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Thomas Edison and Iwashimizu Hachimangu (English)

 

 Over 100 years ago, Thomas Alva Edison invented an incandescent light bulb of a filament using cotton thread and it burned for 40 hours.  Edison continued his research to find a filament which lasted for a longer time.

 When he tried to use the bamboo ribs of a Japanese fan for filaments, they lasted more than 100 hours. Therefore, Edison sent researchers all over the world to find the best bamboo for the filament. William H. Moore, one of them, was introduced to the bamboo of Kyoto which is a famous production area of fine bamboo in Japan.  Edison received many kinds of bamboo from Moore and then tested them repeatedly.

 Finally, he succeeded in inventing the electric light bulb which lasted more than 1,000 hours.  Edison used the filament of the bamboo which grew in a bamboo forest at the top of Mt. Otokoyama in Yawata city, Kyoto.

 After that, the electric light bulbs lit up the homes of American people for over 10 years.

 Based on this deep relationship between Edison and Japan or Mt. Otokoyama, the Thomas Alva Edison Monument was built within the Iwashimizu Hachimangu’s precincts at the top of Mt. Otokoyama in 1934.

 Madeleine Edison Sloane, Edison's daughter, visited Iwashimizu Hachimangu in 1964.  She was deeply moved to see the memorial and said, "I have never seen such a marvelous monument in the U.S".

 In Iwashimizu Hachimangu,the Edison Seitan-sai festival is held on the anniversary of Edison’s birth on February 11th and the Edison Hizen-sai festival is held on the anniversary of Edison’s death on October 18th of each year to honor his memory as the King of inventors.

 In front of the monument, both Japanese and American national anthems are played to Edison’s spirit and flags are raised. The representatives of electric power companies and “Edison shoutokukai” (Association) attend the Edison Hizen-sai festival and place wreaths of carnations before the monument.

 


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