The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Various Social Conditions

The Emperor's Birthday on November 3, 1910
December 1965

Meiji Yonju San-nen Juichigatsu Mikka Tenchosetsu
[The Emperor's Birthday on November 3, 1910]
38.0 x 53.9 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

A luxurious celebration of the Emperor's Birthday was held at Futase Branch of Yahata Ironworks, which was run by the government at that time. Today it is called Nittetsu Chuo Tanko (Nittetsu Central Coal Pit: Nittetsu Kogyosho or Nittetsu Mining Co., Ltd. from January, 1938), which is located outside the border of Iizuka City. It also seemed to be an advertisement for the coal pit, newly opened according to their 50-year plan. The great hustle and bustle of the celebration startled people living in Kaho County and Iizuka City very much.
Among assorted decorated dolls, those representing Kiyomasa Kato killing a tiger were especially outstanding. The height of the Kiyomasa doll was about 20 shaku (about 6 m). The doll tiger was as long as the height of the Kiyomasa doll. Electric light bulbs of 100 shoku (an old unit of brightness "candlepower" almost equals to "candela") were used as their eyes, and they were also beautiful at night. When the Kiyomasa doll jabbed out its spear, the doll tiger stood up and roared at it. The roaring sounds reached Kamimio Coal Pit as far as 6 km away from the site, and caused a great sensation. At that time, people in this area did not know about the existence of electric sirens [used for the roaring] and many of them crowded there, pushing and shoving.
In the following year, 1911, the celebration was similarly held and still gathered many people, but the site was not as crowded as the previous year, and the celebration in 1912 was discontinued because of the change in the name of the era [Emperor Meiji's death].
The celebration of the Emperor's Birthday in 1910 was held on record as the largest in scale that had ever been seen at coal mines in the Chikuho region and it was the king of events there.
Creator's Additional Notes: The real Kiyomasa's helmet was 3 shaku (90 cm) in height and was made of paper coated with juice of astringent persimmons. The hilt of the spear was reportedly made of iron, weighing 100 kin (60 kg).

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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