2018年02月16日

'Kagetsu', a Japanese-style luxury restaurant, in 'Maruyama' Neighborhood in Nagasaki City, was the important venue for the strategy meeting to overthrow the old regime of Japan.

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Nagasaki City in Kyushu was the only one door for the foreign trade during the Edo Period in the 17th-19th century. The huge profit from international trade was accumulated here, so one of the busiest red-light districts was built in Maruyama, downtown Nagasaki. Kagetsu restaurant in the picture was founded around 1818 and is the only one original building in Maruyama neighborhood. This originates from the small restaurant built in the Japanese garden of 'Hikita-ya' brothel built in 1642. During the transition period toward Japan's modernization, many noted royal supporters gathered here to exchange the information about the revolutionary movement as well as fund-raising. The interior decoration features the compromise between Japanese, the Western and Chinese style. People enjoy 'Shippoku' cuisine, which is a local special dish of half-Japanese and half-Chinese cuisine, with the original Japanese garden view built at the end of the 17th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 09:07 | 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02月11日

'Munakata-taisha' in Fukuoka Prefecture is one of the most prestigious Shinto shrines in Japan.

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Munakata-taisha consists of three shrines, 'Okitsu-miya' in 'Oki-no-shima' island, 'Nakatsu-miya' in 'Chikuzen-oshima' island and 'Hetsu-gu' main shrine in Kyushu. As these three shrines are lined up in a straight line toward Pusan, Korea, they are thought to have had been the transfer points for the sea route between Japan and Korea since ancient times. So, Munakata-taisha is believed to be the guardian spirit for traffic safety. In many cases, a good luck charm for traffic safety is found in a motor vehicle in Japan. This tradition originated from this shrine. Oki-no-shima island four kilometers in circumference, 60 kilometers off the coast, has long been strictly prohibited to enter, so massive precious metals were found by the excavation after the Second World War. They are supposed to have had been used for religious service in the 4th-10th century. More than 10,000 items are on the list of national treasures, some of them were from China, Korea and Persia, and are on display in the museum of Hetsu-gu main shrine. Munakata-taisha also is a World Heritage site. The picture shows 'Takamiya-saijo', the place where the spirit of Heavens descends. This is an ancient site for a religious service, which hands down the original form of Shinto prayer.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:30 | 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08月08日

'Shimabara Castle' was built in the first half of the 17th century, by 'Matsukura Shigemasa' a newly appointed feudal lord of Shimabara domain.

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The whole area of present Shimabara City in Nagasaki Prefecture had been ruled by 'Arima' clan till the beginning of the 17th century. In 1626, after that, Matsukura Shigemasa was appointed as a new feudal lord from present Nara Prefecture. He built Shimabara Castle as shown in the first picture for his dwelling as well as a stronger fortress than old castles in other parts of Shimabara. As this castle was far too splendid for his states, and it took too much effort for the construction work because of the hard ground made of lava, the construction cost had become unexpectedly great. In order to meet this great expense, he strictly collected more and more land tax from the masses. This triggered 'Amakusa-no-ran' Japan's largest riot. He finally suppressed this riot helped by other feudal lords though, 'Tokugawa' central government beheaded him. He is the one and only feudal lord who was decapitated in the 'Edo' period, the 17th-19th century.
*Other executed feudal lords were ordered to commit 'hara-kiri (seppuku)', which was regarded to be honorable. But beheading was a very much dishonorable way, as it was applied to common people who committed a serious crime.
This beautiful castle was dismantled at the end of the 17th century though, it had been gradually rebuilt since 1960.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:39 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする