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.

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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.

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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

2016年07月13日

'Tomioka Silk Mill' in Gunma Prefecture, built in 1872, was Japan's first full-scale mechanized silk reeling factory.

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Sericulture had long been Japan's traditional industry, however the quality was not good enough to export in the feudal years. The new government after Tokugawa feudal era implemented Japan's modernization in various fields late in the 19th century. The sericulture was appointed one of the most important key industries. Tomioka Silk Mill, built in 1872 following French technology, was a government-controlled model enterprise for silk manufacturing. Many elite female workers from educated families all over Japan gathered here to study the advanced techniques, and they made a great contribution to disseminate the results throughout the country after returning to their home towns. Japan's silk production exceeded China in 1909 to become No.1. This factory was privatized thereafter, and came to an end in 1987. As the original buildings built in 1872 remain almost intact, some of them are designated as national treasures and important cultural assets. The entire grounds of this factory and its related facilities are on the World Heritage List.
*The first picture shows one of the warehouses for dried cocoons.
*The second picture shows 'Arafune Fuketsu' natural fridge, which was used to slow down the growth of silk worms in order to get silk thread from cocoons several times a year.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 16:26 | 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

2013年10月12日

The original pictures, rough animation drawings and other related materials of Fujiko F Fujio, who is a well-known cartoonist for many mangas such as 'doraemon' and 'perman', are on display in Fujiko F Fujio Museum in Kawasaki City.

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The cartoonist Fujiko Fujio is a pen name, made up of two artists Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko. These two comic artists happened to meet each other as classmates at an elementary school in Toyama Prefecture, which triggered them to collaborate on comic books. Being influenced by Osamu Tezuka, the greatest manga master in Japan, they went to Tokyo to start full-fledged creative activity by the name of Fujiko Fujio.
Thanks to the first big hit 'obake-no-q-taro' followed by 'perman', 'ninja-hattori-kun' and 'kaibutsu-kun', their joint pen name gradually became stable.
However, after dissolving the partnership in 1987, they individually started their own lives of cartoonist respectively, as Fujiko F Fujio and Fujiko Fujio A. Even though Fujiko F Fujio passed away in 1996, when he was 62, his valuable manga-related goods are on display in the Fujiko F Fujio Museum in Kawasaki City near Shinjuku, where he long lived for his work.

Licensed tour guide/travel asssistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 09:14 | 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