Mutsu Kokubunji in Kinoshita, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, is a temple of the Shingon sect. The principal image of worship is Yakushi Nyorai. It was founded as one of the Kokubunji temples that were built all over the country during the Nara period (710-794) and it is the northernmost Kokubunji Temple in the country. In 1189, the temple buildings were destroyed by a battle fire and some of the buildings including the Yakushido Hall, the Niomon Gate and the bell tower were restored in 1607 by Date Masamune.
The Yakushido Hall is the oldest wooden building existing in Sendai City and nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property. Together with Osaki Shrine in the city, it has typical characteristics of the architectural style in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1598). It is one-story building in Irimoya-zukuri style made of plain wood. Inside the hall is the house-shaped Zushi (a miniature Buddhist shrine), where the principal image, Yakushi Nyorai, is enshrined. As a secret Buddha, the statue is not open to the public.
Nobeoka Daishi Festival is held in April every year in the area centered around Imayama in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture. It is the biggest spring event in the northern part of the prefecture and counted as one of the three largest spring festivals in Kyushu.
At the top of Mt. Imayama stands a statue of Kobo Daishi Kukai, which was erected in 1957. With a height of 17 meters and a weight of 11 tons, it is the largest statue of Kobo Daishi in Japan. Familiarly called “Odai’ssan,” Kobo Daishi has been respected by the people in Nobeoka as well as by the people all over the country. The festival is held for three days around March 21 on Lunar Calendar to commemorate the anniversary of his death and give gratitude to him.
The main event is the daimyo’s procession held on the final day. 1,700 citizens including Mayor participate in the parade wearing samurai’s or princesses’ costumes and walk through the city, dancing various local dances.
This pathway is the approach to Dewasanzan Shrine, which is located in Haguro-cho, Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture.
Up to 500 old Japanese cedar trees line the pathway.
The pathway has three inclined sub-pathways. The 'Genganotaki (Waterfall of Genga)' is found prior to the 'ichinosaka (first slope)' and after climbing a short while, the Haguro Pagoda, a national treasure thought to be reconstructed in 1375, can be found along one of the sidepaths. Next to this is the giant 'okinasugi (grandfather cedar)', which is said to be more than 1,000 years old. At the top of 'ninosaka (second slope)' is a teahouse where one may rest.
Dewasanzan Shrine is at the top of the pathway. The 28-meter-high main building is of Gongen architecture, and its thatched roof with a width of 2.1 meters is said to be the best in the Tohoku area.
The shrine also features a bronze statue of Basho, commemorating the famous reference to the shrine in the 'Oku-no-hosomichi'.
Kanshin Temple belongs to Koyasan Shingon Buddhism, and is located in Kawauchi-Nagano, Osaka. It is situated on a hill known as Hinozan. The temple is counted as the 25th of the Kansai Hanano Dera and Shinsaigoku Sanju Sankasho Kannon Reijo.
Enno-ozuno established Kanshin Temple in 701. Back then it was called Unshin Temple. In 815, Kukai inherited it and gave it its present name. In 827, it was passed on to Kukai's disciple, Jitsue, who constructed the Sangharama.
It is known that the temple's principle image was created by Kukai, and is designated as an important cultural asset.
Kanshin Temple is associated with Nan-cho and, in 1359, it became a temporary residence of the Gomurakami Emperor. Also, it is a family temple of the Kushinoki clan. Furthermore, the classroom, statue, and 'kubizuka' prove that Kusunoki Masashige also stayed in this temple.
Komin Osawa was born in 1941, in the district of Takaoka, famous for its copper-utensil industry. In 2005, his 'chukin' work was designated as an important intangible cultural heritage.
Chukin is a goldsmith technique that encompasses metal-fusing, mold-injection and casting. The craft dates back to the Yayoi period. It includes various casting methods such as, 'sogata, 'rogata, 'sunagata' and 'yakigata'. With the yakigata method, large work such as statues could be manufactured. Yet experience and mastery of the technique are necessary in all processes of the work.
Through the yakigata method, Osawa discovered his original 'igurumi' method to achieve his own aesthetic effects. Moreover, he also experiments with the beauty of geometry.
It is common for Osawa to work until midnight, yet he asserts with a fresh smile, 'Something just comes out of my brain when I'm working really hard.'
Tekijuku was a private school founded by Ogata Koan , a doctor and scholar of Dutch studies (Rangaku) in Senba Osaka, in 1838 during the Tenpo era of the late Edo period. The school produced a lot of notable alumni includeFukuzawa Yukichi , Omura Masujiro and Takamatsu Ryoun, who pioneered Japan’s modern era from the end of Edo Period through Meiji Restoration. Tezuka Ryosen, a grand-grand father of Japan’s famous cartoonist, Tezuka Osamu, was also a student of this school. After Meiji Restoration, when Osaka Medical School was opened, the professors and the students transferred to the new school and Tekijuku endedits long history. As Faculty of Medicine at Osaka University, it stillconveys the tradition of Japan’s oldest medical school. The building ofTekijuku still has been preserved by Osaka University Steering Committee forTekijuku Conservation. Next to the building on the right is the bronze statue of Ogata Koan. Upstairs are students’ rooms, where you can seenumerous sword cuts on the surface of the pillars. These sword cuts are said to have been made during excited debates among the students, from which you can infer what people and the social background were like in those days. The building was designated as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage in 1964.