Friday, March 23, 2007

Appendix 3. 50th Anniversary card and translation

Translation of above card issued by the Library of Hakodate in 1924

Herr Ludwig Haber from Silesia (Germany) took up the post of German consul at Hakodate in February of the 7th year of Meiji. A short while earlier the country had been opened to world communications and amongst the population there was great disquiet as a result of this measure. Hidechika Tazaki, a samurai of the principality of Akita, feared that the penetration of European influence would bring about the decline of the loyalty of the Japanese people to the Emperor and wanted to drive foreigners from the country. He came to Hakodate, happened to come upon Herr Haber who was taking his promenade, attacked him, followed him and killed him here, on this spot on the 11th August of the said year. Herr Haber was 32 years old when he died. Mr. Blackstone* arranged the funeral which took place on the day following his death at Yamasedomari cemetery. The murderer immediately turned himself in to the court and was decapitated on September 26th. This expiation was the reason why the crime had no political consequences.

Now, 50 years having elapsed since Ludwig Haber’s death, we have moved his gravestone to the site of his death and placed this inscription on the pedestal to preserve for all times the memory of the man who died as a victim of the opening up of the harbour of Hakodate.

Hakodate Library

11th August of the 13th year of the Taisho

* An error: it should have been Blakiston

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