Showing posts with label Hamada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hamada. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Disappeared Japan Yamane Residence Hamada


In October 2009 the Russian sail training ship Nadehzda was making a courtesy visit to Hamada Port and was open to the public

Walking back along the waterfront road I stopped to take some photos of a couple of empty, traditional buildings.

An old gentleman in the garden next door asked me why I why taking photos of the abandoned buildings and I explained I enjoyed the ratios and composition of traditional architecture.

He asked if I would like to see inside, and we said yes, presuming he meant the empty buildings, but he took us into his home.

It was a very large, traditional house filled with typical architectural features and family heirlooms. Particularly impressive were the two, large kamidana.

In the courtyard with two large, stone sinks, Yoko remarked that it looked like a sake brewery, and the owner remarked that it used to be a soy brewery, the business that had made the family fortune. I am guessing the adjacent empty buildings were part of that business.

While walking through the area 2 years ago I noticed that many of the older houses in the area were gone, and the house we had been allowed to explore has been replaced with a large, modern two-storey affair.

The previous post in this series on Disappeared Japan was on the unusual sex museum in Ureshino.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Drowned Buddhas

Tadaji, an old temple in the hills outside Hamada has a rather strange collection of wooden statues in their main hall.

They were fished out of the sea on the coast down below the temple, and had obviously spent some time in the water. More than likely they had been thrown into the sea, or a river, during the Haibutsu Kishaku, the "destroy Buddhism" campaign in the late 19th Century.

The campaign was officially rescinded, and many areas did not really go along with it, but some places went for it with a vengeance. The Oki Islands, for instance, destroyed every single Buddhist temple.

Experts say some of these statues probably date from the Kamakura Period and so are quite old. The current along the coast comes from the west so these statues were put in the water further west, down in Yamaguchi or somewhere near there......

Monday, June 16, 2014



Decided to take a break from the interminable sequence of garden chores that go along with the rainy season here and took advantage of a break in the rainy weather to spend the afternoon on the coast.


We went down to Shimoko near Hamada where Tatamigaura is located.


In 1872 the Hamada Earthquake occurred. The epicenter of the magnitude 7 quake was just offshore, and one of the results was that a section of seabed rose up and is now exposed at all but the highest tides.


The name tatamigaura comes from the fissures in the flat rock that supposedly resemble tatami flooring. As well as lots of tidal pools, there are various strange rock formations, fossils, and sea caves. Access to the shore is via a tunnel that passes through the biggest sea cave that houses a small Buddhist shrine.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Torii Tunnels


Lines of red torii placed so close together they form a tunnel are a common sight throughout Japan. The most famous and most photographed are at the Fushimi Inari Shrine near Kyoto, but smaller versions can be found all over at shrines and temples.


They are usually made of wood, occasionally steel, but more often nowadays plastic pipe is being used. Each torii will have been paid for by a donation, and the name of the donor is usually written on each, similar to how some shrines will have lines of more expensive stone lanterns.


The top photo is from the Inari Shrine in the grounds of Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki. The second photo is at Tadaji Temple in Hamada. The third is a small Inari hokora near Kokura Castle.


The photo above is an Inari shrine in the grounds of the Hitomaro Shrine in Masuda.


If the Inari shrine is on a hillside, like at Fushimi, then the torii tunnels will switchback up the hillside like the photo above taken at the Taikodani Inari Shrine in Tsuwano.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hamada Castle


This is an artists impression of what Hamada castle would have looked like. It no longer exists as it was torched by the Lord of the castle in 1866 to stop it falling into the hands of the approaching Choshu forces.


This entrance gate that now stands at the entrance to the inner fortifications was originally a gate to a samurai residence in Tsuwano. the Choshu forces passed through Tsuwano on their way west but the Tsuwano Lord chose to keep his men inside tsuwano castle rather than engage the invaders.


The castle and surrounding castle town were built in 1620 by the Yoshida clan though control of the domain and castle passed to a branch of the Matsudaira a few decades later.


There are fine views over Hamada from where the keep once stood.

Saturday, November 6, 2010



The eighth, and what turned out to be the last, matsuri for me in October was at Sano, a village up in the mountains behind Hamada. It was my first time at this matsuri and I accompanied a group of non-Japanese tourists, so the shrine, yet another Hachimangu, was quite crowded.

sano2Align Center
Because of the foreign guests could only stay a few hours the kagura group chose to play the opening shinji (ritual dances) later and started straight in with the theatrical dances. First up was Tenjin, the deified spirit of Sugawara Michizane a high-ranking courtier and poet who was banished to Kyushu by Fujiwara no Tokihira in 901. Sugawara died shortly thereafter and a series of disasters befell the Fujiwaras and the court and it was decided that Sugawara's vengeful spirit was responsible so he was deified and posthumously elevated in rank.


The dance is primarily a standard fast-paced battle between Sugawara and Tokihira.


The next dance up was everybody's favorite, Orochi, the piece that most typifies what Iwami kagura is all about, color, speed, drama, and excitement. This is usually the finale of a matsuri night of kagura performed at around 5am.


As is typical, only 4 serpents danced instead of the full complement of 8. Space in shrines is usually too small.


Halfway through the serpents gig an old gentlemen walked into the writhing mass and in turn lifted up the head of each dragon and gave the dancer a glass of sake....... no-one seemed to mind.


"I aint afraid of no dragon"

I had hoped to visit at least 12 matsuris this year, but unfortunately scheduling conflicts, the weather, and a trip to Kyushu meant only 8......... still, there is always nect year :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hamada Childrens Museum of Art (inside)


Here in Shimane we have more museums and galleries per capita than any other Prefecture bar one. This may partially be due to the continued haemorrhaging of the population to the big cities, Shimane's population is decreasing faster than anywhere else, but it is most probably due to the massive influx of construction money from Tokyo. Shimane continues to vote LDP.


One person who has benefited from this influx of construction money is local-born architect Shin Takamatsu, the designer of the Hamada Childrens Museum of Art.


Architecture, modern or otherwise, lends itself easily to photography that leans towards the anstract, as does mine.


In the late afternoon and evening the sun creates fantastic patterns of light and shadow.


While all the big cities in Japan have their fair share of interesting modern architecture, its fun to explore the rural areas of Japan to find such things.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More hankies


Went back to the Hamada Childrens Art Museum to see the second part of the art project involving 53,00 handkerchiefs.


The hankies have been taken down off the building and drsped over the circular garden space in front of the museum.


The 6 artists collaborating on the project are Kazuya Ohbayashi, Makoto Sugawara, Hiroko Sekino, Keitoku Koizumi, Tetsuaki Baba, and Youjiro Fujiwara.


Most of the area under the canopy of hankies was out of bounds, which was a shame, but it was possible to see under.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hamada Childrens Museum of Art (outside)


The Hamada Childrens Museum of Art (without 53,00 hankies) opened 1n 1998.

Its located right next to Shimane University on the hillside overlooking Hamada.


Like many public buildings in Shimane it was designed by Shimane-born architect Shin Takamatsu.


The space is divided up into 3 zones, an exhibition space, a practical/workshop space, and a non-functional space.


Various exhibitions, workshops, and events take place throughout the year.