2011年08月21日

Genroku-Ako Incident, also known as 'Chushingura', the result of which was 'harakiri' suicide of 47 'ronin' lordless samurais, still long remains in Japanese people's minds.

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Asano Takuminokami, a feudal lord in present Hyogo Prefecture, unexpectedly struck at Kira Kozukenosuke who was a feudal lord too, with his sword the inside of Edo Castle in 1701. Although the reason for the bloodshed was unknown, the slasher was immediately commanded to commit hara-kiri and his fief was confiscated because the castle grounds was a residence of Tokugawa Shogun and so it was thought to be a sacred place. On the other hand, the counterpart received no punishment for that incident without any interrogation. This unfair decision triggered off the revenge on Kira Kozukenosuke by killing by 47 'ronin' lordless samurais out of around 300 former retainers of Asano Takuminokami one and half years after. Then feudal government strived to settle the revenge case by ordering these 47 ronins to commit seppuku suicide,which was thought honorable, after long and careful consideration. The common people of the day sung the praise of their behavior as a typical of the samurai spirit, so-called bushido,and even now there are no Japanese who don't know this incident. The picture above shows 'sanmon' gate of Sengaku-ji Temple in Minato Ward, Tokyo, where the 47 loyalists and their lord sleep. The grave-posts in the picture below attract many visitors throughout the country every day.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahiosa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 10:45 | Tokyo-shrines and temples | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2011年07月30日

A haunted Shinto shrine 'Oiwa-inari' in Yotsuya, Tokyo, has something to do with 'Yotsuya kaidan', a horror story written in the Edo era.

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'Yotsuya-kaidan' is Japan's well-known ghost story for 'kabuki' play written by 'Tsuruya Nanboku', a noted author, early in the 19th century. He created this masterpiece according to some facts took place at that time: a miserable wife named 'Oiwa' killed by her unfaithful husband, an executed couple whose bodies were fastened on a door with nails and the like. This script comes to the conclusion that the husband of 'Oiwa' was driven insane to death by her ghost. Her strong passion for revenge might have led her to span the gap back to this world. This small Shinto shrine in the picture is standing in the corner of her old house and is said to be built by her relatives to ease the grudge of her. Her wondering soul with full of the bitter is really pacified?

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:04 | Tokyo-shrines and temples | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2011年07月27日

'Jindaiji' Buddhist temple in Chofu City, Tokyo, is widely known throughout Japan by its specialty 'jindaiji-soba' buckwheat noodles.

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Over ten kilometers in the west of Tokyo, there stands 'Jindaiji' temple , the second oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo after 'Sensoji' temple in Asakusa. 'Sanmon' main gate with a thatched roof in the picture above is the oldest existing wooden structure in the temple grounds built in the 17th century, in addition one of the oldest Buddhist images and temple bells are worth appreciating. This temple is also distinguished for 'daruma-ichi' doll fair held early in March and 'jindaiji-soba' served at many 'soba' buckwheat noodles restaurants lining along the approach to the temple like in the picture below.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 12:43 | Tokyo-shrines and temples | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする