Rinzo Mamiya Statue
Rinzo Mamiya (1780-1844) was a renowned explorer born in Ibaraki Prefecture. He studied surveying under Tadataka Ino, who is known for creating the first map of Japan using modern surveying techniques. In 1808, he was ordered by the shogunate to carry out exploration to the north. The following year, he discovered the Strait of Tartary, which is known as the Mamiya Strait in Japanese in his honor, and established that Karafuto (now known as Sakhalin Oblast, Russia) was an island not connected to the Asian mainland. Mamiya’s discoveries expanded the known world to previously unexplored regions and he holds the unique distinction among Japanese explorers of having his name featured on the Japanese world map in the form of the "Mamiya Strait". This statue was erected in 1980 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Mamiya’s birth. It acts as a symbol of inspiration to young people, who represent the future of society, to have the courage to head out into the world and pursue their dreams. It shows the explorer looking out to sea, full of determination to make the trip to Karafuto and was created by sculptor Takashi Mine. A headstone in honor of Mamiya stands 3 km along the road that leads from this statue to central Wakkanai and marks the point from which Mamiya is said to have departed for Karafuto. When he left for the island in 1808, he was resigned to the fact that he may not return to Japan alive, and it is said that he departed after building his own gravestone. Materials relating to Rinzo Mamiya are on display at the Founding Centennial Tower in Wakkanai Park and the Wakkanai Karafuto Museum in Wakkanai Fukuko Market.