Saturday, October 26, 2013

Yukawa Residence, Hagi


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The Yukawa were a low ranking samurai family who lived along the Aiba Canal in Hagi. They were the keepers of the canal which is probably why their residence was larger than normal for people of their rank.

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It only costs 100 yen to get in and look around and there are not so many visitors so it can be enjoyed quietly. Around the house are several stone water basins, tsukubai.

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What is unusual about these samurai houses along the Aiba  are the hatoba, the covered inlets that allow for direct access to the flowing water for the kitchen and bathroom...

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Well worth 100 yen and an hour of your time...

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Rendai-ji. Temple 6 of the Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage


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Rendai-ji, the sixth temple of the Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage is located on a hilltop at 100 meters. The final approach is up 160 stone steps.

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From the temple there are fine views down on Hikawa with Hirata off in the distance.

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Its a Shingon temple, and has a Daishi-do as well as the main hall. There is a priests house but it looks to have been uninhabited for a while.

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There was not much in the way of artwork, statues etc but I did like this small set of small, old, wooden statues. According to a sign its possible to walk a mountain path over towards temple number 7 but I decide to head back down the mountain and walk back to the nearest station and head home. Thats enough for this first 2-day leg of the pilgrimage.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

More Avian manholes


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It turns out that birds are quite a common design element in Japanese manhole designs.
Previous posts showing some can be found here. and here.

This first one is from the small island of Teshima in the Akinada Sea off of Hiroshima, and the bird is a cormorant.

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This one is from Musashi Town, now a part of Kunisaki City in Oita. It depicts a pair of Mejiro, Japanese White-Eyes. For a photo of real Mejiro see this post

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Sanko Town, now a part of Nakatsu City in Oita has a pair of Japanese Bush warblers, Uguisu, in Japanese. Strangely the town bird is the Mejiro.

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Nago Town on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa features a pair of Ryukyu Mejiro.

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Ishigaki City on the same island features an Akashobin, Ruddy Kingfisher in English. Common throughout east and southeast Asia it is quite rare in Japan.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sokinoya Shrine


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Sokinoya Shrine is listed in the Engi Shiki so it is at least 1,000 years old. It's located at the base of the hills south of Naoe in Hikawa.

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Halfway up the steps is the store room holding the rather elegant mikoshi and other valuable equipment.

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The main kami enshrined is Kihisakamitakahiko, and there is absolutely no information on him except that this area was once called Kihisa so he was probably the leader of the area. This rock in front of the shrine is reputed to be where he stood and prayed in the direction of Izumo Taisha across the plain below.

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Visible behind the rock is a small shrine to Sarutahiko. It was moved here from its original site at a large rock outcropping further up the mountain. There is also a Kumano Shrine in the grounds.

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For me, the most interesting secondary shrine in the rounds is the Karakuniidateho shrine. Karakuni means "from Korea", and there are numerous Karakuni shrines around Izumo and Iwami that enshrine Susano and his son Isotake that are manifestations of the legend/myth that Susano and his son arrived here from the Korean peninsular.

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