The mission of the United States National Park Service involves, among other things, the preservation of historical lands and resources and the interpretation of historical stories to wide and diverse audiences. But this sort of mission is by no means unique to the United States. All over the world, different organizations, both public and private, share the same resolve to maintain, restore, and exhibit the cultural resources that their various home countries have to offer, from the Pyramids of Egypt to the Taj Mahal of India.
In fact, part of the National Park Service’s activities includes collaboration and partnerships with such organizations to allow for improved mutual understanding of the best preservation and interpretation methods available.
One such partnership is that with the Sekigahara Battlefield, located in Gifu Prefecture in central Japan. There, in 1600 the Eastern Army of the “Great Unifier” Tokugawa Ieyasu crushed his last great rival in the waning days of Japan’s protracted period of civil war known as the Sengoku Jidai, thus setting the stage for centuries of relative peace.
Since 2016, Gettysburg Borough has maintained a sister city relationship with the town of Sekigahara, and Gettysburg National Military Park has maintained a similar sister relationship with the Gifu Sekigahara Battlefield Memorial Museum. Representatives from Sekigahara have visited us here at Gettysburg, and representatives of our park visited Sekigahara for the World Battlefield Summit. We have also exchanged gifts. Gettysburg has given Sekigahara a cavalry saber, and a pair of Civil War uniforms; and they, in turn, have given us a print by noted artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, a suit of reproduction samurai armor, and a reproduction of a six-panel folding screen.
We encourage all visitors to learn more about the significance of such momentous historical events from different countries and cultures for a more holistic and informed view about our shared human heritage. Please follow the links below for more details about the Sekigahara Timeline, Battle of Sekigahara, and the events leading up to it.