2017年07月27日

'Shimabara-no-Ran' under the command of 'Amakusa Shiro Tokisada' was the largest civil war during the 'Edo period' from the beginning of the 17th to the middle of the 19th century.

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As the Shimabara Peninsula and Amakusa Islands in Kyushu were the domain of Christian feudal lords, there were many Christians in these areas in the 16th century. However the newly appointed feudal lord early in the 17th century carried out heavy tax policy and cracked down the Christians. About 1,000 locals who were unable to bear these policies rose in arms with 450 guns against the authority in October 1637. They attacked Shimabara Castle, where the feudal lord usually resided, but failed. A few days later, other riot led by Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, 17 year old Christian, broke out in nearby Amakusa Islands, and the total number of the rebel army became 37,000. They appeared to lead from the first though, more than 100,000 reinforcements dispatched from the powerful feudal lords mainly in Kyusyu, commanded by Tokugawa Shogun, gradually had an advantage over the rebel army. The rebel army made the most of Hara Castle, which was a deserted castle at that time, as their fortress to fight a decisive battle. Finally all the people, regardless of age and gender, were killed in February 1638. The pictures show the external appearance of the destroyed castle and the tomb of the young leader standing at the very site of the main building of the castle. After this civil war, Tokugawa feudal government discontinued the trade with Portugal to ban the missionary work of Christianity, and enforced a national seclusion order. In addition, the central government ordered all the feudal lords in Japan to break other castles than one main castle, so that these deserted castles were not used by other rebel army as its fortresses again.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:27 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年06月02日

The neighborhood of Holland Hills in the heart of Nagasaki City is dotted with many old Western style houses built in the middle of the 19th century.

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Japan had closed the door to Western countries from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century against the potential aggression through Christianization. In fact, however, Japan had traded with Holland, China, Korea and Ryukyu (Present Okinawa) through Nagasaki even in the period of national isolation. After the end of the seclusion policy in the 19th century, many Westerners rushed into Nagasaki and they settled in Higashi-Yamate zone commanding Nagasaki Port. As this zone is hilly, they built stone-paved slopes, wide and narrow, which were called Holland Hills by the locals. *As shown in the first picture. Because, all the Westerners were Netherlanders for the locals in the 17th-19th century. 15 Western houses still remain intact in this neighborhood as shown in the second picture. These houses along Holland Hills, together with old churches and Chinese Buddhist Temples, conveys the exotic town scape of Nagasaki.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:11 | Kyushu | 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08日

'Miyajidake' Shinto Shrine in Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, the head shrine of many miyajidake shrines all over Japan, is known as a god granting business prosperity.

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Japanese people have custom to pay the first visit of the year to their nearby shrine on Jan.1st, 2nd and 3rd. As this shrine is believed to grant the prayer of business prosperity, many merchants as well as businessmen visit here every new year. The number of them is counted more than a million, the largest number in Kyushu. The straw rope, put under the eaves of the main building in the first picture, is said to be the largest one in Japan, suggesting the high standing of this shrine. This main building stands halfway up a hill, where the prayer for victory by the Imperial navy was done when they started on the voyage to Korea about 1,600 year ago. The second picture shows the approach way from the sea to the main building, which is called 'Hikari-no-Michi' the path of light. The sun sets into the end of this path meeting the sea only two 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 10:19 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする