NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/10/31


一関城 Ichinoseki-jyou Ichinoseki Castle Ruins

Jp En

After the Kasai clan, the ruler of the southern part of Tohoku region, was destroyed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Oshu Shioki (punishment given to the powerful clans in Tohoku are to prevent their expansion) in 1590, Ichinoseki Castle was given to a Hideyoshi’s retainer, the Kimura clan, and then became a part of the Date domain. In 1604, Date Masamune transferred his uncle, Rusu Masakage, to this castle, but later in the Kanbun era (1661-1672) his 10th son, Munekatsu was feoffed to this castle. Munekatsu, however, was exiled to Tosa province (present-day Kochi Pref.), being accused of causing Date Disturbance in 1671. In 1682, Tamura Tatsuaki, Masamune’s grandson, was transferred from the Iwanuma domain to this castle, and his 10 successors had resided at this castle until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. The ruin of Honmaru (the main castle) called “Senjojiki” is a rectangular land of 100 m by 50 m at the altitude of 90 m above sea level. A ruin of dry moat can be seen on the adjacent hill at the same level as Honmaru, and several other outer compounds were presumably arranged on the terraced land below Honmaru. Koguchi (the main gate) was located in the northeast to Senjojiki. A square land in the southwest is presumed to have been another outer compound such as a watch tower. Now at the side of a small hill in the west of the castle ruins stands Tamura Shrine built by the Tamura clan.
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2007/10/12


片野の鴨池 Katano-no-kamoike Katano-kamoike

Jp En

Katano-kamoike is a permanent freshwater lake in Katano-cho, Kaga City, Ishikawa Pref. It has an area of 1.54 ha and a depth of 3.6 m. The Lake is designated to a Ramsar Site as well as a Natural Monument of the Prefecture. The Lake is surrounded by rice paddies, the depth of which is designed to be shallow so that they can go under the water when the water is dammed in fall. That is, the rice paddies filled with water are connected to the pond, creating an expanded marshy area. The site is an important stopover point for many species of birds in winter. The number of species and individuals are said to be the largest in Japan. Rice agriculture taking advantage of the geese behaviors has been practiced in this area. As weed is eaten by geese flying over to rice paddies in search of food, farmers don’t have to use chemical herbicides. Their droppings function as organic fertilizer. This harmonious coexistence with geese is ideal, but on the other hand, there are several problems seen in recent yeas including a decrease in the number of rice paddies, increasing use of dry farmland, and a decline in the number of migrating birds.
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2007/9/25


御火葬塚 Go-kasou-zuka Gokasozuka (Cremation Mound)

Jp En

Gokasozuka in Nakazato on Oki-Nakanoshima Island, Shimane Prefecture, is the site where Retired Emperor Go-Toba was cremated and buried.

In 1221 during the Kamakura period, Retired Emperor Go-Toba rebelled against the Kamakura Shogunate (known as the Jokyu War). He was defeated and banished to the Oki Islands, where he stayed at Genpukuji Temple for 18 years and died in despair and hopelessness in 1239 at the age of 60.

His body was cremated and buried in Katsutayama, the back hill of the temple, while and a part of the ashes were brought back to Kyoto. The mausoleum was built at the site and it has been taken good care of by local people.

Next to the mausoleum is Oki Shrine enshrining Retired Emperor Go-Toba and things pertaining to the emperor are displayed in the history museum in front of the shrine.
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2007/9/13


齋藤氏庭園 Saitou-shi-teien Saito Family Garden

Jp En

Saito Family Garden is located in Maeyachi in Ishinomaki City in the northwestern part of the Ishinomaki Plain in Miyagi Prefecture is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty. This Japanese style garden was built in the late Meiji period (1868-1912) by Zenemon Saito, the 9th head of the Saito family, one of the three most prominent and wealthiest farming families in northern Japan throughout the middle and modern ages. It is highly evaluated as a distinctive modern garden.

The flat garden and pond are laid out around the Japanese-styled houses, Seiraku-tei and Muichi-an, against the backdrop of the slopes of hills. At the foot of the hill is a deep cave called Hosenkutsu, from which water springs out to feed the pond.

The late-Jomon earthen wares excavated from the Takaragamine Ruins site are exhibited in Takaragamine Museum, a Japanese-styled house with a thatched roof located in the garden.

