Wed, Feb 07, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Japanese finds family’s pedestal under Sun’s bust

By Hung Jui-chin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Asao Amano, left, and his wife stand next to a pedestal and a bust of Sun Yat-sen at National Tainan First Senior High School in Tainan on Wednesday last week.

Photo:Hung Jui-chin, Taipei Times

A Japanese man searching for his family roots in Taiwan has discovered that a bust of Republic of China founder Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) at a high school was placed on a pedestal erected for a statue of his grandfather.

Asao Amano and his wife visited Tainan, where his grandfather, Hisayoshi Amano, had been owner and head chef of Uguisu, which was considered the finest gourmet restaurant on the island during the Japanese colonial era.

The restaurant was so favored by elites that it eventually became the Japanese colonial government’s shadow central office, which resulted in its preservation as a municipal heritage, the Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau said.

In 1941, five years after Hisayoshi Amano’s death, his family erected a pedestal with a bust of him next to the restaurant to honor his memory, but the monument disappeared some time after the end of World World II, Asao Amano said.

Asao Amano and his wife have been making extended visits to Tainan in recent years and contacted local historian Lee Wen-hsiung (李文雄) to help them find out what happened to the bust, he said.

Using a photograph provided by the family, Lee found a large and distinctively carved granite pedestal that appears to be an exact match for the Amanos’ at National Tainan First Senior High School, where it supports a bust of Sun and a clock, Asao Amano said.

Lee used the school’s records to confirm that school alumni had moved a granite pedestal from the site of the family’s restaurant to use as a base for the Sun bust, he said.

However, the school’s administrator said it could not confirm the exact circumstances of how it came to possess the pedestal or ascertain its origin.

Although the fate of his grandfather’s bust will likely remain a mystery, Asao Amano said he was overjoyed to find the pedestal and know that it has been preserved.

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