2017年03月13日

'Bannaji' Buddhist Temple in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, is an old temple which was built in the part of the castle grounds of 'Ashikaga' clan, a feudal lord of this domain.

IMG_0981.JPG

IMG_1005 (2).JPG

Ashikaga clan built their castle with some 40,000 square meter grounds, which was surrounded by a moat and an earthwork, in the middle of the 12th century. The first picture shows 'Taiko-bashi' bridge spanning the old moat with 'Sanmon' main gate leading to Bannaji Temple. The original aspect of the very the old castle in those years can be traced back from this modern picture. Bannaji, being originated from a small temple building built by Ashikaga clan in 1196, had gradually developed as a full-scale family temple of this clan since the main building completion in 1299. This 'Hondo' main building in the second picture was repaired early in the 15th century and was designated as a national treasure recently. Hondo aside, many old precious buildings such as a bell tower and a sutra repository, they are designated as important cultural assets, are found in this temple grounds. Bannaji Temple is a very important historical site in the Kanto region.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 16:36 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年02月28日

'Ashikaga Gakko' located in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, is Japan's oldest academic institution.

IMG_0983.JPG

The exact time of the origin of Ashikaga Gakko is unclear, however a document about this school exists, which reads that a feudal lord of this domain donated many text books, some of them are designated as national treasures, and he appointed a president for the purpose to develop this school at the beginning of the 15th century. It gradually began to appear in various kinds of documents from the middle of the 15th century through the end of the same century, and was introduced to the whole world by Xavier, who was staying in Japan at that time, as one of the most well-known academic institutions with some 3,000 students. Another document, written by a high-ranking Buddhist monk of Kenchoji Temple in Kamakura, reads that even the common people in Asikaga were well-educated, influenced by this school. After the golden age in the 16th century, the educational system of this school, focusing on divination and military science, became out of fashion, and it was closed in 1872.
Most of the present buildings and gardens were restored in 1990 to regain the original aspect.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner


posted by masahisa at 10:00 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年02月06日

Odawara Castle, the castle tower of which was reconstructed in 1960 though, is a rare full-scale castle in the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan area.

IMG_0460.JPG

The origin of Odawara Castle seems to date back to the 15th century. After the unification of Japan by 'Tokugawa Ieyasu' early in the 17th century, this castle was repeatedly strengthened as an important fortress against many powerful 'daimyo' feudal lords to protect 'Edo' present Tokyo. Throughout 'Edo period', the 17th-19th century, the barrier station on 'Tokaido', the most important highway running between Tokyo and Kyoto, was managed by the lord of this castle. The main purpose of this barrier station, 'sekisho' in Japanese, was to crackdown on the spies dispatched by the western powers. With the beginning of Japan's modernization in the 19th century, most buildings of this castle, the castle tower included, were demolished and the original aspect was disappeared. However the restoration work has continued since 1934 to be revived from the destruction.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 09:15 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする