2014年07月16日

'Nippon Budokan' in 'Kitanomaru Park', Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, was originally built as a judo arena for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964.

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Present Kitanomaru Park located in the old site where the mansions of the 'Tayasu' family and 'Shimizu' family, stood just north of of the 'Honmaru Goten' the main building of old Edo Castle. These two families were the important branch familiies of Tokugawa shogun's family. In line with that judo was adopted as an offficial event for the Tokyo Olympiic Games for the first time, the then Government made a decision to build an adequate judo arena in the heart of Tokyo. A world-class architect of the day, Mamoru Yamada was commissioned to design it. He worked out the design for this arena modeling after 'Yumedono' in 'Horyuji' Temple grounds in Nara. Yumedono was built in the 8th century, and is well known for a unique octagonal exterior. Nippon Budokan is still used for multipurpose performances, such as various kinds of martial arts and concerts.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:16 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2014年07月04日

Well known as the author of 'Nanso Satomi Hakkenden' and 'Chinsetsu Yumiharizuki', 'Kyokutei Bakin' also called 'Takizawa Bakin' was one of the greatest novelists in the Edo period.

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Kyokutei Bakin, born of low-ranking 'samurai' parents in Edo in 1767, was the first full-fledged novelist who made a living only by writing in Japan. He served his apprenticeship when he was 23 years old under 'Santo Kyoden', noted popular writer of the day, to start his career as a rising writer. He wrote many popular writings such as short stories, however, these were not his goal. What he wanted to do was to write full-length novels, and he started it after being adopted by his wife's family running a clog shop. The picture shows the old well of his house in the heart of Tokyo, and it is said that he used the water of this well to make Indian-ink to write his masterpieces. He unfortunately survived his son though, he managed to complete Nanso Satomi Hakkenden thanks to the dictation of his daughter-in-law since he lost his sight before the completion. This full-length super work took some 28 years to be finished.

Licensed touur guide/travel asssistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:54 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年07月02日

The former main gate of the city residence of the Ikeda family, one of the powerful 'daimyo' feudal lords, is on display in the grounds of the Tokyo National Museum.

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This stately gate was originaly built in Marunouchi, Tokyo, for the city residence of a powerful daimyo. After being built in the middle of the 19th century, this gate was relocated to be used for the residence of the Imperial family in Tokyo late in the 19th century, then relocated again to the present site after the Second World War.
The appearance of a big semigabled roof with a gabled guardhouse on both sides is one of the most prestigious designs at that time. In comparison with 'Akamon' red gate standing in Tokyo University, this gate is called 'Kuromon' black gate.
In Tokyo, only these two gates servived the civil war at the time of the Meiji Restoration, big fires, earthquakes and the Second World War.
This is designated as an important cultural asset, together with Akamon red gate.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:54 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする