Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Hizen Hamashuku Former Samurai Residence


Hidden among the maze of small alleys around Sakagura Street in Hizen Hamasuku, Kashima, is a well-preserved example of a former samurai home that is open to the public.

It is quite a substantial 2-storeyed structure with a thatched roof and is believed to have been built in the early 19th century.

It differs from most of the other samurai residences I have posted on, like the one in Matsue, or the one in Izushi, in that it is not within a samurai quarter of a castle town, but rather is set among residences of farmers.

Evidence from the interior arrangements suggests that this samurai family was engaged in silkworm production and farming, activities officially "beneath" those of the samurai class.

There was a certain amount of "class" turmoil by the 19th century as many impoverished samurai gave up their statues to become farmers or even merchants, and many rich merchants and farmers being given trappings of samurai statues like family names and permission to wear swords.

The thatched roof of this property is U-shaped, a local style known as Kudo-Zukuri. Like with many such sites in Japan off the main tourist track, entry is free.

The previous post was on the nearby Hizen Hamashuku Sakagura Street Preservation District.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post - interesting structure and social history.