2017年02月06日

Odawara Castle, the castle tower of which was reconstructed in 1960 though, is a rare full-scale castle in the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan area.

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The origin of Odawara Castle seems to date back to the 15th century. After the unification of Japan by 'Tokugawa Ieyasu' early in the 17th century, this castle was repeatedly strengthened as an important fortress against many powerful 'daimyo' feudal lords to protect 'Edo' present Tokyo. Throughout 'Edo period', the 17th-19th century, the barrier station on 'Tokaido', the most important highway running between Tokyo and Kyoto, was managed by the lord of this castle. The main purpose of this barrier station, 'sekisho' in Japanese, was to crackdown on the spies dispatched by the western powers. With the beginning of Japan's modernization in the 19th century, most buildings of this castle, the castle tower included, were demolished and the original aspect was disappeared. However the restoration work has continued since 1934 to be revived from the destruction.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:15 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年01月27日

'Ikegami Honmonji' in Ota-ku, Tokyo, is a Buddhist temple built at the very place where 'Nichiren', the founder of Nichiren sect of Buddhism, passed away in 1282.

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Invalid Nichiren left 'Minobusan', the main temple of Nichiren Buddhism, in Yamanashi Prefecture in 1282, for present Ibaragi Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture.
The purpose of his trip was a hot spring cure combined with visiting his parents' grave. His condition unfortunately deteriorated while traveling in present Ota-ku Tokyo, and he passed away at the house of a leading local follower. Following his dying wish, his ashes were enshrined at Minobusan temple right away though, Ikegami Honmonji temple was also built at his last place at the same time by the local followers to remember the death of this greatest monk. This temple had been very much flourishing since, under the patronage of 'samurai' warriors in the Tokyo region. During the second World War, most buildings of this temple were destroyed because of the air raids. The first picture shows 'Daido' rebuilt in 1964, which is for worshipping Nichiren. The five-storied pagoda in the second picture, which was built in 1608 and fortunately escaped from the disaster of the war, is one of the oldest buildings in Tokyo.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.
通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 15:50 | 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

2017年01月17日

'Kudankaikan' in Kudanshita, Tokyo, was a martial law command headquarters against 'Ni Ni Roku Jiken', February 26 incident in 1936, one of the largest military coups in Japan.

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Kudankaikan was originally built in 1934 as a headquaters association of veterans for reserves' training and accommodations. Soon after the completion, 'February 26 incident', so called 'Ni Ni Roku Jiken' military coup, caused by around 1,500 youth officers, happened in 1936. The then Minister of Finance, 'Korekiyo Takahashi', and four other key government officials were killed though, the authority declared a martial law base at this building to surpress these traitors. In 1937 thereafter, 'Fuketsu', a younger brother of 'Fugi' known as 'The Last Emperor' of Manchuria, held a wedding ceremony here. After being used as an accommodations of the officials of occupation forces for some years, 'Japan bereaved families Association' had long run this building as a hotel, wedding hall and other multi purposes since 1957. However two people died from the ceiling collapse by 'The Great East Japan Eartquake' in 2011, thus this old building discontinued its checkered life at long last. A new high-rise building is supposed to be reconstructed in the near future.

Licensed tour guide/Travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:41 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする