Dr. Shiga's 1914 Alamo Monument

Two women listening to an Alamo History Interpreter next to the Japanese Monument

Dr. Shigetaka Shiga, a Japanese geography professor, composed a poem that compares the Alamo and its heroes to a famous incident in Japanese history. He presented the granite monument, located in Convento Courtyard, that featured the inscription of the poem to the Alamo in 1914. The English translation is below and the Japanese inscription can be found here.

To the Memory of the Heroes of the Alamo
by Professor Shigetaka Shiga, September 1914, Tokyo

One hundred fifty are besieged by five thousand;
Not only the provisions but the ammunition is all gone.
Thirty-two men (from Gonzales) hear the news and hurry to the scene.
The heavy strokes of their sabers lead them into the fortress,
through the ranks of the enemy to see the commander (Travis) of the fortress wet with blood,
And his men reeling against the walls with exhaustion but with swords in hand.
Now comes the dauntless South Carolinian (Bonham),
Knowing that if he does not answer duty's call, disgrace and shame will be his.
Returning he rides into the siege on a white charger,
Salutes the besieged with a smile, and says, "We die together."
They bind up their wounds and fight in higher spirits.
*Speak not of the bravery of Chang Hsun at Suiyang, for here the one hundred and eighty-two corpses were laid;
not one surrendered.
The people of the twenty-four states get inspiration thereby,
And learn for the first time that unanimous cooperation is superior to geographical advantage.
Why should they be mourned? For the dauntless, it is not a pain but a pleasure to cover an obstruction miles long.
**Lo! the mouth of the river once occupied by the enemy is in the possession of the T' ang!
Now I am on a journey, far away from my home across the ocean.
I have come to San Antonio, where there are bushes of the graceful oleander.
And, as in a dream, I wonder if this is the very spot where that dreadful bloodshed took place in years gone by.
You do not see Chang Hsun, Hsu Yuan, and Nan Chiyun (David Crockett, Bowie, and Bonham)
But their fame, like the blossom's fragrance, is still in the air.
The custom of the West does not necessarily condemn surrender.
Why? We have never heard of a commander destroyed,
But here in the state of Texas, we see one (Travis).
In spirit there is not a distinction between East and West.
You need not wonder, then, if I drink a toast to your memory!
I have brought a well-polished stone from Japan,
And commemorate your heroic deeds with this humble inscription.

Back of Monument
Stone from the native province of Suneemon Torii, the Bonham of Japan
in the province of Nagashino, the Alamo of Japan
*Chang Hsun (707-757) was a loyal subject of T'ang emperor, who died defending the fortress of Suiyang from rebels.
**The T'ang dynasty of China (618-907 AD) greatly influenced Japanese culture.