Takamine-sensei [pic] , as he is often called, was born into a feudal society, matured during the era of Bunmei kaika (Civilization and Enlightenment) and contributed greatly to the world of teacher's education in Japan. Takamine also translated key texts which had a major impact on an entire generation of educators. His legacy can also be found in other disciplines such as biology, art and music education. Perhaps the most telling evidence of his success was his funeral which was attended by 1,000 people from the highest official to the lowest paid teacher.

In the field of art "he endeavored to collect various kinds of wood-block and other prints. He collected more than three thousand prints and more than one hundred twenty scrolls. Furthermore, he tried to classify Japanese traditional artists of Ukiyo-e by a form of a family tree." (Ahagon 334) "Mr. Hideo Takamine were among the first to compile collections of valuable prints in this country." (Mihara 258).

I hope that one day a team of scholars collaborate in an effort to introduce this remarkable and complex biography to the western world. Research in Japanese has focused entirely on his work in the field of pedagogy. What needs to be examined is his role as a "lobbyist" for institutions which were created to be beyond the reach of the Ministry of Education. Furthermore, true to his role as a teacher, Takamine introduced many foreigners to the various arts of Japan with both skill and patience. He put them in touch with key figures in their field of interest and gave a great deal of his personal time to assist them in their pursuits. The foreigners, mentioned below, will go on to receive Imperial honors and international recognition.

He and his family should be studied alongside other families from Aizu such as the Matsudaira, Yamakawa (Yamagawa), Takagi and Fujita families which must be studied in the context of the post 1868 Aizu network centered in Tokyo. He was a friend, relative and benefactor to both Mr. and Mrs. Fujita in the Meiji era. Takamine also has ties with people from outside of Japan such as the Krusi family, Edward Sylvester Morse, William Sturgis Bigelow and Ernest Francisco Fenollosa. Other famous people from the Meiji era he knew on an intimate basis include Tsuda Ume(ko) and Okakura Kakuzo. [Note: Japanese names are presented traditionally with the lastname in the front]. His association with these people will be explained further in the text.

Ultimately, it is my hope to convey a new dimension to the defeat of the Aizu domain and that is the fighting spirit of the samurai manifests itself not only on the battlefield or in death but in the form of suvival and adaptation in the new order.

This site emerged from my research into the biography of Mr. Fujita (formerly known as Yamaguchi Hajime, Saitou Hajime,
Yamaguchi Jiro, Ichinohe/Ichinose Denpachi) and his wife Mrs. Fujita (Takagi Sada or Tokio(ko). Saitou Hajime was the former captain of the third troop in the [Shinsengumi] and assistant to the Vice Chief Hijikata Toshizo. It was Takamine Hideo's friendship to the Fujita family which sparked my interest. Much later in my inquiry I had found some very interesting connections between Takamine and the kingdom of Siam, which like Japan, was not colonized and was also undergoing its own cultural and technological evolution.

Disclaimer: This site is a work in progress. As I cannot read Japanese there will be gaps in my knowledge. I am more interested in letting the subject tell his or her own story and therefore I will keep interpretation to a minimum. If you would like to contribute to this site or make corrections please [contact me] .


Takamine Hideo