2016年09月22日

'Sumiyoshi Taisha' Shinto shrine in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City, is the head shrine of 2,300 Sumiyoshi Jinja shrines in Japan.

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The history of Sumiyoshi Taisha is very rich. The reason is, it used to be a guardian god for the ancient 'Yamato' state for the sake of the successful diplomacy and safe voyage mainly for the envoy to China in the 7th-10th century.
The second picture shows 'Taiko-bashi' bridge also known as 'Sori-bashi' bridge leading to the main grounds of this shrine. This unique shape is likened to a rainbow, which is thought to connect this world with heaven. On the main grounds,, there stand four main shrines all designated as national treasures, as shown in the first picture. These main shrines are uniquely laid out like a fleet of vessels crossing the great ocean. The architectural style of these old buildings is called 'Sumiyoshi- zukuri', and is one of the oldest styles of Shinto shrines in Japan.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:18 | 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