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Myodaiji (妙大寺) is Nichiren Buddhism Temple located in Oiso. It was established in1461 by priest Nichigo. General Higuchi Kiichiro chosen this temple for his resting place. General Higuchi saved Jewish refugees from Nazis Germany in 1938 at manchukuo. He also saved Japan from Soviet Union. Higuchi defeated the army of the USSR right after the WWII.

Visitor's Info.
It is a small temple with the grave of Matsumoto Jun and General Higuchi. Please be quiet and keep in good manner because this temple is not tourist attraction.
No parking. No restroom.

0. at Odawara Station.
1. use JR Tokaido Line to Oiso Station.
2. walk north (10 min.)

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Detailed Travel Guide

Myodaiji Temple is Nichiren Buddhism Temple located in Oiso, Kanagawa. It was established in 1461 by priest Nichigo. It is belong to Ikegami Honmonji temple. There are many famous people in Myodaiji Temple.

-Matsumoto Jun-
-General Higuchi Kiichiro- Black block grave located deep place of the cemetery. 樋口
-Fukuda Tsuneari-
-Sagara Shunsuke-

General Higuchi Kiichiro
Higuchi Kiichiro (樋口季一郎) was a lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII. He was born in 1888 in Hyogo. He graduated at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy and became the officer.

As a major general and the commander of the Harbin Special Branch in 1938, he opened the border of Manchukuo for Jewish refugees who had fled Nazi persecution. There were many Jewish people escaped from Germany to Soviet Unio. However, the oppression against Jewish people was getting harder even there. At this moment, Japanese Empire and Germany were strong alliance. Therefore, Japanese government was not positive to save Jewish people. Because of this political reason, many Jewish refugees were stopped at Otpol Station on the Soviet side of Manchurian border. However, he made a decision to help Jewish refugees. He allowed Jewish refugees to cross the border of the Soviet Union to Manchukuo. Jewish people arrived Harbin or Shanghai by his line. A few of his subordinates took care feeding and settling them in Harbin or Shanghai.

"The relationship between Japan and Germany is war against the comintern, not Jewish. Supporting Jewish people who has lost their country and been oppressed is the sprits of Japanese people. Japanese has always helped the weak. Germany is going to the principle of pure blood and oppressing against Jewish people. This is unacceptable. All advanced nations must face the problem of this Jewish problem and help lost Jewish refugee." by Higuchi Kiichiro.

This Higuchi Refugee Line kept opening for 3 years and as a result he saved 5,000 to 20,000 Jewish refugee who had fled Nazi Germany.

He was recalled to Japan in late 1938. In 1939, WWII began. In 1942, he was promoted lieutenant general and assigned to the Sapporo-base 5th Area Army. He participated in the invasion of Aleutian islands.

In 1945 after the Potsdam Declaration, the term of surrender for the Empire of Japan, Soviet Union breached the nonaggression treaty, and started to invade Japan. The plan of Soviet Union was occupation of Hokkaido Island. However, Higuchi's army at Shumshu Island that is located at the north end of Kuril Islands defeated the army of Soviet Union. Therefore, the army of Soviet Union could not reach Hokkaido before GHQ arrived there. So, Higuchi and his army served Japan from the invasion from Soviet Union.

After the WWII, Stalin asked America to send Higuchi to Soviet Union to excite him. However, World Jewish Organization acted to save Higuchi's life all over the world, and as a result, he was never sent to Soviet Union.

In December 2009, the Israeli ambassador to Japan presented an olive sapling the park in front of Gifu city hall to commemorate Higuchi's act.

The Golden Book kept by the Jewish National Fund in Jerusalem is a chronicle of Jewish experience that was begun more than a century ago. It contains the name of thousands of people considered to have been supporters of the Jewish people. Higuchi is entitled as "General Higuchi, Tokyo" in this book.

Higuchi passed away in 1970. He loved Oiso and decided this place as his resting place. His grave, that shared with his family is a black square tombstone located very deep of the cemetery. 樋口家之墓

Matsumoto Jun
Matsumoto Jun is the founder of Oiso Long Beach Resort and supported the development of Oiso town.

He was born in the end of Edo period. He studied Dutch and a medical science. He became the private doctor of Shogun. During Meiji restoration, he supported Shinsengumi and advised hygienic environment. He fought with Shinsengumi to Aizu, Shonai and Sendai. He joined his sister in law, Enomoto Takeaki later. However, he decided to go back to Edo and open hospital. He said "I want to work for the progress of Japanese medic." Then, his friend Hijikata, the commander of Shinsengumi, said "Doctor Matsumoto, Japan need you and your excellent medical skills. We will die at this war, but you must live for the future of Japan." He went back to Edo and supported the Japanese medics.