Joe Neesima is one of the most important educators in Japan and is known as a founder of Doshisha University in Kyoto. When he was 22, he left Hakodate secretly for the United States of America. The then government, Tokugawa Shogunate had a national isolation policy and prohibited its citizens going in and out from Japan. But he was interested in the West and risked his life to board an American vessel named "The Berlin" in 1864. He studiedat Amherst College and Andover Theological College. He was wondering the strength of Christian countries in the West. He came back to Japan 10 years later and taught Christianity in Japan. His original name was Shimeta, but the captain of the ship he embarked gave him a name of Joe(→Joseph Hardy Neesima). Later, he used this name.
You can find this statue of Joe Neesima near the Kanemori Warehouses facing to Hakodate port.
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。