Isoroku Yamamoto (1884-1943)

He was born as former Nagaoka clan warrior class Sadayoshi Takano's 6th son. Because his father was 56 years old at his birth, he was named Isoroku (fifty six). After graduating from the former Nagaoka junior high school, he proceeded to the Naval academy. In 1916 he became a member of the Yamamoto family which belonged to the former Nagaoka clan. While opposing war to the end, during the Pacific war, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet that was at the helm of the attack on Pearl harbor in Hawaii. In 1943, his plane was attacked by American warplane over Bougainville Island and he died in the incident. After that he was awarded the title of a Marshal.

Tsuginosuke Kawai (1827-1868)

(Nagaoka City Central Library archive)
Tsuginosukestudied under Setsudo Saito, Syouzan Sakuma, Houkoku Yamada and other contemporary thinkers and scholars. On appointment to a key position in the clan, he took decisive action on the clan reforms. He performed financial reconstruction and modified the military system. During the Boshinwar, as the military governor, he advocated armed neutrality but the Ojiya discussion broke down. Hence he decided on a do-or-die resistance. Tsuginosuke fought the government forces bravely with his masterly war tactics. However, on the second attack on the castle, Tsuginosukesustained injury and on his escape route to Aizu, he died at Okutadami in the current Fukushima prefecture.

Okujiro Mishima (1825-1892)

(Nagaoka City Central Library archive)
During the Boshin War as a military expert, he fought in many places. After the war, as a key personality in the Nagaoka clan, he was charged with the responsibility of rescuing the samurai family and picking the scrambles in order to revive Nagaoka which has been reduced to ashes. From sericulture industry to petroleum refining, he emphasized the need for creating modern industry. He established NagaokaYougakkou (Currently Nagaoka High School), NagaokaKaishaByouin (Currently Nagaoka Red Cross Hospital), DairokujukyukokurituGinko (Currently The Hokuetsu Bank), etc. and is widely known as a benefactor of Nagaoka reconstruction to its present modernized status.

Ryokan (1758-1831)

A Zen priest of the later part of Edo period, but was also famous for poetry, Waka poet and calligraphy. Born to a distinguished family in Izumozaki, at the age of 18, he shaved and entered the priesthood. After a pilgrimage to various places, he returned to Echigo without setting up his own temple. He devoted his time to calligraphy while moving from place to place in different temples. As with St. Francis of Christianity, he spent a lifelong of honorable poverty with the day-to-day meal obtained by begging. At the age of 69, he joined the Kimura family in Shimazaki village (Wajima area) and stayed there until he died at 74. His disciple Teishinni adored Ryokan, and between them many poems were exchanged.