A bas-relief of Japanese samurai Seigo Yamazawa (1846 – 1897), a participant in the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation for Bulgaria 1878-1879, was unveiled at the Sveti Vlas seaside resort. Participants in the ceremony included Japanese Ambassador to Bulgaria Narahira Hiroshi and the co-chairs of the Bulgarian Memory – Dinevi Brothers Foundation, Dinko and Yordan. It was also attended by former president Petar Stoyanov (1997-2002), municipal councilors, citizens and tourists.
Seigo Yamazawa was a Japanese samurai who was born in what is now the Kagoshima Prefecture. He joined the Imperial Army and later became honorary imperial protector, having shown great courage in the conflicts between factions then in power in the country. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, he worked at the Ministry of War and was sent to France as a supervisor of cadets at a military academy.
After the onset of the Russo-Turkish War of 1878-1879, Seigo Yamazawa was sent to participate in the Russian army as a personal representative of the Emperor of Japan and was appointed platoon commander. He showed bravery in a series of successful battles during the liberation of Pleven. He was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir, fourth degree.
After his return to Japan, he was promoted to the military rank of colonel and lieutenant general. He participated in the First Sino-Japanese War as commander of an infantry division, and was awarded the title of Baron.
Seigo Yamazawa helped Bulgaria on the road to success in the Battle of Pleven, Ambassador Narahira Hiroshi said. “I am happy that the Bulgarian people show that Yamazawa is not forgotten and recognize his deeds”, the ambassador said. He thanked the Bulgarian Memory – Dinevi Brothers Foundation for placing the bas-relief.
“I am convinced that this bas-relief will strengthen the good Bulgarian-Japanese relations. It is a great honour for me as a Japanese that the bas-relief of Seigo Yamazawa is placed next to Levski, Hristo Botev and national heroes of other countries. I wish Sveti Vlas and the patrons, the Dinevi brothers, to continue to attract guests and tourists to the resort town from all over the world,” the ambassador concluded.
The memorial to Seigo Yamazawa was erected by the Bulgarian Memory – Dinevi Brothers Foundation and is placed in the Lane of Nations at the marina in Sveti Vlas.