Showing posts with label tojin yashiki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tojin yashiki. Show all posts

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Fukken Hall Tenkodo Shrine


The main gate to Fukken Hall which was built originally in 1868, after the Tojin Yashiki was dismantled.

It was built as a meeting place for Chinese traders from Fujian Province and had a Tenkodo shrine built with it.

The main hall did not survive the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, but the main gate and Tenkodo Shrine did.

Like the other Tenkodo Shrine inside the old Tojin Yashiki compound, this one also enshrines Mazu, the goddess worshipped by Chinese sailors for safety at sea.

For more than forty years after the Dutch were confined to Dejima, the Chinese sailors and traders coming to Nagasaki pretty much were free to go where they wished. Even after the construction of the Tojin Yashiki compound in 1689 the Chinese had more freedom of movement outside the compound, often bought by bribing officials, to visit the various Chinese temples in the town and to conduct business. When the government clamped down in the 1820's rioting ensued.

The previous posts on the shrines of Tojin Yashiki are on the Kannondo Shrine, the Dojindo Shrine, and the other Tenkodo Shrine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Kannondo Shrine Tojin Yashiki


The Kannondo was constructed in 1737 although it was repaired and rebuilt several times with the current building dating to 1917.

The arched stone gate is believed to be older and to date back to before the Tojin Yashiki compound was dismantled in the late 19th century

Kannon is the Japanese name for Guanyin, the bodhisattva that is commonly referred to as the Goddess of Mercy. Originally an Indian deity, Guanyin was believed to be originally male in form but in China and East Asia is now usually depicted as female.

Guanyin also became a popular deity among various branches of Chinese folk religions. Enshrined alongside Guanyin here is also Guanyu,  a popular deity associated with business prosperity and also enshrined in the nearby Tenkodo Shrine.

The only Japanese allowed to enter Tojin Yashiki were prostitutes from the Maruyama district as no Chinese women were allowed to reside within the walls. Unlike at the Dutch compound of Dejima, these courtesans were not allowed to stay overnight.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Tenkodo Shrine Tojin Yashiki


The Tenkodo was the second of the Chinese shrines built within the walls of Tojin Yashiki, the compound that confined Chinese merchants and sailors in Nagasaki.

It was built in 1736 by shipowners from Nanking resident in the compound and it enshrines Mazu a Goddess of seafaring.

The shrine, along with the many of the other buildings, burned down in the great fire of 1784 and was rebuilt in 1790. The current building dates to 1906.

When the Chinese ships left China they carried a statue of the goddess  Mazu, and when arriving in Nagasaki the statue would be brought into the Tenko-do, a ritual recreated each year during Nagasaki's Lantern Festival.

Also enshrined in the Tenkodo are statues of Guan Yin, the Goddess of mercy, and Guan Yu, a red-faced, bearded, general from the Three Kingdoms period revered as a god of prosperity.

The previous post in this series was the nearby Dojindo Shrine, the first built in Tojin Yashiki.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Dojindo Shrine Tojin Yashiki


Tojin Yashiki was the walled and gated compound that housed Chinese merchants and sailors in Nagasaki between 1689 and 1859.

The Dutch had been confined earlier, and the Chinese compound was larger and held many more people. however they were held under  less strict conditions and there were also large numbers of ethnic Chinese who were "naturalized citizens" and who were often the officials charged with guarding and controlling Tojin Yashiki.

The Dojin-do was constructed within the compound by ship owners in 1691, the fist shrine built within the compound.

It enshrines Tu Di Gong, a kind of Daoist tutelary land  deity of a specific location. It seems to be the equivalent of what in my area is called Omoto and what in the Izumo area is called Kojin, and was a very popular deity among the Chinese.

The shrine burned down in a great fire of 1784 but was rebuilt with donation from the great Chinese temples in Nagasaki, Sofukuji, Kofukuji, and Fukusaiji, temples which the residents of Tojin Yashiki could visit as long as guarded.

The shrine was dismantled down to its foundations in 1950 but was restored in 1977.

The previous post was on the Chinatown just below Tojin Yashiki.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Nagasaki Shinchi the Oldest Chinatown in Japan


By the 17th century there were Chinese settlements all over Kyushu engaged in trade. In 1635 the Japanese government restricted all trade to the single port of Nagasaki, and so the Chinese moved there.

It is thought that around one sixth of the population of Nagasaki were Chinese, but they were not confined like the Dutch traders on Dejima.

However, by the late 17th century the Shogunate became increasingly concerned about smuggling and so a walled and gated  compound called Tojin Yashiki was constructed and all Chinese confined there.

In 1859 the Japanese policy of national seclusion ended and Tojin Yashiki was demolished and many of the Chinese residents moved to the Shinchi area.

For two weeks after the Chinese New Year the Nagasaki lantern Festival is held is held at several sites across Nagasaki, including Shinchi.

I visited a few days after it had finished but floats and other evidence of the festival still remained.

I did not spend any time exploring Shinchi as I was far more interested in the nearby area of the former Tojin Yashiki. The previous post in this series was on Dejima, the Dutch settlement.