This famous statue of Takamori Saigo & his dog is in Ueno park, just in case you ever want to go and see it for yourself. Saigo-san was one of the most influential samurai in history. I guess I could give you a whole entry on all of his notable doings, but it’s nothing that Wikipedia or Dr. Smit’s textbook couldn’t tell you in much greater detail, so I won’t bother taking the time to paraphrase what’s already written. However, I will mention that he was in opposition to building a railway system (!!) and opening up the country to trade with “The West.” I guess it’s just because he was an old-fashioned kind of guy.
Anyhow. I can’t ever get over this statue. You can go to any European city (or even in the U.S.) and find a statue of some great oxidizing generalissimo sitting upright on horseback waving a saber around in the air. How refreshing to see this great big bronze fellow with a belly in a robe & sandals walking a sweet little dog. It’s like he could be your next door neighbor going to get the A.M. newspaper and take the dog out for a piss, if it weren’t for that sword in his other hand. Nevertheless a charming statue, don’t you think?