NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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長興寺(愛知県豊田市) Choukou-ji (Aichi-ken Toyota-shi) Chokoji Temple

Jp En

Chokoji Temple in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, is a Bekkaku (a kind of title, which literally means “special”) temple of the Tofukuji school of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. The principal object of worship is Juichimen Kanzeon Bosatsu (Kannon with 11 faces). Its mountain name is Shuunzan.

The temple was founded in 1335 by Nakajo Hidenaga, the castellan of Koromo Castle, as his family temple. The temple thrived in the early Muromachi period (1336-1573) possessing the precinct of 545 meters from north to south and 436 meters from east to west, where as many as 18 branch temples were built. After the Onin War (1457), when the Nakajo clan declined, the temple also lost its power. It was attacked by Oda Nobunaga and destroyed by fire in 1567. However, the temple was immediately restored by a retainer of Nobunaga, Yogo Masakatsu.

Chokoji Temple possesses several cultural properties, one of which is the portrait of Nobunaga. It was painted by Kano Motohide by the order of Yogo Masakatsu after his master’s death. The picture is now designated as a cultural property by the national government.
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挙母城址 Koromo-jo-shi Koromo Castle Ruins

Jp En

The Koromo castle ruins site is a historic site located in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. The area in which Toyota City is located today had been named Koromo for a long time until 1959, when it was renamed Toyota in accordance with the city’s thriving automobile industry.

Koromo Castle was a relatively new castle constructed in the middle of the Edo period. In 1749, Naito Masamitsu was transferred to this place from Annaka in present Gunma Prefecture. Allowed to found a new domain and granted the castle construction fund, he constructed Koromo Castle in Mt. Dojiyama in 1782. It was a small-scaled castle with two yagura (watchtowers) and several yagura-mon gates (watchtower gate). As the castle was built on the hill commanding the seven sandbanks in the Yahagi River in order to exercise caution against the flood, it was called “Seven-Sandbank Castle.”

The Naito clan had never transferred to another domain until the end of the Edo period. The castle was dismantled according to the new government policy in the Meiji period (1868-1912). Today, the ruins site has been arranged into a park, where Toyota City Art Museum and other cultural facilities are located. The corner-watchtower was restored to its original form in the Showa period (1612-1989). Visitors can infer the stability enjoyed by the Koromo domain in the Edo period from the quiet atmosphere of the park.
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挙母まつり Koromo-matsuri Koromo Festival

Jp En

Koromo Festival is held on the 3rd weekend in October every year at Koromo Shrine in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. Koromo Shrine is said to be founded in 1189, when Suzuki Shigeyoshi, a retainer of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, transferred Komori Myojin from Yoshino in present Nara Prefecture. Takamimusubi no Kami and other four deities are enshrined.

The festival is said to originate in the dedication of Kyogen Kabuki held at the shrine in around 1354. According to an old record, the parade of decorated floats, Kasaboko (giant floats) and lions was already held Minami Town in the city in 1630.

Today, eight neighborhood towns around Koromo Shrine have their own floats, which are beautifully decorated with gorgeous tapestries and wood carvings carved by specialist float decoration sculptors of the Tachikawa school or Segawa Jisuke, the master sculptor in the Edo period. The eight floats are valiantly pulled through the city. During the parade, men on the float throw confetti at every corner. Koromo float parade represents the valiant spirit handed down among townspeople in this castle town of Koromo.
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