2016年01月03日

'Yamadera' Buddhist temple in Yamagata City is known by a famous 'haiku' poem composed by 'Matsuo Basho'.

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It takes a while from 'konpon-chudo' seminary for the Buddhist priesthood which was rebuilt in 1356, to 'sanmon' main gateway.
*konpon-chudo is shown in the first picture.
Long and steep 800 stone stairs lead up to 'okunoin' innermost sanctuary, and variety of Buddhist buildings, large and small, are found on the way as shown in the second picture. Half way to the okunoin, there stands a memorial stone near big vertical crags, where Matsuo Basho composed the very well-known haiku in the 17th century, that is 'Up here, a stillness...the sound of the cicadas...seeps into the crags'.
Together with other three old Buddhist temples in 'Tohoku' district, this temple forms 'Sijikairo' pilgrimage site.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:11 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年11月02日

'Ginzan-onsen' hot spring resort in Obanazawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, became to be known nationwide as 'Oshin', which is a well known TV drama in Japan, was set here.

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This hot spring resort dates back to the 17th century, when the workmen for a silver mine, 'ginzan' in Japanese, found hot springs gushing out from the stream in the center of the first picture. After that, this place became a secluded hot spring resort though, all the facilities were washed away by a big flood in 1913.
Present townscape as shown in the pictures were formed patoronized by a local business community right after the disaster. Most ryokans are three or four-storied wooden building with balconies. Many lovely bridges span the stream and gas lamps are lit in the night. 'Kote-e' relief of pictures on the plaster walls of the major ryokans, as shown in the second picture, are worth seeing too. This unique and nostalgic scene is a main attraction of this resort, which draws many people throughout Japan in all seasons.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:49 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2014年11月07日

‘Date Masamune’, the first feudal lord of the Sendai domain, was called one-eyed hero as he had lost the sight of his right eye in his childhood because of smallpox.

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Date Masamune, one of the powerful warlords, entered ‘Sekigahara no kassen’ in 1600, the greatest civil war in Japan, on the ‘Tokugawa’ side. Thanks to this achievement among many other things, he started castle construction while building a castle town, present ‘Sendai’ City in Miyagi Prefecture. His stipend assessed in terms of rice production was the third largest after the ‘Maeda’ clan in Kanazawa and the ‘Shimazu’ clan in Kagoshima. He was also known as an enterprising man who dispatched some 180 envoys led by ‘Hasekura Tsunenaga’ to Mexico, Spain and Rome, what is called ‘Keicho Kenou Shisetsu’.
Late in his life, when Japan’s politics was stabilized, he focused his effort to the development of his domain, building many stately Buddhist temples and Shito shrines, as well as new rice fields. His domain, present Miyagi Prefecture, became Japan’s largest rice-producing district in those days.
The third ‘Shogun’ ‘Tokugawa Iemitsu’ was said to pay the highest respect to him, in that Date Masamune was well-experienced in actual battles. On the other hand, Tokugawa Iemitsu had never commanded real ones.
The picture shows his statue on the horseback standing in the Sendai Castle grounds.
In this connection, the Japanese term ‘date mono’ or ‘date otoko’, meaning a dandy、 stems from the fact that the Date corps wore magnificent costume when they stage a march.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 05:50 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする