On November 5th, the Texas General Land Office and the Alamo hosted the centennial commemoration of Dr. Shigetaka Shiga’s presentation of the Japanese Monument to the Alamo Heroes in San Antonio. Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka attended the ceremony. 100 years ago Dr. Shiga commissioned the monument after finding parallels between events in Japanese and Texan history. In 1575 in Japan Torii Suneemon fleeing the Nagashino Castle lost his life on his way back from requesting relief of the Tokugawa Ieyasu army. In 1836 in Texas James B. Bonhman lost his life returning to the Alamo to share the good news that reinforcements were on their way. In commemoration of the two heroes and their bravery, Dr. Shiga donated the monument in 1914, which was inscribed with his own poetry, to the Alamo.
In his remarks Consul-General Takaoka gave his congratulations on the 100th anniversary of Dr. Shiga’s donation, recognized the monument as a symbol of friendship between San Antonio and Japan, and wished for continued friendship between the people of San Antonio and Japan (link). Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson formally welcomed the delegation from Japan on behalf of the City of San Antonio and noted the growing importance of the monument. San Antonio Mayor Emerita Lila Cockrell, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolfe, and District Court Judge Peter Sakai and President of the Lake University Jane Ann Slater also gave greetings. Dr. Margit Nagy Shiga, Centennial Coordinator and university history professor, shared background on the history of cultural exchange between San Antonio and Japan represented by the monument.
From Japan, the International Friendship Association Junior Ambassador Delegation that visited San Antonio in 1986 to present the portrait of Dr. Shigetaka Shiga and representatives from Horai Jr. High of the Shinshiro City Delegation, the town home to the Nagashino Castle, were present to mark the occasion. Junior Ambassador Delegation Head Ms. Isako Oikawa and Shishiro City Delegation Head and Horai Jr. High Principal Mr. Takayuki Harata gave remarks.
The following day at the San Antonio City Council meeting Mayor Ivy Taylor received the Junior Ambassador Delegation and the Shinshiro City Delegation and recognized the events surrounding the centennial celebration. Consul-General Takaoka also spoke, praising the City of San Antonio for its leading role deepening the ties between Japan and the U.S. (link).