2017年08月01日

'Unzen Fugendake' volcano, rising in the central part of the Shimabara Peninsula in Nagasaki Prefecture, brought serious damage caused by the repeated eruptions in 1990-1991.

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Unzendake volcano, which consists of 8 peaks, has erupted so many times since olden times. Fugendake as shown in the first picture is a main peak of this composite volcano. Among many eruptions in Japanese history, the greatest disaster happened here in 1712 involved some 15,000 deaths. The latest disastrous eruption of Fugendake in 1991 is still fresh in our mind. This eruption started in Nov.1990 and finally reached the worst in the following year. Sticky lava formed a huge dome on the summit then it collapsed due to its own weight to become pyroclastic flows at a speed of 100 kilometers an hour. 43 people, most of them are the press, were killed in the incandescent flows. Thereafter, volcanic ashes and rocks remained on the mountainside were washed by heavy rain to hit the many houses near the coast as shown in the second picture. As the locals had left the area in advance, no people were killed by these debris flows.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:09 | 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07月27日

'Shimabara-no-Ran' under the command of 'Amakusa Shiro Tokisada' was the largest rebellion during the 'Edo period' from the beginning of the 17th to the middle of the 19th century.

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As the Shimabara Peninsula and Amakusa Islands in Kyushu were the domain of Christian feudal lords, there were many Christians in these areas in the 16th century. However the newly appointed feudal lord early in the 17th century carried out heavy tax policy and cracked down on the Christians. About 1,000 locals who were unable to bear these policies rose in arms with 450 guns against the authority in October 1637. They attacked Shimabara Castle, where the feudal lord usually resided, but failed. A few days later, another riot led by Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, a 17 year old Christian, broke out in nearby Amakusa Islands, and the total number of the rebel army became 37,000. They appeared to lead from the first though, more than 100,000 reinforcements dispatched from the powerful feudal lords mainly in Kyushu, commanded by Tokugawa Shogun, gradually had an advantage over the rebel army. The rebel army made the most of Hara Castle, which was a deserted castle at that time, as their fortress to fight a decisive battle. Finally all the people, regardless of age and gender, were killed in February 1638. The pictures show the external appearance of the destroyed castle and the tomb of the young leader standing at the very site of the main building of the castle. After this civil war, Tokugawa feudal government discontinued the trade with Portugal to ban the missionary work of Christianity, and enforced a national seclusion order. In addition, the central government ordered all the feudal lords in Japan to break other castles besides one main castle, so that these deserted castles were not used by other rebel army as its fortresses again.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:27 | 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07月23日

'Omuroyama' hill and 'Ippekiko' lake in the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, are the traces of old volcanic activities.

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In the eastern part of the Izu Peninsula, many traces of old volcanic activities are found not only on the ground but also on the bottom of the sea. Several beautiful cascades like 'Joren-no-taki', 'Eboshiyama' hill, 'Dogashima' island and 'Jogasaki' irregular coastline were all formed by volcanic activities. Among these unique sceneries, Omuroyama hill and Ippekiko lake are the best examples. Omuroyama is a single-volcano, 580 meters high above sea level, which was formed by a single eruption about 4,000 years ago. The hill itself with an almost conical shape is 300 meters high, and the diameter of the bottom is 1,000 meters. An old crater, the diameter of 250 meters and 40 meters in depth, is found on the top of the hill, as shown in the first picture. The second picture shows Ippekiko lake commanded from the summit of Omuroyama hill. This round lake, which was formed by repeated eruption about 100,000 years ago, is a Marl Lake.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:38 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする