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Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine, Odawara

A shrine near Odawara Castle, dedicated to a local hero

This shrine, established in 1894, is dedicated to the great agronomist, philosopher, and economist, Sontoku Ninomiya. Ninomiya (1787-1856), an orphan, grew up in the area and by the age of 24 was already renown for his farm's great harvests. As the country grew and began to modernize, he was called upon to help grow Japan's agricultural efforts and economic vitality in the rural areas. Ninomiya was also respected for his various virtues, and for developing the concept of "hotoku" or "repaying virtue with virtue". Statues depicting him as a boy, reading a book with pieces of collected firewood on his back, can be found at elementary schools all over Japan

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