Showing posts with label nichinan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nichinan. Show all posts

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Obi Samurai District

Around the old castle ruins in Obi is an area of former samurai residences. Closest to the castle were the highest ranking samurai, moving down the ranks further away from the castle until you reach the old merchant district.

Being somewhat off the beaten track the area has retained many of the buildings and the basic layout of these former times and is registered as a Historic Preservation District of groups of Traditional Buildings. There are more than 100 of these districts scattered across Japan, and while some are in major tourist areas, many are not.

I've come across quite a few on my walks in the backcountry, and in my experience some of them are quite delightful, being non touristy and ungentrified. Links to many of them Ive visited can be found at this index over at Japanvisitor.

On this trip I was in a hurry to carry on with my pilgrimage, but recently I revisited the area and spent time exploring in the houses open to the public and can recommend it to visitors to Miyazaki

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Obi Castle

On the 25th day of my first walk around Kyushu I started out by taking a train and backtracking a ways as I wanted to visit the castle at Obi.

It is not a well-known castle, nor very large, but it is surrounded by a well preserved samurai district and the stone walls are in good condition. The gate house was quite impressive also.

I'm not sure if it ever had a keep but there is a reconstruction of the daimyos "palace" and a museum displaying armour and weapons and such.

For more details on the castles history, access, entry fees etc please see a longer piece I wrote for Japanvisitor.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Princess Ahiratsu

Ahiratsu Hime was the first wife of the mythical first emperor Jimmu. This statue is in the small port town of Aburatsu in Nichinan, southerm Miyazaki.

According to the myth, when Jimmu left to invade central Japan and claim rulership, Ahiratsu chose to stay here and not go with him, although she had already given birth to a son that would become the mythical second emperor. Sorting out genealogies in the Japanse myths is complex as the myths as they stand today have evolved from a mass of tales and genealogies of the powerful clans, but is seems she was Jimmu's aunt....... seems like several of Jimmu's ancestors had also married aunts.....

Ahiratsu Shrine which enshrines her has been here since ancient times though it had a Buddhist influenced name before Meiji. It is a modern, concrete construction with several smaller shrines within the grounds. It is said that in a small tomb nearby mirrors and jewels were found indicating and ancient ruler.

On either side of the main altar were groups of four, small Lions, something I hadn't seen before....

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Sugimura Kanamono Honten

Some architecture I find intriguing, some not. It is not always clear to me why. This building I found intriguing.

It may be because it was different from the other buildings around it. Or it may have been something instrinsic.

It's not particularly old, being built in 1932. When I visited it a few years ago it was a hardware store that was still in business, though it seems to have closed now. It is located in Aburatsu, an old port town in Nichinan, Miyazaki.

I was there on the 24th day of my walk along the Kyushu Pilgrimage, visiting a temple in the town.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Nakiri Shrine. Another Cave Shrine

About a 15 minute walk along a path through the woods from Udo Jingu is a small cave with Nakiri Shrine within it.

It is not as impressive as he cave at Udo Jingu, but it is closer to the sea and you are likely to be the only visitor, and so is more atmospheric and even dramatic.

Next to the small shrine is a statue of Fudo Myo. In this case a Namikiro Fudo, a "wave-cutting" Fudo Myo who protects seafarers. In 1868 the cave stopped being a home to a Buddhist deity and became the "shinto" Nakiri Shrine. Can't find any info on which kami they enshrined here, thoufg there is a carving of a fish hanging from the shrine.

This is also what happened at Udo Uingu, which was established as, and existed as for more than a millenia, a Buddhist site, until 1868.

It is well worth the walk from Udo Jingu