2018年10月14日

Kozukahara execution site used to stand on the outskirt of Edo, present Tokyo, in the 17th-19th century.

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This execution site was built in present Minami-Senju, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo in 1651. Minami-Senju used to be a part of Senju, the first post town on Nikko-kaido highway running between Edo and Nikko. Crucifixion, burning at the stake, beheading and other ways of execution were carried out here 108 meters wide and 54 meters deep. More than two hundred thousand people were executed here for 200 years since its foundation. The head priest of Ekoin Buddhist Temple in Ryogoku established a branch temple to bury the executed bodies and to mourn them in 1667. Present Minami-Senju Ekoin Temple stems from this branch. Together with the numerous nameless bodies, the prominent political prisoners who were executed in other places were also buried in this site. The first picture shows the tombstone of a prominent antigovernment activist named Yoshida Shoin executed in 1859. The second picture shows the big Jizo statue elected in 1741, which is also mourning for the executed people. In this connection, the well-known medical doctors Sugita Genpaku, Maeno Ryotaku and some others dissected the executed bodies here in 1771 to confirm the accuracy of the anatomical chart from Netherlands. The published Kaitai-Shinsho Japanese anatomical chart after that.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:36 | 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10月06日

Mansei-bashi train station used to stand between Kanda Station and Ocha-no-mizu Station on JR Chuo-Line.

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In the vicinity of Mansei Bridge, spanning the Kanda River running along the edge of Akihabara Electric Town, many kinds of stores such as greengrocers, rice stores and fuel dealers were found in the 17th century. In the wake of the increasing population in the 18th-19th century, this vicinity had become one of the busiest downtowns in Tokyo with an accumulation of the restaurants and amusement facilities. Mansei-bashi train station, which had a stately station building equipped with a waiting room, restaurant and meeting room, was opened in 1912. However, Tokyo Station, Kanda Station and Akihabara Station were opened one after another thereafter, and the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 destroyed this stately building. The importance of this station as a transportation hub had rapidly shrunk toward abolition in 1943. A part of the old platform is converted into a restaurant now, which offers the visitors a very close view of the passing trains as shown in the first and second pictures. Several old restaurants are still found on the back streets of this quarter, which recall the good days before the Second World War, as shown in the third picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:38 | 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09月29日

Moji port, standing face to face with Shimonoseki City across Kanmon Strait, is an old port town.

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This port town's history dates back to 1889, when it was designated by the nation as one of the ports for foreign trade. Going with the flow of the rapid modernization of Japan and the development of the heavy and chemical industries in this neighborhood, Moji gradually had established its position as a leading port town of the country through the trading with the Korean Peninsula as well as Manchuria. A local business district was formed here. with the branch office buildings of the big financial institutions, shipping companies and trading companies. Moji was one of the most important ports in Japan in its golden times before the Second World War. Thereafter, the Kanmon Railway Tunnel begun service between Moji and Shimonoseki in 1942, and Japan lost the overseas territory in 1945 right after the end of the War, the importance of this port town abruptly dropped. However the movement to revive this old area as a sightseeing spot was started around 1995, which seems to be successful so far because two million people annually visit here. The first picture shows the former branch building of Moji customs built in 1912, and the second one is the former Mitsui Club building, which was a social club of Mitsui & Co., Ltd, one of the big businesses in Japan even now.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:13 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする