The father of the Tondenhei and cornerstone of Hokkaido’s development

It’s 150 years since this land, formally known as Ezo, was renamed Hokkaido. In a bid to promote industrial growth and military strength, the Meiji government proceeded with the development of Hokkaido in pursuit of its resources. Meanwhile, strong defenses were an urgent topic, as Russian forces continued to advance southward. Those responsible for the development and defense of Hokkaido were the Tondenhei (farmer soldiers).

The man who named Hokkaido, Matsuura Takeshiro is well known but the man who proposed the Tondenhei system and was known as the father of the Tondenhei was Nagayama Takeshiro.

The place name, Nagayama in Asahikawa originates from Nagayama Takeshiro, but the events at the time may well have resulted in the current Nagayama district having a different history.

The Former Nagayama Takeshiro Residence exists in Sapporo. Located on the eastern side Sapporo Factory, this historical structure has been restored and will reopen on June 23, 2018.

A special feature that traces the footsteps of Nagayama Takeshiro, one of the cornerstones of the development of Hokkaido in Sapporo and Asahikawa, is about to begin.

Words by Ida Yukitaka
Translation by Xene Inc.