Yesterday we went into San Antonio to explore for a few hours. That meant, of course, a visit to the Alamo.
The Alamo is a shrine to Texas history, but it’s not in the middle of a park or anything. In fact, it’s right downtown and closely surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and tourist traps like Ripley’s Haunted Adventure. Bob Wills to the contrary, I couldn’t find a pinto pony or a Navajo. In fact, I couldn’t even find an alley.
Only part of the original Alamo remains, mainly the church. For many years the Alamo lay in ruins, though it continued to be used as a fort off and on through the Civil War. Despite its iconic place in Texas history, it was not well cared for until the 20th century. At one point it was even a mercantile establishment.
The Alamo is certainly worth a visit. The exhibits are quite informative. While we there they had an exhibit on firearms in Texas history, including Davy Crockett’s rifle. The exhibit was interesting even for someone who believes in gun control.
But we know so much about the Alamo from all the books and movies that I wasn’t sure if we would find anything surprising. Then I saw this:
Why would there be a monument in Chinese or Japanese? It turns out that it was donated to the Alamo in 1914 by a Japanese geography professor. The writing, which is in Classical Chinese, is a poem that the professor wrote comparing the Alamo to the Siege of Nagashino Castle, in 1575.
Apparently they remember the Alamo even in Japan, though we have forgotten Nagashino Castle.