NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/1/8


宮城 加美町 鹿島神社 Miyagi Kami-machi Kashima-jinja Kashima Shrine in Kami Town, Miyagi Prefecture

Jp En

Kashima Shrine in Kami Town, Miyagi Prefecture, is a historic shrine founded in around 782 by Sakanoue Tamuramaro, who was appointed shogun to conquer the Emishi people.

There is a legend concerning the statue of a young lady called “Omonome-sama” enshrined in a hall in the precinct. Once upon a time, a young woman in Kami Town fell in love with a handsome young man, who was actually a personified serpent, and she got pregnant. A toad, who lived in her house and knew that the man was a serpent, felt sorry for her and told her the truth but she did not believe what the toad said. The toad advised her to put a mark on him, saying, “Next time he comes, push a needle with long thread through the rim of his clothes.” She did as she was told and the man never visited her.

Prostrated with sorrow, the young woman went into a wood and found the tip of the thread. When she drew the thread, she found a dead serpent, which was presumably her loved one. Overcome with heartbroken, she threw herself into the nearby pond, saying that she would be a goddess of marriage to bring happiness to all men and women in the world. To hear this, the villagers felt sorry for her and enshrined “Omonome-sama” at the shrine.
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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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2007/1/11


北前船主屋敷蔵六園 Kitamaesensyu-yashiki-zourokuen Zourokuen, the Estate of a Kitamae Ship-owner

Jp En

Zourokuen is the estate of the owner of a 'kitamaesen', one of the largest ships trading in the Sea of Japan from the Edo to mid-Meiji period.
   Most of the owners of kitamaesen were Oumi merchants, but were also employed as captains. These merchants built and commanded the kitamaesen, playing an active part in trade with Ezo (today's Hokkaido).
   As trade flourished, the merchants left the boats to the mariners of Kaga, Echizen and Wakasa. The captains of the kitamaesen were able to prosper as accomplished merchants, having gained experience and business acumen.
   Zourokuen comprises the residence and garden of the Saketani family, who had prospered in business. Their wealth is apparent in the buildings, its contents and the garden. The total area of the residence is about 1,000 tsubo (3,300m3). The total floor space of the lacquered mansion alone is about 300 tsubo (991.7m3).
   Exhibits in the warehouse include ancient documents, pottery (such as Kutani porcelain), yoshidaya, the miyamotoya-hachiro-akae, and the Matsuyama kiln.
   Approximately 500 kinds of Yamano grass grow wild in the garden of Enshuryu, and meiseki (ancient stones) from all over the country are positioned around the garden, creating a beautiful view.
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