Eien no nishipa ~ Hokkaido to naduketa otoko Matuura Takeshirou ~ (2019) - full transcript

This is a fictionalised drama about Matsuura Takeshiro,
who suggested the name "Hokkaido".

Hokkaido is called "Yaun Mosir" in the Ainu language
and was called "Ezochi" up to the Bakumatsu period (1853-1867).

Ezochi means “land of the Ezo” or “land of foreigners”.
It can also be read as “land of shrimp barbarians”.

Matsuura Takeshiro

This man's name is Matsuura Takeshiro.

In the Bakumatsu period, he surveyed the northern lands 6 times,

and it was he who suggested the name Hokkaido in Meiji 2 (1869).

Hokkaido 150th Anniversary Drama
Forever Nispa

Matsuura Takeshiro

23 years before the Meiji Restoration,

The Meiji Restoration was in 1868, when
Japan returned to imperial rule under Emperor Meiji.

Takeshiro first crossed into Yaun Mosir-Ezochi.

Hearing that Russian ships were often seen in this region,

Koka 2 (1845)

he wanted to draw a detailed map of it to protect the nation.

Takeshiro was staying in Hakodate, the gateway to Ezochi,

looking for a route inland.

Hakodate merchant
Shindo Sashichiro

Oh, you're still...
- Stay there!

This is a copy of an Ezochi survey map.

I carried it here from Nagasaki,

but it got wet during the boat crossing.


Mr Matsuura,

did you come here from Nagasaki?


I heard from someone who regularly goes to Dejima in Nagasaki

Dejima: a trading post in Nagasaki.
The only place foreigners were allowed to trade with Japan.

that China was invaded by the English.

He heard they had invaded Qingguo, i.e. Manchu China.
He uses an archaic word for England here too.

Apparently Russia is aiming to do the same to Ezochi.

And that's why you came from Nagasaki to Ezochi?

Use this to arrange a guide for me.

If we don't learn about Ezochi first, we can't defend this country.

I want to explore from the coast inland
and make a map of the interior.

Please, use this money to find a guide who knows Ezochi well.

Well, if you have this much money,

I can find any number of guides.

But what about your travel papers?

In Ezochi, the areas where we Japanese people live are strictly separated...

- Yes?

Can't you do something about that?

After all, you must be one of the top merchants in Ezochi.

Ah, well...

I'll see what I can do.

Hakodate, Bentenchou
Shipping Agent
Shindo Sashichiro

Here are your papers.

Mr Matsuura, you are now our shop's clerk, Kichibei.

I'm grateful.

This is a farewell gift from me to you, Mr Matsuura,

for coming all the way to Ezochi out of concern for this nation.

I understand.

- Hm?

I'm truly in your debt.
- Well.



My clerk, Rokunosuke will accompany you.


Once you pass the guardhouse, an Ainu guide and porter has been arranged for you.

Thank you.

Yes, sir.


"Shindo's shop clerk, Kichibei." Go through.

Yes, sir.

"Rokunosuke." Go through.
- Yes, sir.

From here on, we're in Ezochi.

His name is Uteruku.

I'm Matsuura Takeshiro.

Pleased to meet you, U...

It's "Uteruku".



Even in the steep mountain roads,
the iron-legged Takeshiro walked 15 ri or 60 km every day.

He measured the mountain paths by number of paces.

By counting 3 steps as 1 ken (1.818 m),

Takeshiro was able to draw accurate maps.

Takeshiro was a skilled artist,

and he drew the beautiful scenery of the northern lands

and the various people who lived there.

Are you alright?
- Yes.

He explored as far as Cape Shiretoko,

then followed the Pacific coastline before turning back.

Takeshiro made detailed records of place names, with echoes of Ainu words.


Where is that?

Say the name of that place!


"The mountain."

Poro Cikewe.

Poro Cikewe is now called Cape Chikiu.

Poro Cikewe?

Poro Cikewe...


Moruran is now called Muroran.

So we're around here now?






you can speak Japanese?

The sea.


The sky.
- Oh!

- Oh~!


Ezochi's sea,


and clouds...

they're pirika.




In the following year,

Takeshiro set out for Sakhalin.

Ezochi included part of the island of Sakhalin (in Japanese, Karafuto), which was disputed territory but was ceded to Russia in 1875.

At the time, Japanese people called Sakhalin "Northern Ezochi",

and the border with Russia was not yet fixed.

Hey! Go!

Northern Ezochi (Sakhalin)

Young Ainu of working age are brought to this fishing area from Ezochi.

Against their will,

by force.


Stop him!


Use this.

It's medicine.

If you put this on your wound...
- Oi.

I don't recognise you.

Who are you?


What are you doing?

Get to work!

You too!

Here, take this.


You don't like the food?

No, it's good.

It's good, but...


To think that these fish and shellfish were caught by Ainu who are treated like that...

Northern Ezochi merchant
Minatoya Hikobei

We merchants have to pay Lord Matsumae an annual "business tax".

It's a harsh tax rate,

so if we don't work the Ainu hard, we can't pay it.

We merchants aren't to blame,

it's Lord Matsumae's fault.

What do you think, Mr Minatoya?

If we don't look after the Ainu who live here,

I don't think we'll have peace or development in Ezochi.

Well, well...

He really loves the Ainu, doesn't he?

Yes, you're right!


Oh, thank you.

Uteruku, let's take a break.

We should have come by boat after all...

How many times do I have to tell you?

Only the Ainu know Ezochi.

And I want to learn about inland Ezochi.

Keep back.

I'll kill it.


Hang in there, Uteruku!

I let the bear get away.

You're a brave man.

Without you,

I would be dead...

I wouldn't die from something like this.

Thank you.

It's not far now.


I'm sorry.

Why are you apologising?

If Uteruku had been alone, he could have got away from the bear,

but he fought it because of me,

and lost his arm.

If it weren't for me...

Uteruku is alive.

He's alive, but...

This man is Japanese, but he has a good heart. We can trust him.

I am Matsuura Takeshiro.


That's right.

His name is Takeshiro.

Ainu don't give out our own names so carelessly.

"We Ainu don't give out our own names so carelessly."

Why is that?

But I'll tell you mine.

I am Uteruku's younger sister, Rise.


These are my nispa's mother and father.


"Grandmother/old woman” and “grandfather/old man”.



"Nispa" means an important person.

Are you referring to your husband?

Are these your husband's parents?

Icinika is my son.

Even if you won't accept my apologies,

please eat this.

It's rice and miso.

Some alcohol, too.

And I have some good medicine.

It's not much, but please accept my feelings.

This kotan (village) has a lot of women.

All the Ainu men are taken to Northern Ezochi.

The women left behind in the kotan

are taken as wives by the Sisam (Japanese).



You Sisam are all monsters.

A Sisam took me to be his woman, too.

If we disobeyed them, we were killed.

Women who got pregnant with a Sisam's child were killed too.

I ran away before they could kill me.

My husband's parents took me in when I was pregnant.

And they named him.



That's how you learned my language, then.


My husband came back from Northern Ezochi,

saw the child's face,

and one day he died.

Ekashi always sings by Lake Poroto.

So that his late son will hear.

When Icinika comes of age, I'll die too.

I don't think that's what your husband would want.

You're a good Sisam.

The first good Sisam I've ever seen.

I'm glad that I met a good Sisam before I died.

Am I really a good Sisam?

I owe Uteruku my life.

I have to become an even better Sisam

and repay him.



Repay means...

Let's dance!

This Japanese man will dance with us.


Look! There's one!

Don't run away!

I caught it, I caught it!

You did it!









How long will he be staying here?

How long will you be staying here, Takeshiro?

Until Uteruku recovers from his injury.

When your uncle's wound heals, they'll leave.

I want him to stay forever!

I want Takeshiro to be my father!

Please be quiet. I told you, he's leaving tomorrow.

No, no, no!

Thank you for the meal.

Uteruku saved my life,

and he helped me for a long time.

I will never forget it. Thank you.


We won't forget you either.

This is for you.

Our daughter-in-law made this Ainu kimono for you to wear.

Rise, you wove this for me?

It suits you.


Thank you.

What are you doing?

You go outside on bright moonlit nights.

Why is that?

It says "Rise".

"A land of villages".

It means "A mosir of kotans".

"A mosir of kotans"?


I'm leaving tomorrow.

I have a favour to ask of you.

