Coal Mine King -1-

I visited a very famous Coal Mine King’s old residence in Fukuoka, Kyushu. The residence is very valuable and it is preserved carefully and it is open to public. The residence is called Ito Denemon Tei. Denemon is the one who made a big fortune by running a coal mine business. He was from a very poor family and he didn’t have a good educational background, yet he was such a street smart that he succeeded immensely as an entrepreneur. He married Byakuren, a talented poet who was a cousin of Taisho emperor. But actually they didn’t fall in love, Denemon bought Byakuren with his big money. The two lived in this huge residence for some years. Their story was featured in a drama sereis in Japan, so the residence is widely known.

NHKの朝ドラ「花子とアン」で取り上げられ、全国的にも有名な九州の炭鉱王、伊藤伝右衛門の邸宅を訪れました。江戸、明治、大正、昭和を生きた事業家、苦労人で叩き上げの伝衛門と大正天皇の従姉妹であり女流歌人であった白蓮の住んだ、当時の贅の限りを尽くしたお屋敷を三時間くらいかけてゆっくりと見て回りました。

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Denemon was 25 years older than Byakuren and thier marriage was very cold as Denemon didn’t understand Byakuren and Byakuren couldn’t understand him either. A rich old man and a celeb poet from Tokyo didn’t share anything. Byakuren was very lonely every day, then she fell in love with another guy who was a student of University of Tokyo. She ran away form Denemon and eloped with the student. It was a huge sensation back then. In those days, there exsisted the crime of adultury. I didn’t watch the drama series, but I read a novel of them so I asked many questions to the guide of the residence. So glad that I learned a lot.

年の離れた学はないが大金持ちの伝右衛門と大都会の上流家庭から嫁いだ白蓮との結婚生活は、冷え切ったものでした。姦通罪もあった当時、白蓮は豪華な生活を捨てて東大生の恋人であった宮崎龍介の元に走り、一大スキャンダルを引き起こしました。私は朝ドラは観ていませんが、林真理子の小説「白蓮れんれん」を図書館から借りて読んでいたので、ガイドの方に沢山質問をして様々な学びを得たことが嬉しかったです。

My favorite place in the residence was a private room of Byakuren. It was on the 2nd floor and you can enjoy a great view from the room. Denemon paid huge amount of money to make the room for Byakuren, but he couldn’t buy the heart of her.

私が一番好きだった部屋は、伝右衛門が白蓮の為に特別にしつらた二階の白蓮の個室でした。

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Byakuren married love of her life after leaving Denemon. Denemon was such a poor guy that he couldn’t give his wife anythting but money. However, the view from the room was just amazing. I was sitting on the floor and thintking about thier marriage while daydreaming. Actually, I wanted to have a nap there! Haha!

お金さえかければ白蓮を幸せに出来ると考えた伝右衛門が哀れになりますが、この部屋からの眺めは本当に素晴らしく、しばらく床に座ってボーっとしながら伝右衛門と白蓮とのことに思いを馳せていました。(本当は、ここで小一時間ほど昼寝がしたかった!)

I told my father that I visited the Denemon residence, then he told me a very interesting thing. When my father was a high school student, his English teacher Miss Miyazaki was a relative of Byakuren’s  dear husband who won Byakuren’s love. I thought that it was very interesting!

実は私の父の高校時代の英語の宮崎テイ先生は、白蓮が走った宮崎龍介の親類だったそうで「津田塾を出た独身の先生やったよ。」と話していました。なんだかそういう話を聞くと、とても愉快な気持ちになりますね。

That’s all for today, see you soon! Blessings to you all!

では、また!

 

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