Draft of Shibasaburo Kitasato’s Letter to Be Open to Public

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Shibasaburo Kitasato, the face of Japan’s new 1,000-yen bill (Sample)

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—A draft of a letter from bacteriologist Shibasaburo Kitasato, the face of Japan’s new 1,000-yen bill, to educator Inazo Nitobe, featured on the outgoing 5,000-yen bill, has been found preserved in a museum, Jiji Press has learned.

The Kitasato Shibasaburo Memorial Museum in Tokyo will show the draft to the public from July 3, the day when the new 1,000-yen bill, along with the new 5,000-yen and 10,000-yen bills, will be put into circulation.

The draft “is an important document that reflects their times,” a museum staff member said.

Kitasato established serum therapy for tetanus, while Nitobe served as undersecretary-general of the League of Nations.

The draft, drawn up in November 1917, is said to have been written to invite Nitobe to a conference for medical scientists and science experts as a lecturer.

As Nitobe is thought to have accepted the invitation before the draft was prepared, Kitasato in the draft showed his gratitude, saying: “I appreciate your willing acceptance. I will make a speech as well.”

The brushstrokes in the draft suggest that an official involved in the conference wrote it on behalf of Kitasato.

In his lecture at the conference, Nitobe said that Japan should respect the interests of the Taiwanese people instead of focusing on occupation of Taiwan, based on his experience of helping the development of Taiwan’s industry.

The museum owns a set of documents including materials related to the conference. The draft was found during research into the documents.

“The documents tell us about advances in Japanese science and technology,” museum staff member Takayuki Mori, 69, said. “Even if it was penned by someone else, the draft is valuable in that what was written back then still exists today.”

“I’m surprised because we thought there was no contact” between Nitobe and Kitasato, said Shigeru Fujii, 74, leader of the Nitobe foundation in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan. “We’ve got a new ‘bud’ of research on Nitobe.”onsequences, New Mexico, U.S. June 8, 2024 in a still image from a video.