2015年08月23日

Fukuzawa Yukichi, the portrait on the ten thousand yen bill of Japan, was a great enlightmment thinker who contributed all his effort to Japan's modernization late in the 19th century.

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Fukuzawa Yukichi, a son of a low-ranking samurai of Nakatsu domain, present Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture, was a very diligent person from infancy. It is said that he studied day and night in the small warehouse on the right in the second picture, which still stands inside the grounds of his parents' house behind.
As he grew up, he studied a wide range of subjects in Osaka and Nagasaki, which helped him to be picked out for 'hatamoto' a direct retainer of the shogun, although he came from a low class samurai family. He was dispatched by then feudal government to the US as well as European countries to understand advanced system and technology.
In 1867, Tokugawa shogunate system came to an end, and Japan's modernization started under the banner of the Emperor Meiji.
He took the lead in illuminating the people from the point of view of a private citizen, writing many books while establishing Keio University. This university has all been giving birth to a large number of dominant figures in various fields.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:25 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年06月29日

'Oura Tenshudo' in Nagasaki City is Japan's oldest existing church.

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This church was built by a French priest in 1865, for the sake of the French in Nagasaki district. The official name of it is 'The church of the 26 Japanese Martyrs', having to do with the fact that the 26 Japanese Christians martyred in Nagasaki in 1597 were canonized by then pope, Pius the Ninth, in 1862. This year of 1862 was soon after the end of the Seclusion Policy of Japan.
It is widely known that about a dozen hidden Christians in Japan appeared to tell the priest of this church they had long believed in Christianity for some 300 years.
After being renovated from the original wooden building to a bric one in 1879, this church suffered in the A-bomb. However, as the ground zero was a little far from here, the damage was considerably slight and was designated as a national treasure.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:08 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年06月05日

A group of 'bukeyashiki' samurai houses in 'Chiran', Kagoshima Prefecture, features exquisite combination of stone fences and hedges.

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The feudal lord of Satsuma domain, present Kagoshima Prefecture, the main driving force of Japan’s modernization in the 19th century, didn’t station his samurai warriors in Kagoshima City, but in the many districts of the domain. Each of the samurais lived in their own settlement to rule the assigned district. ‘Chiran’ was one of them, and the old townscape dating back to the 18th century is very well preserved as shown in the first picture. A curved and winding central road with branch roads are flanked with many samurai houses, among of which the leading seven private gardens, as shown in the second picture, are opened to the public. This beautiful townscape together with seven gardens were designated as ‘Group of Traditional Buildings’ in 1981. The streets are always maintained and cleaned without compensation by the locals.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:32 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする