Mintal Historical Marker in Davao - Philippines
A lot of things happened in Mintal town in the district of Tugbok and its nearby surroundings in Davao City in pre-war times. There are lots of lessons to be learned from the past episodes of Mintal which ought to be remembered and shared with posterity. Thus, the Mintal Historical Marker.
To name a few historical events—the fierce battle at Mintal between Japanese and allied forces; the establishment of Japanese abaca plantations and Japanese bunkers and housing; the personal battle of Ottha Kyosaburu; the ordeals of Yoshizo Furukawa and other Japanese investors; the bravery of Col. Yamada. All these are embodied in what we should recall at the sight of the Mintal Historical Marker.
The Mintal Historical Marker reminds us of this story: A Japanese army officer, Col. Yamada, defended Mintal Town valiantly against the onslaught of the allied forces, the RP-US forces, in World War II. Japanese immigrants since 1903 up to the end of the Second World War had settled in the land and probably felt it their right to hold on to it. In fact, it became know as “Little Japan” in the Philippines.
When the allied forces came in to liberate Davao City, Col. Yamada felt it his duty to defend Mintal from the “aggressors.” There was fierce fighting and many soldiers from both sides boldly risked their lives. Now, we reminisce this event whenever we see the Mintal Historical Marker. Sometime ago, McArthur, Eichelberger, and Stillwel visited here to pay tribute to the war heroes.
At the height of the Japanese abaca investments, other characters figured in the scene. Like Ottha Kyosaburu. He was among the pioneers in abaca and coconut plantations in Davao, especially in setting up corporations. Learning that foreign ownership of public lands in the area was illegal he and his fellow Japanese investors were in a dilemma. But he solved the problem later. This story is part of what the Mintal Historical Marker wants us to remember.
Then there’s Furukawa. He was among copra investors that time who set up abaca plantations in the area. Thus, the Furukawa Plantation. These investors became super rich due to the trade boom in copra worldwide and built first-class dwellings in the city. Thus, the Old Japanese Houses are part of what we remember when we look at the Mintal Historical Marker.
When we find ourselves on the eventful ground of Mintal, Tugbok in Davao City, do pass by the Mintal Historcial Marker in the area near the Mintal Elelmentary School.