【Mr. Tatsuo Ichiki】The Japanese who Sacrificed His Life for Indonesian Independence

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If asked about the great people in your hometown, would you be able to answer?

Actually, I think I could manage to answer about the great people of Hitoyoshi and Kuma, but when it comes to the great people of Taragi, I don’t think I would be able to respond immediately.

If it weren’t for the widespread technology of the internet as it is now, I probably wouldn’t have been able to know forever.

By the way, in the former case, the answer would depend on the person asking, but most likely, they would mention “Kyukei Indo” a poet from Hitoyoshi.

His representative works include “旅愁(Ryoshu)” and “故郷の廃家(Kokyonohaika)” which are known by most Japanese people.

  • The original composition of “旅愁(Ryoshu)”is “Dreaming of Home and Mother” by John P. Ordway.
  • The original composition of故郷の廃家(Kokyonohaika)” is “My Dear Old Sunny Home” by William Hays.

The reason why most Japanese people know them is undoubtedly because they learned them in music class when they were children. The school song of the elementary school I graduated from was also written by Mr. “Kyukei Indo”.

Well, regarding the latter great person from Taragi, I found out that there is indeed a great individual by searching on the internet.

A memorial monument at Seishoji Temple in Shiba, Tokyo

He person’s name is Tatsuo Ichiki as you mentioned.

According to the cited source, Tatsuo Ichiki was born in Taragi, Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture in the 39th year of the Meiji era, and he is a descendant of the Kumamoto samurai class.

Regarding the content, Tatsuo Ichiki is a Japanese individual who sacrificed his life for the independence of Indonesia. When the first Indonesian President Sukarno visited Japan, he stated, “Without remembering these two heroes, there can be no everlasting friendship between Japan and Indonesia. Please do something about it.”

It is mentioned that in response to this, a photograph was carved and erected in Seishoji Temple in Shiba, Tokyo, with characters and sentences unique to President Sukarno.

“Tatsuo Ichiki protested the significant disappointment of the Japanese government, which had promised to assist Indonesia’s independence but failed to fulfill it, by abandoning his fellow Japanese. He wholeheartedly dedicated his life to the independence of Indonesia, while deeply thinking of his mother and wife eagerly awaiting his return in his hometown.

Thank you, Tatsuo Ichiki, you were a remarkable person. “Arigato gozaimashita”. Tatsuo-san, you made a tremendous sacrifice.

Published in the Compass newspaper on July 19, 1996.”


“I believe there are many other wartime heroes like this.

It is extremely regrettable that such history is not taught in schools and is on the verge of being forgotten without being properly passed down to our descendants. However, now, 77 years after the war, the reasons are gradually becoming clear (no longer a taboo).

I am convinced that the fundamental reason for the decline of rural areas lies in history education (lack of pride in one’s hometown), so I intend to continue writing about the great people of my hometown.”

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