The former governors building and museum
The former governors building and museum Sapporo Reviews
The former governors building and museum Jul 06, 2009
The former governors building in Hokkaido have been transformed into a small park and a museum. The park is a nice place to walk through and look at the birds and the small lakes inside the park. The building is a very distinct European style red brick building which looks a bit out of place in Japan and you immediately think this is a building from UK or somewhere in North America.
Inside the building are several small exhibitions you can walk around and take a look at there are different documents from the history of Hokkaido - unfortunately most of it is in Japanese. On the first floor is an exhibition about the northern territory. When I hear that name I start to think about the Northern Territory in Australia. But in Japan the northern territory referrers to four small islands just off the coast of Hokkaido. These islands are disputed by the Russians and the Japanese. During the last part of the 18th century and up until the Russian Japanese war in 1904-05 these areas changed hand according to different treaties. They included the big Sakhalin Island and a small group of islands called the Kurile Islands. After the war in 1904-05 Japan got half of Sakhalin Island and all of the Kurile Islands.
But after the Second World War the Japanese had to surrender the southern half Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands from Uruppu and further north. But the Russians also occupied four islands south of Uruppu which had never been Russian and no Russian had ever lived on these islands. The Soviet Union would never return these islands and now after the breakup o the Soviet Union the Russians will not return the islands. The Japanese wants them back and this creates a lot of tension between the two countries. The situation is not quite as simple as the Japanese wants to make it - because after the war lots of Russian moved to these islands and have made them their home. Most of the people living there today are actually born on the islands. Hence a straight forward return of the islands to Japan is not a simple task.
Part of the Sushi and sake travel blog
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