Matsuyama City is the hometown of Masaoka Zigui. A statue of him stands next to Matsuyama’s most famous Dogo Hot Spring. For several years, he is also a pioneer in the introduction of baseball to Japan.
Next to the release garden in front of Dogo Onsen Station, there is a bronze statue. He is holding a baseball bat and wearing a baseball cap and staring into the distance. This is Masaoka Zigui. Masaoka, who was born in Matsuyama, entered the preparatory gate of the University of Tokyo in 1884. Here, he met Natsume Soseki from Tokyo in the same year and had a close relationship ever since. During this period, Masaoka Sheng had already started coughing up blood, incurable tuberculosis. He wrote more than 50 haikus about cuckoo birds. It is said that when cuckoo birds open their mouths, the red in their mouths is particularly conspicuous, like vomiting blood. "Zigui" is another name for cuckoo birds, so Masaoka promoted himself to use the pen name Masaoka Zigui. Although he is a writer, he also likes sports, especially baseball, and always serves as a catcher. However, a patient with tuberculosis is unable to exercise vigorously, so he can only hold a baseball bat in his statue to realize his baseball dream.
Masaoka Shiki was born in Matsuyama in 1867. He is a representative haiku poet in Japan. He and Natsume Soseki were classmates in high school and lifelong friends. Masaoka Zigui's bronze statue is wearing a school uniform, holding a baseball bat, and looking forward. Although he is a literary master, he is a lover of baseball. So far in Japan, baseball is also one of the most popular sports. It was originally introduced by Masaoka Zigui.
There is a bronze statue ten meters away from the colored clock in front of Dogo Onsen Station. It is Masaoka Zigui when he was young. Shiki Masaoka was born in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, and was a literary master during the Meiji era. At a very young age, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 34. Although he is a literary master, he is an importer of Japanese baseball, so this bronze statue is the shape of Masaoka Zigui holding a baseball bat.