2019年02月03日

" Hocho Gishiki", the formality of cooking knife handling, stems from the Emperor's Family in the 9th century.

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According to an old document, the Emperor Kotoku, whose hobby was cooking, often cut and trimmed a carp on his own initiative for his close friends and relatives. Hocho Gishiki originated from this fact, and gradually spread between the nobility in Kyoto. The aristocrats willingly handled cutting knives in front of the guests, then ordered the house cooks to season the pieces of fish or bird meat and to arrange them on plates.
Thus, this procedure had gradually become the art of socialization. After a long period of time of ups and downs, Tokugawa feudal government employed this formality as a means of socialization to entertain the guests. Since then, in the 17th century, this tradition developed among many feudal lords across the country. The picture shows the performance of Hocho Gishiki of the Shijo School, which faithfully conveys the original style of this time-honored formality.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:19 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年01月26日

Being known as a gifted strategist, 'Omura Masujiro' is called the father of the modern army of Japan.

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Omura Masujiro, who was born into a doctor family in the Choshu-han domain (Present Yamaguchi Prefecture) in 1824, was working as a doctor in his home town when he was young. He was well versed in Western science, military science and Western languages besides medical science, thus the Choshu-han domain appointed him an officer in command of the local government. His army was said to be proud of all wins and no defeats. It was the last years of the feudal state, when the battle between the Tokugawa central government and many powerful feudal lords like the Choshu-han and Satsuma-han were fierce. His reputation as a commander of Choshu-han became higher and stable throughout the country in a state of civil war. However he was attacked to death with 'katana' sword by former 'samurais' of the Choshu-han in 1869. Because there were many former samurais of the Choshu-han, who held a grudge against him, as they had lost a privilege of samurai due to the military modernization implemented by him. The picture shows the bronze statue of him on the approach way to Yasukuni Shrine in Kudan, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo. This place used to be under the control of the Japanese army formed by him.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:44 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年01月18日

Name-brand Chinese restaurants are piled up in the neighborhood of Kanda Jimbo-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

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There were some twenty thousand Chinese students at most, studying in Japan, between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Some of them were government-financed students from China under the Qing dynasty, and Zhou Enlai who became a prime minister of the People's Republic of China later on as well as Lu Xun, a well-known thinker, were included. Their main purpose to come to Japan was to study law at many law schools in Kanda area. Accordingly, most of them lived in the vicinity of Kanda, and this neighborhood gradually became a Chinese quarter in Tokyo. After the Second Word War, most Chinese students went back to China though, the unique townscape dotted with many Chinese restaurants, large and small, survive here. The Chinese restaurant in the first picture is one that Zhou Enlai used to frequent. The second one is featuring Shaoxing rice wine.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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