The residence of the Kuroda family located in Shimo-Hirakawa, Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Pref. is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property. The Kuroda family was a warrior clan descended from the Genji (Minamoto) line. In the Eiroku era (1558-1570), Kuroda Yoshiie moved to the village of Shimo-Hirakawa in Enshu province (present-day Shizuoka Pref.). In the late Edo period, when a Hatamoto (direct retainer of Shogun), Honda Sukehisa, was feoffed the area including Shimo-Hirakawa, he appointed the Kuroda clan as the local governor. After the Meiji Restoration, the generations of the Kuroda family served as village mayor and town mayor and contributed to the development of this area.
The main building of the residence is built in Yosemune-zukuri with a pantiled (sangawara-buki) roof. There is a formal shikidai (a low board step) in the entrance hall. Elaborate artifice befitting to the status of the mayor can be seen everywhere inside the residence. The nagaya-mon gate in Yosemune-zukuri with a thatched roof is said to be 250 years old. The building shows the typical architectural style of the local governor’s residence in the late Edo period.
The Ogane family’s residence located in Katahama, Makinohara City, Shizuoka Pref. is a private house of an old-established family. The main building (omoya) and Nagaya-mon Gate are nationally designated as Important Cultural Properties. The Ogane family served for Shibata Katsuie during the Warring States period (1493-1573). From the middle to the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), the family performed the duties of O-Shoya (the biggest village headman in the area) and was a wealthy farmer with more than 3,000 koku income.
The main building in Chona-zukuri style (using a lumber curved like a Japanese hand ax) is said to have been built around 1597. The garden beside the main building is made by the master garden designer, Kobori Enshu. In front of Nagaya-mon Gate is the hydrangea garden, where 12,000 stocks of hydrangea and 3,000 Japanese iris are in bloom. The hydrangea Festival is held from the late May through the early July. The former rice storehouse has been reformed into a museum, where the family treasures and other art works are exhibited. Visitors can learn about the way of life in the Edo period at the Ogane family’s residence.
The residence of the Egawa family located in Nirayama, Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Pref. is a historic Japanese house, which is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property. The Egawa family was a warrior clan descended from the Seiwa Genji (Minamoto) line. An ancestor of the Egawa clan, who fought for Sutoku Joko (abdicated emperor) and was defeated in the Hogen Disturbance in 1156, escaped from Kyoto and settled in Izu province. In the Edo period (1603-1868), the generations of the Egawa clan were appointed as the local governor. Among them, Egawa Tarozaemon-Hidetatsu, the head of the family at the end of the Edo period, was famous as a scientist and engineer.
The main building (omoya) is known for having the highly elaborate structure of beams that sustain a beautifully curved roof 12 m above the ground. You can see it from the doma (earth floor at the entrance) inside the house. The residence is said to have been built during the Kamakura period (1192-1333). It is said that as Nichiren Shonin stayed at the house for several days in 1261, the house has withstood for such a long time as 700 years.
The Yoshihara Family Residence is one of the historic residences in the region. It served as a residence for successive wealthy farmer family, the Yoshiharas, who were the descendants of Fujiwara no Kamatari and moved from Kyoto. It is designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 1991.
From the talisman preserved in the family, the main house was supposedly built in 1635. It is the oldest farmhouse in Yosemunezukuri-style (a square building) with a thatched roof. The large main house includes six rooms and the doma (the earth floor space). The large doma space is supported by the double beam system without using any pillars.
The interior of the house is provided with every luxury imaginable for a farmhouse of the time. The velar-cut figure of the thatched kirizuma (gabled) roof remains in the original beautiful form. The nure-en (a shallow veranda) at the back of the house gives a touch of old Japan. The Yoshihara Family Residence is reminiscent of good old days in Japan.
Kataoka Family Residence is an old residence in Uda, Nara Prefecture.
The residence is in a preserved area that includes 9 old houses that were probably made between 1619 and the early Meiji period. The thatched roof house was made in 1680 and the terraced house was made in 1832. The Oden was used to accommodate visitors and it is beautifully decorated.
In the garden, there are trees such as an 800-year-old zelkova tree and a gigantic weeping cherry.
Kataoka Family Residence is designated as an important cultural asset and visits are possible by advance reservation. The buildings are still used as residences, and retain the ambience of a former townscape.
The Fukuzawa Residence, in Rusuimachi, Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, is where Yukichi Fukuzawa spent his childhood and youth. It is designated a National Monument.
Yukichi was born in the Nakatsu-Hanzo Residence in Doujima, Osaka Prefecture, in the 5th year of the Tenpo era (1835). After his father's death, Yukichi returned to his hometown when he was a year and 6 months old, living in this house until he was 19.
The storehouse in the backyard was remodeled by Yukichi for the sole purpose of studying, while the main house was where he slept and ate. The Museum built next to the house has many exhibits from this period on display.
After reaching 19, Yukichi traveled to Nagasaki to take Dutch studies, but soon became keenly aware of the importance of English. He studied English by himself and boarded the "Kanrin-maru" ship in order to sail to the United States. Later, Yukichi wrote the famous book "Gakumon-no-susume", which sold more than 3.4 million copies, and he became the founder of Keio University.
The Fukuzawa Residence is an historic household that preseres the youthful origins of Yukichi Fukuzawa, the pioneer of democracy in Japan.
Since ancient times, the salt industry thrived in Kojima, in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture. It is recorded on a wooden strip of the Heijō Palace that salt was already being produced in the Nara period.
Larger salt farms developed in the Edo period. Nozaki Buzaemon from Kurashiki greatly contributed to the development of salt manufacturing at this time. Nozaki came to be called the 'salt magnate' and in 1833 he made a grand home for his family. The total area of the family residence is about 9900㎡ and includes several storehouses constructed around a main building.
In 1977, buildings such as Omote-shoin, Nagayamon and Onarimon were designated as important cultural assets of Okayama Prefecture. Tearooms are constructed here and there in the garden, adding various ways to view the four seasons. The storehouse is now used to display a history of the salt industry and includes records of salt farming with tools and clothing that were actually used by the Nozaki family.
The Hirogane family, the chief family of Onoro, accumulated enormous wealth from the Koizumi copper mine and from manufacturing sulfate iron in the Edo period. The Hirogane Mansion is a large house built in the Kyowa/Bunka era (around 1800) by the 2nd head of the Hirogane family, Motoharu.
The magnificent Sakura-Mon stonewalls measure up to those of a castle and reflect the prestige of the Hirogane family in those days. Outstanding views of can be enjoyed because, like a castle, the mansion is sited on a hillside. In spring, the blossoming cherry trees give it the dignity of a mountain castle.
In addition to the two-story main house, there are three warehouses, the Sakura-Mon, and a terrace house within the spacious grounds. Moreover, the pleasing sound of the Suikinkutsu can be heard in the garden.
In recent years, Hirogane Mansion has became famous as the location of Seishi Yokomizo's 'Yatsubaka-Mura'. Visitors can visualise film star Kiyoshi Atsumi acting here.