Heart-moving history between Japan and Vietnam


Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam Usually I do not recommend or review TV programs, but I have to make an exemption for yesterday’s TBS program of “The Partner’. It describes a an actual story happening about 100 years ago in Fukuroi Shizuoka connected with Hanoi in Vietnam. Although the TV program does not represent 100% the actual facts of the story, basically it is still good example of how a brave Vietnamese Phan Bội Châu was a member of the independent movement for Vietnam, trying to find a way of how to get rid of the French forces during colonialism.
The TBS story is around a big monument at the Jorinji temple (常林寺, じようりんじ) in Fukuroi in Shizuoka prefecture, when a Japanese business man in present time is given the task in Hanoi to find real treasure in connection to a picture of a monument. If the Japanese business man can provide the Vietnamese counter partner with a treasure, then a business contract will be signed. To give the story a bit more emotional touch an international marriage is included in the storyline as well.
The events take place in the aftermath of the Russian-Japanese war. Sakihama Taro a local doctor built a lasting relationship with Phan to help him find a way to overcome colonialism in Vietnam. As one of the means to initiate change was bringing in young Vietnamese to Japan in order to study. Overall a total number of 200 students from Vietnam came to study in Japan, including one member of the Nguyen imperial family. Due to global new alliances Japan was forced due to its connection with France to deport the Vietnamese. Left without funds to go back to Vietnam a physical sick Sakihama gave his savings of at that time of 1700 Japanese Yen (in comparison the monthly salary of a school teacher at that time JPY 18!) to Phan and his group. At the end Phan was able to go back to Vietnam, but when he came back to Japan years later to thank for all the support received in the meantime Sakihama had died. Although Phan came with some money to Japan this time, it was not enough to create a monument to show his gratefulness to Sakihama and so the villagers chipped in. Not mentioned in the movie, the actual events did not allow Phan to see an independent Vietnam in his lifetime.
More details on the monument to remember the international friendship found in at the Jorinji temple in Fukuroi can be found in Japanese. My goal is to go to this temple to pray for this heart-moving international friendship within this year.
For sure I recommend you highly to watch the movie, even with the rather sweet simple story connected to today.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (伊藤シビル)

One thought on “Heart-moving history between Japan and Vietnam

  1. Very touching story. Being a Vietnamese, I will definitely go to pay my respect to Sakiraro san and Phan Boi Chau who live and die for Vietnam.
    Try to visit this year 2016.

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