Showing posts with label kitsuki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitsuki. Show all posts

Monday, November 21, 2022

Kitsuki Castle Town Museum

Kitsuki Castle Town Museum

Kitsuki Castle Town Museum.

The Kitsuki Castle Town Museum is a spacious and modern three storey structure on one of the high bluffs in the small coastal town of Kitsuki on the southern coast of the Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita, Kyushu.

Kitsuki Castle Town Museum.

The museum is located between the Hitotsumatsu Residence, a 20th-century mansion, and the Nakane Samurai  Residence

The large model of the town as it was in the Edo Period clearly shows how little the town has changed since then, one of the reasons why the Samurai Quarter is a Preservation District.

There are permanent exhibitions of samurai culture as well as merchant and fishing culture, and also thematic temporary exhibitions.

The lobby is dominated by the colourful carriage used in the town's annual Tenjin Matsuri, and a small garden and pond outside provide a nice break.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Kitsuki Teramachi


One of the new rules set up by the new Tokugawa Shogunate when they gained control of Japan following the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 was that each of the daimyo, the great lords who controlled their own territory, would be limited to having just a single castle in their domain.

An associated edict was that all the samurai belonging to the lord must reside in said castle town. Both these laws were meant to make the daimyo less of a potential threat to the government and also resulted in the rapid growth of urban areas.

These castle towns generally followed similar layouts, with the highest ranking samurai living in the immediate vicinity of the castle, surrounded by lower-ranked samurai, and then the trades, merchants, and other commoners necessary to support these towns of samurai were usually grouped together in planned areas. sake brewers for instance tended to be built in the same area, and famously the sex industry was confined to specific locations.

To serve the needs of the growing urban population the towns would need many new temples and these would often be built right next to each other in an area named Teramachi, or "temple town". Many former castle towns will have a street now called teramachi.

Kitsuki, the small former castle town on the southern edge of the Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita, Kyushu, has a teramachi to the west of the main part of the town.

Some of the temples are quite large, and as is typical, a wide range of sects are found adjacent to each other. Teramachi tend not to have many famous temples, they are after all relatively modern and were primarily established to serve the funerary needs of the commoners. The daimyo would usually establish their own family temples and these would usually not be in the teramachi.

However, an exploration of teramachi will often result in finding interesting statuary, small gardens etc.

This final photo of a Fudo is not from the teramchi in Kitsuki, but another temple, Komyoin, that I had visited on a previous trip to Kitsuki.

Ema Votive Plaques

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Off the Beaten Track in Kitsuki Castle Town


I first visited Kitsuki in the second week of my marathon walk around Kyushu on the Kyushu Pikgrimgae, incidentally the longest pilgrimage in Japan. Komyoin is temple number 23 on that pilgrimage. I was attracted to Kitsuki and planned a return visit.

My opportunity came a few years later when I planned a 5 day walk criss-crossing the Kunisaki peninsula and arranged my route so I get spend a full day in Kitsuki.

First I visited the reconstructed castle, billed as the smallest castle in Japan, and then the samurai districts, a Preservation District with many samurai residences and their gardens open to the public. I walked through the former merchant district quite quickly as they were mostly gift shop and such, but there were many examples of a little-known art form called kote-e, plaster reliefs.

My methid of exploring a new place back then was to check maps for shrine locations and then arrange a route that would allow me to visit as many shrines as possible, and so I headed away from the main tourist area..... the to ywo pictures were a former doctors house from the Meiji period...... I'm not sure but I think it was the childhood home of a man wholater became a fairly major politician....

The thrid photos is a branch of the Yasaka Shrine nearby, and the final three photos werre, I bekuee, a tenjin shrine or Tenmangu,because of the ox statue

Friday, February 11, 2022

Hitotsumatsu Residence in Kitsuki

Hitotsumatsu Residence in Kitsuki

Hitotsumatsu Residence in Kitsuki.

Sadayoshi Hitotsumatsu was a Japanese politician who served as a cabinet minister in several of the first post-war cabinets of the government.

In 1929 he built a mansion in the castle town of Kitsuki in Oita. It was built in a combination of traditional and western styles.

While mostly appearing traditional, it does have a lot of glass which enable great views of the castle and sea as well as back over the old town.

It's built on the high point of the southern escarpment, of the two pieces of high ground that were occupied by the samurai, with the lower classes sandwiched between on the low ground.

Being a little closer to the castle, Minami-dai was the district for the highest-ranked samurai. Nearby is the former Nakane residence and garden, as well as the towns museum.

The other samurai quarter retains more of the original samurai residences and many are open to the public

Kitsuki is one of my favorite towns and is less visited by tourists, mainly due to the closest station being some distance from the town. A few more of my Kitsuki posts....

Shop Japan

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Nakane Samurai Residence & Garden in Kitsuki

Nakane Samurai Residence

The castle town of Kitsuki in Oita is yet another of the small towns in Japan that have chosen to label themselves as "Little Kyoto". The castle claims to be the smallest in Japan and the town that grew up around the castle is organized in an unusual way due to the lay of the land.

There are two bluff, kind of small plateaus with  steep slopes that in places are cliffs. It bwas on top of these that the samurai built their homes as a defensive location. The narrow strip of land between these two strips of high ground is where the merchants and lower class townspeople lived and worked.

Atop the southern bluff, closest to the castle, is the former home of the Nakane family who were, I believe, the highest-ranked of the retainers to the castle lord. As befitting their status the Nakane had quite a rage garden.

When I visited the house was occupied by a kimono rental company and was therefor free to enter and explore. It seems the kimono rental has moved to a different location and now the house is just an open house but remains free to enter.

It seesm thatdressing up in kimono to explore the town gives you free entry to all the samurai houses, museums etc in the town.

The northern bluff is actually very well preserved with many former samurai houses open to the public and is a Historic Preservation District. Many of the houses also have quite nice traditional gardens.

Buy dokudami tea from Japan

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Kitsuki Samurai Residence Interiors.


The small, castle town of Kitsuki in Oita is home to a preservation district of former samura homes from the Edo Period, several of which are open to the public.

Previously I have posted on the Samurai District, the Exteriors of some of the residences, and the gardens of the residences. This time I show some of the interiors.

Unusually, in one of the houses they had a fire going in the traditional kitchen stove, and you could experience just how smoky such places were without the technology of chimneys.

Traditional Japanese houses are known for having little furniture, but in some of the rooms there were some as well as some artworks and such.

Being close to the castle, these residences were occupied by the higher ranking samurai of the domain. Kitsuki is one of my favorite small, castle towns and has yet to be spoilt by mass tourism.

Many more posts on Kitsuki can be found by clicking the tags below ths post.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Kitsuki Samurai House Exteriors


In the small castle town of Kitsuki in Oita there is a well preserved former samurai district with some of the Edo Period samurai residences open to the public.

In this area resided the higher ranking samurai so their homes were relatively large and luxurious. A couple are still thatched but most have tile roofs.

This is one of the more than 100 preservation districts in japan where enough buildings and infrastructure from historical times still exist to be able to give an iression on how things looked back then....

Later I will post photos of the interiors of these houses. Related posts are......  Kitsuki Samurai District, Kitsuki Samurai Gardens, and  Kitsuki Castle.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Kitsuki Samurai District

Kitsuki Samurai District

West of the small castle in Kitsuki, Oita, is a well preserved samurai district. that is registered as a Preseervation District because enough of the original layout and buildings still exist.

It is located on top of a bluff overlooking the merchant district that grew up around the castle. There were only a couple of access point which enabled it to be well guarded.

As in most samurai districts the streets are lined with high wallsand hehind them homes of higher-ranked samurai  About half a dozen of these samurai homes are now open to the public and I will post on them later.

I have previously posted on the gardens of these samurai houses....

Kabosu Juice from Oita Prefecture