Even when Icinika has come of age,

I want you to live.

I will live thinking that you are living too.

Please, don't die.

I carved this token with that wish in mind.

I made this token hoping to protect you, Rise.


Will you stay here forever?

If so, I won't die.

Icinika loves you too, Takeshiro.

I'm sorry.

I can't do that.


I left home at 16 and travelled throughout this country before I came to Ezochi.

I visited various regions,

and I met a lot of people,

but I was always lost, not knowing what I should do.

But when I came to Ezochi, I realised it for the first time...

What I am supposed to do.

I have to return to Edo and tell everyone what I saw here in Ezochi.

Edo is now called Tokyo.

For the sake of the country,

and for the sake of the Ainu.

I'm not brave, like Uteruku.

But still,

I have a duty to fulfill.


you and Icinika would come with me to Edo.

I was born here.

I live here.

You live here...

I'm not going anywhere.

Leave that kimono and go.

I don't need this, either.
- Please keep that, at least.

It's to show my affection for you.


After returning to Edo,

Takeshiro wrote one book after another

about the conditions in Yaun Mosir, Ezochi,

that he had confirmed with his own eyes and feet.

Ezochi Diary - 1

Shipping Agent
Shindo Sashichiro

I heard that this is very popular in Edo.

"Overview of Ezochi."


Wasn't he killed and eaten by a bear?

How do you know about that?

Chief retainer of the Matsumae clan
Sajima Kageyu

Oh, no...

I just heard a rumour.


Read the introduction.

Yes, sir.

Lord Matsumae only wants power.

His retainers and purveyors exploit the Ainu,

as well as deceiving them and stealing their property.


in recent years,

the number of Ainu has declined steeply.


Unless Ezochi is confiscated from the Matsumae clan

and ruled over by the imperial court itself,

not only will Ezochi fall into ruin,

but this will also indirectly cause the downfall of the Japanese nation.

And so now, as a warning and to encourage reform,

I am publishing this map as an appeal to society.

How was Matsuura Takeshiro able to travel so widely without any papers?

In any case, we cannot let him live.

I've sent orders to our Edo estate to have him dealt with immediately.


Takeshiro tried to inform the shogunate about Ezochi's condition in person.

Foreign affairs magistrate
Horii Izumonokami

With no strategy for defence or security,

Ezochi is completely unarmed.


if we allow Matsumae's misrule to continue,

and let unscrupulous merchants do as they please,

it will fall apart from within.

"Fall apart from within"?

That's right.

I would like to inform Chief Councillor Abe of that myself.

Abe Masahiro, also known as Ise-no-kami.

Please permit me to do so.

I understand what you're saying.


there's no way to prove that what is written in these books is true.

Do you have any reliable evidence?


Four black ships from America appeared in Uraga!

Black ships: Western ships, a symbol of the end of Japan's isolationist policies.

The American governor Perry is a giant, almost 2 metres tall!

US Commodore Matthew Perry.
Apparently 6 shaku and 4-5 sun (193-197 cm) tall.

I know you've been waiting for this!

It's Matsuura Takeshiro! I was here earlier!

I'm being chased!

Please open the door!



So the Matsumae clan really plan to get rid of you like that.

The Matsumae clan?

Those were assassins sent out by Matsumae's estate.

I can't believe it.

If your books hadn't revealed the truth like that,

the Matsumae clan wouldn't be so angry.

Stay hidden on my property for now.

You're too kind. Thank you.

This is Matsuura Takeshiro.

This is Chief Councillor Abe.


Chief Councillor
Abe Masahiro, Ise-no-kami

Raise your head.

Tell me what should be done with Ezochi for the sake of this country.

Yes, sir.

First of all,

we should make allies of the Ainu who have lived in Ezochi for so long.

To do that,

the conspiracy between Matsumae and the merchants
to exploit the Ainu's property and labour must be stopped.


a clear border with Russia must be laid down in Northern Ezochi.

Is that all?

We must clearly understand the unknown topography of inland Ezochi,

make convenient roads for common use,

and quickly bring it under the shogunate's rule.

I understand.

Ezochi will now be ruled directly by the shogunate.

You will cross Ezochi with Horii here, and study its inland topography.

Yes, sir!

Takeshiro was employed by the shogunate

to cross Yaun Mosir-Ezochi once again.

This survey took 200 days,

and some of his party even lost their lives to the cold weather.

There's a village just up ahead.

I'd like to visit some friends who live there.

Most of the villages around here are empty now.

Why is that?

It's me, Takeshiro.

May I come in?


It's been a long time.

Have you been well?

How is everyone?

They're all gone.

They're all dead.




They're all dead.

Even Uteruku?


Last summer, he was taken to Northern Ezochi.

He didn't even come back in the winter.

He must be dead.

They took him to the fisheries even though he'd lost an arm?

The Ainu keep on disappearing.

Sisam officials take the Ainu men to the fisheries.

The women left behind in the villages have no men to take as husbands.

No Ainu children are born.

The Ainu are dying out.

The Ainu who live here are dying out.

I won't let that happen.

Ezochi is now governed by the shogunate too.

Life will definitely get better for the Ainu now.

I don't believe it.

The Sisam won't change.

That's not true!

I will definitely make a better Ezochi for you!

I don't believe it.

I don't trust you or the shogunate.

Did you think I'd embrace you?

Did you think I'd happily leap into your arms?

The Sisam left and became an important man.

He came back in a beautiful kimono.

But none of that makes me happy.

No one is coming back.

Nothing is coming back.

Even if you're back here, nothing will change.


I understand.

I'll leave.

But please let me ask one more thing.

What happened to Icinika?

Is Icinika well?

He's half Sisam.

He rarely comes back.

He hardly ever comes here.

He's working at Shiratoriya.

Uteruku saved my life,

but I left this village without being able to do anything.

I'm sorry.

But from now on, I'll do everything I can

so that the Ainu who live here,

so that all the Ainu can live in peace.

Sorry to have disturbed you.

Stay well.

Don't let him get away!

Don't speak.

I know.





I'm in your arms...

I'm glad.

Hold on!



You can't die, Rise!


Takeshiro, take this.



What is it?

I'm going to Edo.

Aren't you Shiratoriya's shop boy now?

I left Shiratoriya.

I'm not Icinika any more,

I'm Ichisuke.

I'll leave Ezochi and see the vast country of the Japanese people.

I'll learn the Japanese language and writing.

That's why I'm going to Edo.

If you leave Ezochi,

Rise will be sad, sleeping in the kotan.

Mother won't be sad.

She wasn't sad when I left the village and went to Shiratoriya, either.

Is that so?

She said "Even if you stay here,

you'll just be taken to the fisheries and killed.

So do as you like."

I see.

Rise was a wise mother.

My mother was a good woman.

A good woman?

Did you learn that phrase at Shiratoriya too?

An apprentice at Shiratoriya told me

"All of Edo's women are good women."

But in the pictures I saw, they all had strange faces.

Do the women in Edo all have such strange faces?

Why not see for yourself, Ichisuke?

Aren't things difficult without any men around?

We all help each other.

Takeshiro visited Ainu households one by one

and produced an accurate census.

As a result,

the steep decline in the Ainu population was also made clear.

With the results of his survey in hand, Takeshiro returned to Edo.

At that time,

Chief Councillor Abe Masahiro, who had appointed Takeshiro, passed away,

and was replaced by Ii Naosuke, who was in favour of opening up the country.

At his home in Edo,

Takeshiro spend day and night recording the details of inland Yaun Mosir-Ezochi.

And so,

he completed the "Longitudinal Geographical Survey of Mountains and Rivers in Ezochi".

Welcome back.

I have returned.

What did you study today?


in Sonobe's class,

we discussed Minister Ii's suppression of the movement to expel foreigners.

I see.

What did Teacher Sonobe say?

He said "Lord Ii, who executed every person who objected to the shogunate's methods, is a fearsome politician."

Japanese people don't just oppress the Ainu,

they even oppress each other, don't they?

So the shogunate and the Matsumae clan are the same?

Hurry up!

Can't you print these faster?

These books are...

In addition to his maps, Takeshiro published
various picture books to make Ezochi easy to understand.

Their sales continued to flourish,

and he became what would now be called a best-selling author.


"Journal of Ezochi's people in modern times".

This is a bad and misleading book.

Therefore, it cannot be published.

For what reason?!

Because it is a bad and misleading book.

