Thomas Alva Edison's invention, or shall we say “perfection”, of the light bulb helped brighten up homes of people all across the world, but he is especially revered in Japan. Cleveland-based newspaper The Plain Dealer says Japanese people represent the largest percentage of visitors to Edison’s childhood home in Milan, Ohio.
Edison shares an unlikely connection with Japan. His admirers are at every corner of the country, but the relationship is especially deep with the citizens of Yawata City, in Kyoto Prefecture. There is a monument to Edison at the Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine, and at the foot of the mountain where the shrine is located, there is a small shopping district called “Edison Street” with a bronze statue of him. Yawata City is also a sister city to Milan, where Edison was born, and since the early 1980s, many happy exchanges of gifts have been made between the people of both places.
The bamboo grove near Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine in Kyoto. Bamboo from this area was used to make filaments for the first light bulbs. Photo credit: mTaira/Shutterstock.com