2018年06月17日

The National Noh Theatre in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, was opened in 1983, for spreading as well as preserving 'Noh'.

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The original form of 'Noh' was completed by 'Ze-ami', a noted Noh player and playwright, about 600 years ago. Thereafter, it had been developed into all the parts of Japan mainly by 'samurai' class. It is performed exclusively by men with unique masks to play the roles of various characters regardless of genders and age. The National Noh Theatre in the picture is only one theatre just for Noh, where the periodical performances are held several times a month. In addition, the training of new people who are aiming to become Noh players is carried out as a national project. Noh is a leading classic theatrical art in Japan together with 'Kabuki'. Kabuki was mainly loved by common people, while Noh was supported by 'samurai' warriors in the feudal years.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:38 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年06月02日

'Honjin' means the accommodations developed across the country for the people of high standing in the 'Edo period' in the 17th-19th century.

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Edo/Tokugawa feudal government ordered all the feudal lords in Japan to live in their domains and Edo (Tokyo) alternately in yearly shifts. More than 300 feudal lords periodically went and returned between their domains and Edo with many attendants according to their power, and this system was called 'Sankin-Kotai'. In order to support this system, the accommodations for them were prepared in the major post towns throughout Japan. These honjin accommodations were not for the common people but exclusively for the people of high standing. The private houses of the leading locals were generally used as honjin when they were needed. In the wake of weakening of the feudal government, Sankin-Kotai system was beginning to break down, and finally died at the end of the feudal years. Honjin accommodations were not needed anymore.
The picture shows 'Hino Honjin' in Hino City, Tokyo, which is one of the original honjin buildings still remaining in Japan, most of them are opened to the public.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:10 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年05月26日

The Imperial Palace in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, originally is Edo Castle built at the beginning of the 17th century.

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'Tokugawa Ieyasu', who unified Japan by force of arms, started to build a huge castle also as a central government building in Edo present Tokyo, in 1603. Edo was a small village before this castle construction. Kyoto, where the successive emperors had long lived, formally was the capital though, Edo had gradually developed as the de facto capital of Japan since.
Right after the end of the feudal years ruled by successive Tokugawa shoguns, the new government rapidly advanced modernization following the advanced countries. The emperor in Kyoto moved to Edo and the city name was changed to Tokyo meaning eastern capital. Present Imperial Palace is inside the inner moat of Edo Castle, a part of which is opened to the public. This part named 'Imperial Palace East Garden' includes the most important as well as historical part of Edo Castle, such as 'Otemon' main gate and stone base of the main building. The major part of the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor and Empress live, is not opened to the public though, 'Nijubashi' bridges which is the formal gate of the Palace can be seen from the outside.
The picture shows the entire view of the Imperial Palace, the total area of which is almost half Central Park in New York.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:31 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする