2019年02月13日

'Hakata-bei' means an earthen wall, which was built in the heart of Hakata present Fukuoka City in Kyushu in the second half of the 16th century.

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Fukuoka City, the largest city in Kyushu, was devastated by civil wars between feudal lords in the 16th century. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who got all the feudal lords in Japan under control to unify Japan, initiated the restoration of this old city, then Hakata, right after the unification. But it was urgent need at that time to clear away the heaps of rubble, so the people in Hakata used these debris as the construction materials for the earthen walls for town zoning. The earthen walls with unique exterior as shown in the picture used to run everywhere in the heart of Hakata, and was called Hakata-bei. The picture shows the reconstructed Hakata-bei of Rakusui-en Japanese Garden in Fukuoka City. These unique walls also can be found at Kushida Shrine and Shofukuji Temple in the heart of the city.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 11:00 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年09月29日

Moji port, standing face to face with Shimonoseki City across Kanmon Strait, is an old port town.

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This port town's history dates back to 1889, when it was designated by the nation as one of the ports for foreign trade. Going with the flow of the rapid modernization of Japan and the development of the heavy and chemical industries in this neighborhood, Moji gradually had established its position as a leading port town of the country through the trading with the Korean Peninsula as well as Manchuria. A local business district was formed here. with the branch office buildings of the big financial institutions, shipping companies and trading companies. Moji was one of the most important ports in Japan in its golden times before the Second World War. Thereafter, the Kanmon Railway Tunnel begun service between Moji and Shimonoseki in 1942, and Japan lost the overseas territory in 1945 right after the end of the War, the importance of this port town abruptly dropped. However the movement to revive this old area as a sightseeing spot was started around 1995, which seems to be successful so far because two million people annually visit here. The first picture shows the former branch building of Moji customs built in 1912, and the second one is the former Mitsui Club building, which was a social club of Mitsui & Co., Ltd, one of the big businesses in Japan even now.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:13 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年09月09日

Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu City, located in the northeast of Fukuoka Prefecture, used to prosper as Japan's largest coal shipping port.

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Wakamatsu-ku originally was Wakamatsu City established in 1914. From the latter half of the 19th century, when Japan's modernization started, nearby 'Chikuho' coalfield had been rapidly developed and most of the coal was shipped from Wakamatsu to the major industrial zones and cities of the country. Wakamatsu, accordingly, showed great prosperity with large population from the latter half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. The adjacent five cities including Wakamatsu City were combined to form the then seventh largest city in Japan, Kitakyushu City, in 1963 though, this new megacity has been in its twilight since because of an energy revolution. Wakamatsu area is a typical example of this obsolete city featuring a smokestack industry.
Two pictures show some reminders.
First picture: Former Wakamatsu branch building of 'Furukawa Co., Ltd' built in 1919, which still is one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Japan.
Second picture: 'Ryotei Kin-nabe' Japanese high-end restaurant built in 1896, which is still servicing.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:58 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする