č kp home

07774 241805

Thomas Blake Glover Photographic Expedition

+ Expedition Details

Two trips to Japan were undertaken in 2005 and 2008. The first trip centered on Nagasaki where T.B.Glover lived most of his life in Japan. The second trip went as far south as Kagoshima on Kyushu Island, the home of the Satsuma clan with whom T. B. Glover was closely associated, and as far north as Tokyo where Glover spent the last years of his life.

+ About Thomas Blake Glover

Thomas Blake Glover (1838-1911) - The Scottish Samurai

Thomas Glover was born in Fraserburgh in 1838. He arrived in Japan in 1859 aged 21, quickly becoming the most active merchant in Nagasaki where he was an important catalyst in the industrialization of Japan. He provided technical knowledge during the early days of the Meiji Restoration for shipbuilding and mining; he developed the Takashima Coal Mine. He helped arm the rebel clans fighting against the Shogunate and smuggled out young men to be educated in Britain. Many of these young men were later to play vital roles in the Meiji Restoration and included Hirobumi Ito, Japanís first Prime Minister. He also brought the first locomotive to Japan, set up the first telephone line, built the first slip dock for ship repair, and established the Japanese Beer Company, makers of the hugely popular Kirin beer. He also ordered three warships for the Japanese Navy from shipyards back in Aberdeen.

If that wasnít enough, Glover was also a pivotal figure in the rapidly expanding Mitsubishi Empire and acted as an adviser to the founder, Yataro Iwasaki.

Such is his impact on Japanese modernization and the Japanese psyche as a whole, that his long list of achievements are included in history textbooks and his house in Nagasaki attracts 2 million visitors a year