2017年07月27日

'Shimabara-no-Ran' under the command of 'Amakusa Shiro Tokisada' was the largest civil war during the 'Edo period' from the beginning of the 17th to the middle of the 19th century.

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As the Shimabara Peninsula and Amakusa Islands in Kyushu were the domain of Christian feudal lords, there were many Christians in these areas in the 16th century. However the newly appointed feudal lord early in the 17th century carried out heavy tax policy and cracked down the Christians. About 1,000 locals who were unable to bear these policies rose in arms with 450 guns against the authority in October 1637. They attacked Shimabara Castle, where the feudal lord usually resided, but failed. A few days later, other riot led by Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, 17 year old Christian, broke out in nearby Amakusa Islands, and the total number of the rebel army became 37,000. They appeared to lead from the first though, more than 100,000 reinforcements dispatched from the powerful feudal lords mainly in Kyusyu, commanded by Tokugawa Shogun, gradually had an advantage over the rebel army. The rebel army made the most of Hara Castle, which was a deserted castle at that time, as their fortress to fight a decisive battle. Finally all the people, regardless of age and gender, were killed in February 1638. The pictures show the external appearance of the destroyed castle and the tomb of the young leader standing at the very site of the main building of the castle. After this civil war, Tokugawa feudal government discontinued the trade with Portugal to ban the missionary work of Christianity, and enforced a national seclusion order. In addition, the central government ordered all the feudal lords in Japan to break other castles than one main castle, so that these deserted castles were not used by other rebel army as its fortresses again.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:27 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年07月23日

'Omuroyama' hill and 'Ippekiko' lake in the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, are the traces of old volcanic activities.

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In the eastern part of the Izu Peninsula, many traces of old volcanic activities are found not only on the ground but also on the bottom of the sea. Several beautiful cascades like 'Joren-no-taki', 'Eboshiyama' hill, 'Dogashima' island and 'Jogasaki' irregular coastline were all formed by volcanic activities. Among these unique sceneries, Omuroyama hill and Ippekiko lake are the best example. Omuroyama is a single-volcano, 580 meters high above sea level, which was formed by a single eruption about 4,000 years ago. The hill itself with an almost conical shape is 300 meters high, and the diameter of the bottom is 1,000 meters. An old crater, the diameter of 250 meters and 40 meters in depth, is found on the top of the hill, as shown in the first picture. The second picture shows Ippekiko lake commanded from the summit of Omuroyama hill. This round lake, which was formed by repeated eruption about 100,000 years ago, is a Marl Lake.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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

2017年07月17日

'Kintaikyo' in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, built in 1673, is a long wooden bridge made up of a continuous row of five arch bridges.

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Kintaikyo was built by a feudal lord of the Iwakuni domain to connect Iwakuni Castle with the downtown over the Nishiki. The specialists carried out a feasibility study though, any instructive bridges couldn't be found in Japan, because the total length of the bridge was needed up to 200 meters. Finally, a stone arch bridge in China was used as a reference. The original bridge built in 1673 was partially washed away by a flood in the next year after the completion, but the stone bridge piers were reinforced immediately. Since then, this bridge had never been destroyed for some 276 years until a typhoon hit it in 1950. The history of restoration works of this bridge, 210 meters long and 5 meters wide, has long been perfectly kept. Every 15 years for the floorboards and every 20 years for the main structure, this bridge has been regularly maintained since its first completion, which is in order to hand down the bridge building techniques. All the timber for the maintenance works is provided from nearby afforestation area exclusively for the bridge.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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