The garden and the museum were closed to the public in March, 2008.
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田尻 大崎八幡神社 Tajiri Oosaki-hachiman-jinja Osaki Hachiman Shrine in Tajiri

Jp En

Osaki Hachiman Shrine in Tajiri in Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, is the origin of Hachiman shrines in Hachiman in Sendai City and Furukawa Eai and Iwadeyama in Osaki City. It has an old shrine with a history of 1,000 years.

The hill continuing toward north from the shrine is thought to be the ruins of Nitta no Saku (the fortification) constructed by the central government from the Nara to Heian periods (in around 8th century). In 1057, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi and his son, Yoshiie, transferred the deity from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine in Kyoto to Tengugaoka in the northern part of present Tajiri Yawata in Osaki City and prayed for their victory before they fought with the forces of Abe Yoritoki and Abe no Sadato, which is known as “Zen Kunen no Eki” or Earlier Nine Years’ War (1051-1062). After they defeated the Abe clan, they transferred the deity from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine and founded the three shrines in Tajiri, Izawa and Kurihara.

The shrine was faithfully revered by the Osaki clan in the later period and the shrine building was constructed in 1361, when it was renamed Osaki Hachiman Shrine. Later, at the beginning of the 17th century, Date Masamune relocated it to Iwadeyama and then to his castle town, Sendai, where he constructed a gorgeous shrine in the Gongen-zukuri style. The shrine was relocated to this place again in the later period by the Date clan.
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2007/8/7


岡崎市 随念寺 Okazaki-shi Zuinen-ji Zuinenji Temple

Jp En

Zuinenji Temple in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, is a temple of the Jodo sect. The principal object of worship is Amida Nyorai and Senju Kanzeon Bosatsu (Bosatsu with 1,000 arms). It is the 2nd temple of Mikawa Pilgrimage to the 33 Holy Place of Kannon.

Founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1562, the temple is associated with the Tokugawa clan and his ancestry family, the Matsudaira clan. The temple was founded to hold a memorial service for Ieyasu’s grandfather, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu, and his grandaunt and Kiyoyasu’s sister, Hisako, who brought up Ieyasu for a long time after his mother O-Dai-no-kata was dead. Among several temples and shrines that were constructed on the hill over the Tokaido Road, Zuinenji Temple received special protection by the Tokugawa Shogunate as the defense base to guard the castle.

Going through the four-legged main gate and walk along the front approach surrounded with beautiful white clay walls, you will get to the two storied gate with 1-bay and 1-entrance, beyond which you will see old and historic temple buildings.
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2007/8/2


追戸横穴墓群 Oido-yokoana-bo-gun Oido Yokoana Tombs

Jp En

There are several hundred “yokoana,” or “horizontal holes,” carved into the southern side of Nonodake Hill from Oido to Nakano in Wakuya Town, Miyagi Prefecture. They are the ruins of tombs built from the late 7th to the early 8th centuries.

The site is designated as a historic site by the municipal government. The area including 9 of the caves is arranged into Oido Yokoana History Park and open to the public.

The largest tomb is 9 meters in total length. At the end of the cave is the house-shaped chamber, which has three platforms to place coffins on. The walls of another cave are decorated with chisel carvings and painted red with bengara (iron rust). Pieces of beads made of glass, jade, agate and amber have been excavated, from which it is inferred that those are the tombs of a local ruling family.
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山前遺跡 Yamamae-iseki Yamamae Ruins

Jp En

Yamamae Ruins spreading on the south slopes of the terraced land located between the Naruse River and the Eai River in Misato Town, Miyagi Prefecture, are the complex of the colony ruins built from the early to mid-Jomon period and from the Kofun to Heian periods. The ruins site is nationally designated as a Historic Site.

From the Jomon ruins, pit dwellings and shell mounds were found. The colony of the Kofun period and the large moat surrounding the colony were also found. Wooden fork heads, wooden blocks for beating cloth, thrusting sticks, bamboo baskets were excavated from the moat. Other ruins of colonies and relics in the Nara through Heian periods were also excavated. It is considered to be an academically important historic site, which had been used for thousands of years.

The ruins site has been converted into a history park and is open to the public.
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