Important Cultural PropertyAdmonitory Letter from Ryôma's Father Yahei to Ryôma

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  • Height 30.5cm Width 46.5cm
  • Edo period/19th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • M甲157-1

When Ryôma, the youngest child of the family, was about to depart for sword training in Edo, his Father Yahei handed him a cautionary letter with advice to follow during his studies. This document is dated on an auspicious day of the third month of 1853 (Kaei 6). He gave his son three warnings: to make training his top priority, not to waste money, and not to be preoccupied with women. Ryôma was nineteen at the time. He took great care to preserve this letter from his father, and so it has come down to us today.
While studying the Hokushin Ittô School of swordsmanship in Edo, Ryôma witnessed the arrival of Commodore Perry's ships at Uraga Bay in June of the same year. It is said that the foundation for his future activities, which were to have such historical significance, was laid during this training period in Edo.