This book illustrates the naturally beautiful disposition of the Ainu who live in the north.

There is nothing misleading about it!

This is the magistrate's decision!

The "Journal of Ezochi's people in modern times" was banned from publication,

because politicians found this book inconvenient.

Takeshiro's ideals, hopes and dreams were trampled down,

as times changed at top speed.

The shogunate returned the reins of power to the imperial court.

Meiji 1 (1868)

Would you mind waiting a moment?

That's fine.

This is the new government advisor, Okubo Toshimichi.


New Meiji government advisor
Okubo Toshimichi

Mr Matsuura,

those times have passed.

Please sit down.

Go ahead.

Yes, sir.

To be brief, the new government believes it is important to develop Ezochi.

Therefore, we would like to appoint you as prefectural official for Hakodate.

I think that the first thing we must do is create new place names for Ezochi.

I'd like to count on you for that, Matsuura.

I looked over the old shogunate records, and your research on that subject was truly magnificent.

I believe we must rename Ezochi,

and draft a policy for the equal treatment of the Ainu and the Japanese.

Please, lend me your support.

Thank you for your kind words.

I will devote my life to fulfilling this duty!

That's all.

Please do your best.

Yes, sir!

Hokkaido Development Agency

After becoming Hakodate's prefectural official,

Takeshiro's first task was to choose new place names.






He worked day and night to choose two-character place names like these, based on Ainu roots.

Are you Matsuura?


Are you making progress with the place names?

Yes, it's going steadily.

I see.

Then once you finish,

you must choose the most important new name, for Ezochi itself.

A new name for Ezochi?

Director of Development for Hokkaido
Nabeshima Naomasa

We must officially make Ezochi part of our country.

I'd like Ezochi's name to reflect this new era as well.

According to the imperial court, it will be classified as a "do" province.

Please make your proposal as soon as possible.


I was born here.

I live here.

17 July, Meiji 2 (1869)

I have 6 suggestions for Ezochi's new name.

Hitakamido ("high sun view province").

Hokkaido ("north kai province").

His suggestion is 北加伊道 (north kai province).
The current name is 北海道 (north sea province).
These are pronounced the same.

Kaihokudo ("sea north province").

Kaitoudo ("sea island province").

Touhokudo ("north-east province").

Chishimado ("thousand islands province").

This name refers to the Kuril islands, part of Ezochi, which are now under Russian jurisdiction but partially disputed by Japan.



Which of these do you think is best?

In my humble opinion,

I think "Hokkaido" is the most appropriate.


I heard that there is an old Ainu word meaning "a person who lives there": kai.

"Do" is an old term for an administrative province,

so Hokkaido means "the place where kai live in the north".

That's good, isn't it?

Then I will suggest "Hokkaido" to Lord Okubo.

Well done, Matsuura.



It's magnificent.



thank you for your efforts.

Yes, sir!

And so Yaun Mosir-Ezochi

was given the name of Hokkaido.

It seems Matsuura Takeshiro is now an official of the new government

and is stirring up trouble.



I won't let him enter Ezochi!


Please, end his life this time!

His position in the new government is much higher than it was during the shogunate.

Killing him would be too noticeable,

so I think I'll use a different method.

A different method?

Director Higashikuze!

Please wait!

Don't shout, Matsuura.

About the new law...

Not now.

No, I won't wait.

You must stop Matsumae and the merchants' abusive exploitation of the Ainu immediately.

You must legally enforce an equal trade system between the new government and the Ainu.

But how can we treat them as equals when they are illiterate?

Second Director of Development
for Hokkaido
Higashikuze Michitomi

The shogunate and the Matsumae clan prevented the Ainu from learning to read and write.

The Ainu have beautiful music and dance,

and their history is recorded in their folklore.

Every one of them is kind,

hates conflict,

and dislikes controlling or hierarchical relationships.

So if we approach them honestly,

things will definitely go well.

If you would take a look at this book...
- Fine, fine.

I will tell Lord Okubo about it later.

I have a meeting now, so please leave.



Is it true that Director Higashikuze has left for Hokkaido?

It's true.

New government official
Kawata Shigeyoshi

Why have I not received orders to go to Hokkaido?

Don't ask me, I don't know.

I'd like to ask Lord Okubo.

