Saturday, September 18, 2010

Soja Local History Museum


Soja is a small town at the western edge of the Kibi Plain in southern Okayama. The local history museum is housed in the only remaining Meiji Period western-style building left in the town.


Like virtually every other local history museum in Japan they have an exhibit of clothing made from rice straw.


The bulk of the exhibits however are rather unusual and focus on the local industry, travelling salesmen of medicines.......


Anyone interested in Meiji or Taisho era graphic design would be pleased. These were door-to-door salesmen selling what we might call first aid kits.


They also had a few nice wooden masks.


Before we left the curator gave us some free gifts...... paper balloons "kami fusen". These were the free gifts that the salesmen carried to give away to kids.

He also gave us a detailed map of the area around the Kibi Bike Path that was in English and far more detailed than the map given us by the bike rental shop.


  1. I've passed more than one beautiful day biking that path. Also interesting are the names of the villages and shrines in the area, along a single ley line pointing to Izumo Taisha on one end and the shrines of Kumano on the other.

  2. It's disappointing that little if any of the ancient history of the Kibi Plain made it into the national annals or anywhere else for that matter. You can physically see the remnants of a great civilization there, but very few written records to speak of. And the hundreds of small kofun between Soja and Okayama, most of which can be entered, are fascinating to explore. Thank you for these photos.

  3. Ted..... how about some examples of shrine names?

    DCL..... Im sure once the Kojiki and Nihonshoki were written other records were destroyed.... and then in Meiji there was a reversion to the Kojiki that Japanese historians still have trouble denying...