• Kyodo News


A researcher and local historian have estimated that Sakamoto Ryoma, an Imperial advocate and key figure in the leadup to the 1868 Meiji Restoration, was 156-169 cm tall, based on an analysis of his clothing, other belongings and portraits.

Yoshisuke Hiramoto, a lecturer at Kitasato University who died last month, and Katsumi Yazaki, who studies local history in Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, determined Sakamoto’s height from a full-body photograph, basing it on the fact that lapel widths at the time the photo was taken were either 6 cm or 6.5 cm.

As a result, Sakamoto is believed to have been only slightly taller than the average Edo Period man, or just under 160 cm tall.

The pair also estimated that Takeda Shingen, a 16th-century military governor in Kai Province, now Yamanashi Prefecture, was about 162 cm tall by determining the length of his upper-arm bone in a portrait of him holding a fan.

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