NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/5/31


津軽 福島城 Tsugaru Fukushima-jo Tsugaru-Fukushima Castle

Jp En

Tsugaru-Fukushima Castle was the biggest castle in the Tohoku region until modern times. It had a 650,000-square-meter outer ward and a 40,000-square-meter inner ward.

Within the site there is evidence of pit dwellings, outer and inner moats, mounds as well as gate and wall pillars that date to ancient or medieval times.

The castle was the base of the Ando family, which controlled the port of Jusan. Excavation in 1992 revealed that the castle was a full-dress castle with solid mounds and large moats. Moreover, despite an accepted theory, no medieval relic was found predating the 11th century. So, it is likely that Fukushima Castle was built in the 11th century and the inner ward was where soldiers were assembled and some rituals were held.
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2007/2/16


畑谷城 Hataya-jyo Hataya Castle

Jp En

The remains of Hataya Castle are in Yamanobe, Higashimurayama, in Yamagata Prefecture.

In 1600, during the Battle of Sekigahara, the Battle of Dewa took place in Ohu, Yamagata. This fierce battle was fought at Hatayo Castle between the West army, led by Uesugi Kagekatsu, and the East army, led by Mogami Yoshiaki. It was considered the skirmish for the Battle of Hasedojo, which is said to be the Tohoku version of the Battle of Sekigahara.

Eguchi Gohei Akikiyo, one of the generals for Mogami Yoshiaki's army, defended Hataya Castle with just 500 men, fighting off the 20,000 soldiers of Uesugi's army. Eguchi, despite all his efforts, knew he was outnumbered, and finally took his life, as Hataya Castle fell.

Despite the fact that Eguchi lost the battle, his efforts were not wasted, and because he managed to stall the Uesugi army, the East army won the war at Sekigahara while the Uesugi army struggled to capture Hasedojo Castle.

Today, at Chosho Temple at the east foot of Hataya Castle, a grave and memorial stand quietly in honor of Eguchi Gohei Akikiyo and his courage.
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2007/2/14


九品寺 Kuhon-ji Kuhon-ji Temple

Jp En

Kuhon-ji Temple belongs to the Jodo-chionin sect and is located on the east side of Mt Katsuragi in Nara Prefecture. As a mountain temple it is known as Kaina-yama, and is also called Temple of Stone Buddhas.

Gyogi-osho founded the temple following a proclamation by the Shomu Emperor in the Nara period. It flourished again as a Kaina-senbo temple when Kukai (Kobo Daishi) came here.

The main statue of the temple is a wooden Amida-nyorai seated figure made in the late Heian period and has been designated as an Important National Cultural Asset.

The temple is also famous for its many stone Buddha statues. 1800 stone Buddha statues called the '1000 Stone Buddhas' line the way up the mountain to the temple. They are said to have been dedicated to console soldiers of the Narahara Clan who died in the battle against the North Imperial Court.

You can see the Three Yamato Mountains from high points on the mountain, and Kuhon-ji Temple is also popular as a great scenic spot.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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