化学科 芸術学論叢 (18), 114-130, 2009
渡辺克己「ふるさとの思い出写真集 明治大正昭和 大分」図書刊行会 1979年
加藤貞弘「大分市・消えた町名～その由来と暮らし～」 大分合同新聞社 1997年