The Life of Botanist Tomitaro Makino
As is well known, the main character, Mantaro Makino, in the NHK morning TV novel “Ranman” is modeled after the world-famous botanist Dr. Tomitaro Makino. Mantaro Makino, who played the role of Yuurito Mori as a child, Yujin Kobayashi as a boy, and Ryunosuke Kamiki as an adolescent, all performed well. He is a very attractive young man, but what kind of person is Mantaro’s model, Tomitaro Makino?“Tomitaro Makino: Living with Plants as Friends”(PHP Bunko) author Shinobu Takahashi talks about the life of Tomitaro Makino.
Text = Takahashi Shinobi
lose one’s father and mother at a young age
Tomitaro Makino was born on April 24, 1862 (May 22, 1862) during the period of upheaval at the end of the Edo period.
Tomitaro’s birthplace was a wealthy merchant house called ‘Kishiya’ (the sake brewery ‘Mineya’ in the drama) in Sagawa Village, Takaoka District, Tosa Province (Sagawa Town, Takaoka District, Kochi Prefecture).
According to Tomitaro, the Makino family ran a sake brewery and a variety store, and they were a fairly old family in Sagawa, belonging to the upper class.
His father was Sahei Makino, an adopted son of the Makino family.
Mantaro’s mother is ‘Hisa Makino’ played by Ryoko Hirosue, but Tomitaro’s mother’s name is Kusu and she was the daughter of Tomitaro’s grandfather, Kozaemon’s ex-wife.
His grandmother was Namiko, the second wife of Kozaemon. She is not related to Tomitaro by blood (Tomitaro Makino “Autobiography of Tomitaro Makino”).
Namiko was a brilliant and wise wife, much like Mantaro’s grandmother, Taki Makino, played by Keiko Matsuzaka.
Regarding brothers and sisters, “Aya Makino” appeared as an older sister in the drama, and later turned out to be her cousin, but Tomitaro stated in his autobiography that he was an only child.
Although Tomitaro was born into a wealthy family, he was not blessed with any blood relatives.
When Tomitaro was three years old, his father, Sahei, and when he was five years old, his mother, Hisahisa, died of illness, leaving Tomitaro as a young child.
Therefore, Tomitaro says he has no recollection of his father’s face or his mother’s face.
Furthermore, when he was six years old, his grandfather Kozaemon also passed away. Tomitaro was left with only one person, his grandmother Namiko.
The shop was run by Namiko. Thanks to Takezo Saeda, the head clerk, who did a great job, the store continued to thrive.
Tomitaro was raised with great care by this reliable grandmother.
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