Bust of Philippine National Hero Sits Quietly in Tokyo Park


Manila, Dec. 30 (Jiji Press)--Strollers rarely pay attention to a bust statue of a fearless-looking man sitting on a corner of Hibiya Park in central Tokyo.

The man is Jose Rizal (1861-96), a doctor and writer who led the independence of the Philippines from Spain's colonial rule. He is a national hero of the Southeast Asian country.

Dec. 30 is Rizal Day, a Philippine national holiday to remember the life and works of Rizal on the anniversary of his execution. Every year, the president lays a wreath in a park named after him in the Philippine capital of Manila on the day.

Rizal spoke out about the plight of Philippine people through his writings while studying in Spain, which ruled the Philippines at that time. He was exiled after returning to his home country and was executed four years later at the age of 35 for his involvement in rebellious activities.

The bust and the stone marker below it were erected in Hibiya Park because a hotel where he stayed when he visited Japan eight years before the death was located near the park.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press