NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/12/26


旧上関番所 Kyuu-kaminoseki-bansho Kaminoseki Guard Station

Jp En

Kaminoseki Bansho is the old guard station located in Nagashima, Kaminoseki-cho, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The guard station was established by the local government to keep an eye on ports and inspect shipping cargo during Edo era.  
Because there are very few remnants of buildings preserved from the administrative arm at the beginning of Edo era, Kaminoseki Bansho is of significant importance.  It was moved from inside the port where it was once located to its current address in 1996 and reconstructed as it looked originally.
The western side of the Setonaikai Inland Sea had several guard stations for cargo inspection and the region, currently Yamaguchi Prefecture, wasn’t exceptional. They had three stations which were called, in order of distance from the capital, “kaminoseki”, “nakanoseki” and “Shimonoseki” respectively.
Kaminoseki guard station has an overall length of 11.66m and width of 3.86m. It is a wooden building with Irimoya tile roof style and has “geya” (a lower roof) on all sides. The station is designated as a tangible cultural asset by the prefecture.
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2007/12/6


石堂寺 多宝塔 Ishidou-ji Tahou-tou The Tahoto Pagoda at Ishidoji Temple

Jp En

Tahoto is a two-storied pagoda composed of a square lower story and a cylindrical upper story. This Tahoto pagoda is one of many cultural properties that have been preserved at Ishidoji Temple in Minamiboso City in Chiba Prefecture. The temple is said to have been founded by Priest Gyoki in 726 and to be the oldest temple in the southern part of Boso Peninsula.

It is said that the Tahoto pagoda was constructed in 1545 by Satomi Yoshitaka, the ruler of this province during the Warring States period. It is a 13-meter tall pagoda with Japanese cypress bark roof and elaborate wood carvings. The lower story is supported by four pillars and the altar inside the pagoda houses the statue of Senju Kannon (Kannon with 1,000 arms). The pagoda is a prefecturally designated important cultural property.
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赤野観音堂 Akeno-kannon-dou Akeno Kannondo Hall

Jp En

Akeno Kannondo Hall in Yanagisawa Akeno in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, is a hall housing Juichimen Kanzeon (Kannon with 11 faces). The hall and the Kanzeon statue are designated as tangible cultural properties of the city.

It is said that the hall was originally one of the structures composing a temple founded by Priest Gyoki in 732. The principal object of worship, the statue of Juichimen Kanzeon, is said to have been carved by Gyoki himself in the manner called “Itto-Sanrei (three bows for one carving).” The temple was known as the 13th temple of Suruga Ikkoku 30 Holy Places and the 15th Holy Place of Yokomichi Pilgrimage. Presently, the hall is administered by Kodaiji Temple, a temple of the Shingon sect, in the same town.    

The present hall is said to have been reconstructed in 1637 under the supervision of Hidari Jingoro, a sculptor and carpenter in the Edo period. The picture of a dragon is drawn on the ceiling in Chinese style, while the front wall has a picture of a heavenly maiden.

In the precinct are the Kaya tree (Torreya nucifera (Linn.) Sieb. et Zucc), 9 m in circumference at the height of eye and the Nagi tree (Podocarpus nagi Zoll. et Moritzi), 3.72 m in circumference at the height of eye, both of which are designated natural monuments of the city.
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2007/10/17


兵主大社 Hyouzu-taisha Hyozu Taisha Shrine

Jp En

It is said that Hyozu Taisha Shrine in Nosu City, Shiga Prefecture, was founded during the Nara period (710-794). As its name Hyozu literally means “the master of soldiers,” it had been worshipped by the Imperial Court and the warrior class.

The shrine treasure varies from weapons to Buddha’s ashes, which is the reminder of Shinbutsu Shugo (the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism). The vermillion main gate magnificently awaits visitors. It is said to have been dedicated by Ashikaga Takauji and the Japanese ink writing on a rafter shows that it was constructed in 1550. It is a 1-bay and 1-entrance well-balanced gate in Irimoya-zukuri style, which is prefecturally designated as a tangible cultural property.

Beyond the gravel path is the Haiden Hall (oratory). The red thick rope hanging from Waniguchi (the bronze gong) is very impressive. Its magnificent garden was constructed in the Heian period (794-1192). It is a pond-stroll garden. The ground covered with a moss carpet looks superb especially in the rainy season. From the middle to the end of November, the tinted autumn leaves are lit up for night visitors.
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2007/10/12


八王子 真覚寺 Hachiouji Shinkaku-ji Shinkakuji Temple in Hachioji

Jp En

Shinkakuji Temple located in Sanda-machi, Hachioji City, Tokyo is a temple of the Chizan school of the Shingon sect. The main object of worship is Fudo Myoo. The temple is the 71st fudasho-temple of the Tama Shin-Shikoku 88 Holy Sites. The temple was founded in 1411. The temple treasure of the sitting statue of Yakushi Nyorai is designated as a Cultural Property of the city. The bell and bell tower are said to have been dedicated by Hachioji Sennin Doshin (junior officials) in 1660.

Shinkakuji Temple is famous for azalea and “Kawazu Gassen (the Frog Concert).” In the precinct is a pond called Shinji-ike in the shape of the Chinese character for “heart,” around which grow a lot of azalea and they are in full bloom in the middle of June. From the middle to the end of March, a lot of toads move to this pond for laying eggs. Though the toads decreased in number today, there used to be tens of thousands of toads got together here, which was called “Frog Concert” by the local people.
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八王子 金剛院 Hachiouji Kongou-in Kongoin Temple in Hachioji

Jp En

Kongoin Temple located in Ueno-machi, Hachioji City, Tokyo is a Bekkaku Honzan (a special headquarters) of the Shingon sect. The main object of worship is Fudo Myoo. The temple is the 63rd fudasho-temple of the Kanto 88 Holy Sites, the 16th of the Buso 48 Kannon Sites, the 73rd of the Tama Shin-Shikoku 88 Holy Sites, and one of Hachioji Pilgrimage to Shichifukujin (the Seven Lucky Deities).

The temple was founded in 1576, when the priest Shinsei built a Fudo hall. In 1631, it was restored at this place as a sub-branch temple of Koyasan Kongobuji Temple and Jigenin Temple. The temple buildings were burned down by an air raid in 1945 and rebuilt in the post-war period.

Kongoin Temple is known for a large number of treasures, including the two statues of Jurojin and Fukurokuju of the Seven Lucky Deities, two Rokkyoku Byobu (six-panel screens) of Shihon Chakushoku Koyasan Zue (the illustrated description of Koyasan in color on paper) and Shihon Chakushoku Saiobo-zu (a painting of the Queen Mother of the West in color on paper), both of which are designated Tokyo Important Tangible Cultural Properties.
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2007/6/18


宮宿 Miya-juku Miya-juku

Jp En

Miya-juku was the 41st of the 53 post stations of the Tokaido Road in the Edo period (1603-1686). It was in current Atsuta-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Located at the interchange point of the Tokaido, its byroad Saya Kaido, and Minoji, which was a byroad of the Nakasendo Road, the town was always bustling with travelers. As Miya-juku was also a cathedral town of Atsuta Jingu Shrine, a lot of worshippers came to this town from all over the country. Hence, there were 248 inns, which was the largest in number on the Tokaido Road at the time, and 2 honjin inns in Miya-juku. One of the sub-honjin is now preserved as a city’s designated cultural property “the Residence of the Niwa Family.”

The only ferry service on the Tokaido Road was provided between Miya-juku and Kuwana-juku. As it was 7 ri (about 27 km) between the two ports, the ferry service was called “Shichi-ri no Watashi.”
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