Did Lord Okubo just give me this title and position to use me,

with no intention of letting me work in Hokkaido?

I don't know!

I'm the assistant director of development, Matsuura Takeshiro.

What do you want?

Please send me to Hokkaido as soon as possible.

Please, Lord Okubo.

Director Higashikuze is responsible for all matters related to Hokkaido.

Lord Okubo.

Lord Okubo!

Please wait!

I must go to Hokkaido as soon as possible!

Lord Okubo.

As soon as possible...

You're being idiotic!

Matsuura later wrote under the pen-name Bakakusai ("idiotic")
to criticise Japanese bureaucracy.



Takeshiro left his post with the Meiji government.

What's wrong?

I was dreaming.

The new government's officials were drinking at a banquet.

They had been served with

Ainu flesh

and organs.

And Ainu ghosts were watching them.

I dream that every night recently.

The same dream.

The same dream?

Although I gained a high position under the shogunate,

I couldn't save the Ainu from their distress at all.

Not under the new government, either.

That's not true.

No, it is.

I haven't done anything.

I can't forgive that crime.

It is my duty to teach many people about Hokkaido.

That still hasn't changed.


I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to Hokkaido again.

I can't show my face to Rise either.


I have a favour to ask of you.


I understand how you feel.

I will return to Hokkaido.

In your place,

I will work for Hokkaido's sake.


That was well said.

You can do it.

You will be able to mediate between the Ainu and the Japanese.

I'm certain of it.

It's been a long time since I carved anything,

so it's not very well made.


You're not Ichisuke.

You're Icinika.

My mother always wore the token you gave her around her neck as a protective charm.

Live well.

I will.

I will achieve your goals in Hokkaido.

I'm entrusting Hokkaido to you.

Now go.

You're at the forefront of this era.


Takeshiro was not a revolutionary hero.

But without Matsuura Takeshiro,

there would be no Hokkaido today.

This is a photo of the man who named Hokkaido, Matsuura Takeshiro, at age 67.

Takeshiro studied every corner of this island,


which the Ainu called Yaun Mosir and the Japanese called Ezochi at that time.

Each region has a monument to commemorate that.


In Otoineppu village in northern Hokkaido,

there is a monument to the naming of Hokkaido.

Teshio Journal
Held at the Matsuura Takeshiro Memorial Hall

We know that here, Takeshiro learned from an Ainu elder

that the word kai means "a person who was born in this land".

Hokkaido place names survey document

We do not know for certain that the Ainu word kai has that meaning,

but based on his own observations,

Takeshiro suggested the name of Hokkaido.

Matsusaka, Mie prefecture

Takeshiro was born in Ise province,

in what is now the city of Matsusaka in Mie prefecture.

There is a memorial hall here
with a collection of valuable materials related to Takeshiro.

Matsuura Takeshiro Memorial Hall

The brush holders he used on his travels

and the notebooks he used to record them.

Also, these stone stamps said to be made by Takeshiro himself.

He carved these for anyone who asked,

using their payments to cover his travel expenses.

His survey of Yaun Mosir-Ezochi lasted for 14 years.

His written records make up more than 150 volumes.

Longitudinal Geographical Survey
of Mountains and Rivers in Ezochi

They finally resulted in this detailed map with Ainu place names.

Northern Ezochi Journal

As well as using the Ainu's services as guides,

Takeshiro learned from them about the landscape and their lifestyles.

This is the "Journal of Ezochi's people in modern times" that also appeared in the drama.

Journal of Ezochi's People
in Modern Times

It is a collection of stories that he heard from the Ainu during his expeditions.

It shows drawings of heroes and devoted sons,

hunters and women supporting their families.

Ichisuke, who was also in the drama, is among them.

Takeshiro also showed how the Ainu were overworked and forced to assimilate into Japanese culture.

The shogunate originally refused permission for the publication of this book.

It was finally released to the public over 20 years after Takeshiro's death.

In order to support the Ainu, Takeshiro continued his writing activities in Edo.

The Pleasures of
Scattering Clouds

In his later years, when he had still not achieved his goals,

he started to use a certain pen name:


He never returned to Hokkaido,

and passed away at age 71.

The records that Takeshiro left behind

continue to be read by many as important records

of Hokkaido's features and Ainu culture.