Monday, June 14, 2021

Down the Kikuchi River


December 20th, the 48th day of my first walk around Kyushu and I left Yamaga to head down to Tamana. First stop was the burial mounds museum I posted about here and here. Pictured above are some of the haniwa reproductions. Haniwa were the ceramic figures placed on top of the burial mounds. Horses and chickens appear here. Houses, deer, and human figures are also common.

My route takes me roughly alog the Kikuchi River, though here the land is fairly flat and the river meansers so the road sometimes cuts straight. I am still surprised by how much agricuture takes place under plastic. I have no idea what was growing here, though being December 20th, the coldest weather had yet to arrive.

A statue modelled on a clay haniwa marks the entrance to a cluster of tombs, the largest being the Etafunayama Mound. The grave goods excavated from the burial chamber included multiple swords, mirrors, and jewels, collectively known as the three symbols of Imperial power, or the Imperial Regalia.

November and December are my favorite times for walking around western Japan. The weather is usually good, the light is great, and the lack of mosquitoes makes sleeping out more pleasant, but the days are somewhat short.

Arched stone bridges would not be particularly noreworthy in many places, but in Japan they are somewhat unusual. Introduced by Chinese monks in Nagasaki most of them seem to be in areas near to Nagasaki. Therevwere several more in Tamana.

Being the solstive eve I found myself a nice high-point to spend the night.


  1. I really like those horses & chickens; their rounded forms are pleasing to the eye