Showing posts with label iizuka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iizuka. Show all posts

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Kyushu Pilgrimage Temple 13 Hozenji


The final pilgrimage temple of my third day walking around Kyushu was Hozenji, like the previous two earlier in the afternoon located in Iizuka.


It's a very small, urban temple. The honzon is an 11 headed, thousand armed Kannon, but it is only shown once a year.


It was a very small, urban temple, with not a lot to see othere than a couple of onigawara.



Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Full Moon Evening in Iizuka


Iizuka grew up as a post station on the Nagasaki Kaido, which as well as carrying the traffic of daimyo entourages heading to Edo, would have also been busy with traffic relating to the Dutch trade in Nagasaki. Many domains had offices in Nagasaki for this purpose.


From the Meiji Period on it flourished because it was the middle of one of, if not the, most important coalfields in Japan, being at the confluence of several rivers that carried the coal north to the steel works of north Kyushu.


Since the coal industry closed down the local economy nosedived.... many of the stores in the arcade were shuttered......


After checking into my hotel at the end of the third day of my Kyushu Pilgrimage I headed off to find something to eat and was treated to a wonderful sunset and moonrise....


Monday, February 29, 2016

Kaho Gekijo Theatre, Iizuka

Built in 1931 to replace several earlier versions that had been destroyed by fire and typhoon, this Kabuki theater was modeled on the Nakaza Theater in Osaka, and still holds kabuki performances and other plays and concerts.

For a provincial theater it is quite large, seating up to 1200 people. It claims to have the largest revolving stage in Japan, moved manually by 12 men. Visitors can explore the understage area as well as props room and other exhibitions.

There was once a total of 48 theaters serving this area known as Chikugo, but this is the only one remaining. Though Iizuka grew from being a post station on the Nagasaki Kaido, it flourished as the center of a massive coal industry starting in the Meiji period.

The coal industry was closed down, not because the coal ran out, but because the government mandarins chose to focus on cheap middle eastern oil, cheaper coal imports,  and then cheap nuclear for the country's power.