[Kichijoji] Elephant Hanako

吉祥寺北口広場 ゾウのはな子像 BLOG

 Recently, I have been going to Kichijoji a lot due to work. There is a statue of an elephant near the station.
 Many people may have heard the story of Hanako, who lived an eventful life, at least once when she was in kindergarten or elementary school.

 After the war, Hanako, who was given to Japan from Thailand as a “messenger of peace” and moved from Ueno Zoo to Inokashira Natural and Cultural Park in 1954 (Showa 29), was popular, but two years later, an accident that killed a man who invaded the elephant house, and four years later, an accident that trampled the keeper occurred, and he began to spend time in chains as a “murderous elephant”. At that time, Hanako was thin due to stress, and three of her four teeth fell out. Then, he meets Mr. Yamakawa, a keeper who understands Hanako, who is originally a gentle temperament, and continues to take care of him devotedly, and recovers …

 If you want to know more about the elephant hanako, I recommend reading the link below because it is very easy to understand.

Reference: What is the elephant “Hanako”? Explain the history of Inokashira Natural and Cultural Park and Nako! | Kichijoji Time (kichijoji-time.com)

吉祥寺駅北口広場 ゾウのはな子像

 In January 2013, at the age of 66, Hanako broke the record for the oldest Asian elephant in Japan, becoming the longest-lived elephant raised in Japan (source: Hanako – Wikipedia). It is said that the one leg is raised when Hanako is in good spirits “pose when greeting her”. 
 By the way, the elephant Hanako statue was installed in the north exit square of Kichijoji Station on May 5, 2017 (Heisei 29).

 A nostalgic and slightly sad statue.
 One night, when I passed in front of her, I saw the city lights flickering behind Hanako, and I had a strange feeling (perhaps by accident).

吉祥寺駅北口広場 ゾウのはな子像