2019年10月02日

'Nara-machi' zone in the heart of Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is lying in the ancient area, where the extensive precincts of 'Ganko-ji' Buddhist Temple, a World Heritage, used to stand.

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Nara-machi has been developed on the overhanging part of 'Heijo-kyo', the capital of Japan before Kyoto. It is an old zone along the ancient grid-pattern roads in the 8th century. Ganko-ji Temple found here originally had extensive precincts though, these precincts had gradually been transformed into a commercial zone from the 16th to 19th century. It had become a busy zone with a variety of wholesalers and retailers dealing in writing brushes, Indian ink, mosquito nets and the like. This is one of the rare cities which escaped the air raids during the Second World War, as it was a relatively small city without big factories. Nara-machi, accordingly, is still dotted with many old buildings as shown in the pictures, and some of them are converted into bars, restaurants, variety shops and lodging houses to attract many people as a new tourist spot of this former capital.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:14 | Nara | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2011年12月01日

'Sakafune-ishi' in Asuka-mura village, Nara Prefecture, is the ancient remains made up of several stone structures.

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'Sakafune-ishi' remains are found around the hill located in the west of 'Asuka-itabuki-no-miya', where the ancient Imperial Palace of the Emperor Kogyoku once stood in the 7th century. The granite stone in the picture above with the dimensions of 5.5m long, 2.3m wide and 1.0m thick, that is situated at the hilltop, is thought to have been larger than now because many traces of the chisel in the Middle Ages are found on both sides of it. People in those days were likely to cut the big stone into smaller pieces. Some of these pieces are actually discovered among the stone materials for the wall of nearby Takatori-jo castle built in the 14th century.
What the mysterious pattern engraved on the stone means has been studied in vain since the 17th century.
The stone structure in the picture below was discovered by the excavation research in 2000. Two stone tanks in the center, tortoise-shaped and coin-shaped stones, are regarded as the instruments used for water-related ritual and the construction of this entire structure was described in 'Nihon-shoki' Chronicles of Japan compiled in the 8th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:01 | Nara | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2011年11月19日

The serene aspect of 'kubizuka', the tombstone where the head of 'Soga-no-Iruka' may be buried,is found in the immediate vicinity of his old mansion site.

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The Soga family, maternal relative of the Imperial Family of the day, exceeded then Emperor in political power in the 7th century. The Emperor Tenji stood together with 'Nakatomi-no-Kamatari', the founder of the Fujiwara family, against 'Soga-no-Emishi' and his son 'Iruka'. On the very day of the ceremony to receive the formal greetings from the government envoys of three countries in the Korean Peninsula in those days, All the Soga family members were slain by the Emperor side. Since then, the Imperial Family had retrieved former position and carried out the restoration of political system. This is 'Taika-no-kaisin',the reform in the Taika period,which is well known by almost all of Japanese people. The tombstone in the picture, known as the place where the head of 'Soga-no-Iruka' is sleeping, stands against the backdrop of 'Amakasi-no-oka' hill, at the foot of which the mansion of 'Soga-no-Emishi' and 'Iruka' once stood.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 11:48 | Nara | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする