Thursday, 23 January 2014
Scottish Samurai's Home to Reopen as Museum
Braehead House, the Victorian mansion of ‘Scottish Samurai’ Thomas Blake Glover is to be reopened as a tourist attraction..
Two years ago the mansion in
was forced to close due to low visitor numbers. Aberdeen City Council will now
take over ownership of the building, and plan to turn it into a tourist
attraction to help promote links with Bridge of Don Japan.
Thomas Blake Glover is relatively unknown in his birth country, but he helped change the face of
Japan back in the late 1800s. His former home in Nagasaki has two million visitors a year, and
is the oldest surviving Western style house in the city.
He was a key figure in the industrialisation of
Japan in the
period following the end of the Sakoku policy (a foreign relations policy which
forbid foreigners entering the country).
Glover opened Japan’s
first coal mine, brought over the first steam train, and helped to found the
shipbuilding company which became Mitsubishi Corporation and the Japan Brewery
Company which became the Kirinn brewery.
He was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun.
He made his fortune selling ships and arms to the rebels in the Boshin War in 1868-69, which led to the Meiji Restoration of Imperial rule.