Writer Jun Minamikawa (real name - Kento Akiyama, 1913 - 1958) was evacuated with his
family of five to Kiryuu, Tsune's wife's hometown, in 1944. When he died a sudden death at
the age of 43, he had spent a total of 14 years in the city.
His residence is situated on a rise looking down on the Kiryuu river with the forested
mountains that he loved spread out behind it. In the house, the author's well-worn
pawlonia desk, stationery, books, records, a glass mirror, a shogi set made from black
persimmon by his grandfather (?), his wife's hand-made wooden brooch and necklace and
various other momentos are preserved. There are also more than 200 slow playing records of
classical music, chansons, movie soundtracks, etc.
"In the garden facing the river, he would often listen to records. At any given
moment, a coastal concert courtesy of the hand-cranked gramophone would begin", says
Tsune's wife. The writer, Ango Sakaguchi, came to Kiryuu to live at the urging of his
friend, Mr. Minamikawa. Tsune's elder brother, Katsuya, recalls, "I often used to go
to Ango's house. That 'vagabond' author was never anything but kind to me".
Mr. Minamikawa left behind many friends in the city when he died; friends he made at
Johmou Literature Association, Kiryuu Culture School, the painting group 'Q Circle',
'Kiryuu Young People's Times' and through his efforts to have atomic and hydrogen bombs
banned, for which he won the Vienna Peace Prize.
In 1977 in Azuma Park next to 'Kangatei', Jun's friends and fellow writers erected a
monument to him with one phrase carved on it - 'Window Opening Season' (published in
1948). "There is something that makes you love this city like it was your own
home", says Tsune.