The ruins of Kuroki Palace at the top of Tennozan, a low hill facing Beppu Bay, on Oki-Nishinoshima Island in Shimane Prefecture is the site where Emperor Go-Daigo stayed when he was exiled to the Oki Islands.
In 1332, Emperor Go-Daigo raised the army to defeat the Kamakura Shogunate, whose power had been diminished by the two wars with Mongol, but he was defeated and banished to the Oki Islands. The emperor, however, escaped Oki within 2 years and succeeded in defeating the Shogunate this time. He returned to Kyoto and claimed power in what came to be known as the Kemmu Restoration.
At the foot of Tennozan is the history museum Hekifukan, where documents and pictures pertaining to the emperor are exhibited. Beside the ruins of Kuroki Palace is Kuroki Shrine, where Emperor Go-Daigo is enshrined. The ruins site is prefecturally designated as a historic site.
Hakozaki-gu Temple is located in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture and is one of Japan's three great Hachimangu temples. It also has one of Japan's three great 'romon' two-storey gates. In addition, the temple is a 'Shikinai-sha' (a temple listed in the Engishiki--a list of all temples in the nation which received offerings from the government). Its status as a temple was Myoujin-taisha (or Myoujindai--a temple which enshrines major and remarkable gods).
The enshrined deities at Hakozaki-gu are Emperor Ojin (the main deity at the temple, the 15th imperial ruler of Japan and the guardian of warriors), Empress Consort Jingu of Japan (empress consort and mother of Ojin), and Tamayori-hime-no-mikoto (mother of Emperor Jimmu).
Hakozaki-gu was first established in 921 during the Heian period, under the authorization of Emperor Daigo. A magnificent temple was built here and, in 923, was transferred from the Chikuzendaibu-gu.
In the mid-Kamakura period, when the Mongols tried to invade Japan and came close to Hakozaki-gu, a 'divine wind', or 'kamikaze', rose up to repel them. As a result, the deities at Hakozaki-gu were worshipped as gods of charm against misfortune, as well as for success, overseas transport and communication and protection overseas.
Hakozaki-gu is a cherished and highly regarded temple, and fills the four seasons with captivating, enjoyable festivals, such as Tamatori Sai and Hojoya Taisai
The site of these bulwarks, which were built for defence against Mongol invasions, is in Fukuoka City. There are 7 bulwarks, all of which have been designated as National Historic Sites.
In 1274, the Mongols attacked Hakata with 900 military ships and 28,000 soldiers and fought with samurais in Kyushu. (This is known as the Bunei War.)
In defence, the Kamakura government built 20-km bulwarks, 2m high and 2.5m wide, along a length of Hakata Bay, from Imazu in the west, to Kashi in the east. The line of defence, constructed by the Kyushu samurais, took half a year to complete.
In 1281, the Mongols attacked Hakata again, but were blocked by the bulwarks. Moreover, a typhoon (the 'Divine Wind') struck the fleet which sank. (This is known as the Koan War.)
The bulwarks remind you of the old times and we can admire the samurais' achievement. In Showa 6 (1931), the bulwarks were designated as National Historic Sites.
Ozaki Dolls are pottery dolls handed down in Osaki Nishibun area in Kanzaki-machi, saga Pref. This craft is one of the oldest pottery works in the prefecture. It is characterized by the warm feeling of clay, the humorous look, and colorful paintings. Ozaki Dolls originates in the dolls that the Mongolian warriors captured during the Mongol Invasions of Japan (in 1281) made to blow tunes and remembered their faraway homeland. They taught the technique to the local people and since then the pottery in this district has developed. The locally obtained clay is molded into dolls and then holes are made in blowing types. After that they are dried for two weeks, fired in the handmade kilns, painted white first, and finally colored with bright iwaenogu (Japanese dry pigments). The bright red stands for the Mongolians’ blood, blue for peace, and yellow for nature. There are about 20 kinds of Ozaki Dolls including pigeon whistles, baby-sitter dolls, or sparrows. Among them a pigeon whistle, which is called “Tetteppu,” is the most popular souvenir.
Many people visit Tajima Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Kyushu region, to pray for business success and safe marine traffic. The enshrined are three marine guardian goddesses of Tagiri-himemikoto, Ichikishima-himemikoto, and Takitsu-himemikoto, whom the pirates of the Matsura Tribe and fishermen working around the Genkai Sea asked for help when they were in danger at sea. The ancient record of Matsura Kojiki says that Wakatakeou (Prince Yamatotakeru’s son) was jointly enshrined in 731 during the reign of the emperor Shomu and that Otomo-no-Komaro visited the shrine by Imperial command and bestowed the title of “Tajima Daimyojin (the great shrine).” In the precinct are other must-see sights such as “Sayohime shrine,” which enshrines the princess of Matsura Tribe, the rock that a Mongolian ship used as an anchor, and the “Taiko-seki,” which Hideyoshi used in the contest for strength.