2016年09月04日

'Shitennoji' Buddhist temple in Tennoji-ku, Osaka City, built by Prince Shotoku at the end of the 6th century, is Japan's oldest state-sponsored temple.

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A battle between 'Mononobe' clan and the allied force of 'Soga' clan and Prince Shotoku took place at the end of the 6th century. A fierce argument over an important issue if Buddhism, which was introduced into Japan from Korea in the middle of the 6th century, should be propagated all over the country, triggered this battle. The winner of this battle was Soga clan and Prince Shotoku, who stood for Buddhism protection policy as a state religion. Thereafter Prince Shotoku elected this temple for the token of his gratitude for the victory. Thus, this temple is Japan's oldest full-scale Buddhist temple together with 'Asuka-dera' in Nara.
Major buildings of this temple are laid out in a north-south straight line (inner gate - five-story pagoda - main hall - lecture hall), and these buildings are surrounded by a long corridor. This unique arrangement tells an old temple design of China and Korea in the 6th-7th century. Having suffered big damages several times since, most serious one was caused by an air-raid during the Second World War though, all the damaged buildings have been faithfully rebuilt each time to remind us of the traditional Buddhist temple in ancient times.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:31 | Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年08月30日

'Dojima' in Kita-ku, Osaka City, used to be dotted with many 'kurayashiki' warehouses and sales offices for rice and other agricultural products, which were maintained by 'daimyo' feudal lords in the 17th-19th century.

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In the feudal years, Osaka was the largest commercial city in Japan, centering on Dojima area. Dojima was a sandbar formed on the north side of a tributary of the 'Yodo' running from east to west in the heart of Osaka. In the middle of the 17th century, a leading wealthy merchant 'Yodoya' established a rice market here, which was the origin of Japan's largest agricultural market focused on rice. The rice collected from every part of Japan as a tax was stored in the warehouses of daimyo feudal lords. They sold the rice in their kurayashiki warehouses when it soared to a higher price. Thus, the standard price of rice in Japan had been formed in Dojima, and the first full-scale future market in the world was established here in Dojima. The right side of the river in the first picture is present Dojima area, and the monument standing at the very place of this future market is shown in the second picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:53 | Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年05月02日

'Tsuyuno Tenjinsha' shrine in Sonezaki, Osaka City, is also known as 'Ohatsu Tenjin', since a lovers' suicide featuring a harlot named 'Ohatsu' was committed here in 1703.

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Having to do with a double suicide committed here, a well-known playwright 'Chikamatsu Monzaemon' published 'Sonezaki Shinju', lovers' suicide in Sonezaki, in 1703 soon after this case. Ohatsu Tenjin, standing in the midst of the hustle and bustle area of 'Kita' in Osaka, is not a large shrine though, this used to be much larger and was surrounded by gloomy woods. After the Second World War, this shrine sold its grounds a little at a time to raise money for the restoration of the damaged main building by the air strike during the war. The marks of the strafing from the US fighters can be found at the lower part of the two stone posts on both sides of the picture, in the center of which is the restored main building.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:05 | Osaka | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする