Showing posts with label yudaonsen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yudaonsen. Show all posts

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yamaguchi Go Steam Locomotive

One day in Yamaguchi City 5953

One more manhole cover in Yuda Onsen features the white fox, this time in combination with one of the last steam trains in Japan, the Yamaguchi Go.


It stops in Yuda Onsen after starting from Shin Yamaguchi Station. It then runs to Tsuwano up in the mountains of Shimane. It runs most weekends and holidays between March and November.


The locomotive was built in 1936, and each of the carriages is fitted out in the style of different rail eras. The train is very popular so advance bookings are needed.


The train stops in Tsuwano for sebveral hours allowing passengers the chance to explore the town before heading back to Yamaguchi.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Byakko matsuri

One day in Yamaguchi City 5934

The Byakko Matsuri takes place during the first weekend of April in Yuda Onsen, Yamaguchi.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5935

Children dressed as white foxes parade through the streets carrying torches.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5943

The matsuri is in honour of the sacred white fox that discovered the local hot spring.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5957

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The White Fox of Yuda Onsen

One day in Yamaguchi City 5925

Images and statues of a white fox appear all over the place in Yuda Onsen, a spa resort next to Yamaguchi City, even on the drain covers.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5926

The reason is that local legend has it that the hot spring and its healing properties were discovered by a white fox.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5929

A priest from a nearby temple saw an injured white fox bathing itself and from then there have been spas in the area.

This occurred in the Muromach period, about 800 years ago.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5959

In 1707 the spas closed down as an eruption of Mt Fuji caused the springs to dry up, but they reopened 3 years later.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5958

Since the onsen boom of the 1980's the number of ryokans and spas has increased dramatically, most of them leaning toward the expensive price range.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5956

The waters have a reputation for healing rheumatism, neuralgia, and dermatitus.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5955

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Santoka Taneda

Pricks and pussies
Boiling together
In the overcrowded bath.

This is the most common translation of a poem by Yamaguchi born poet Santoka Taneda. The draincover is in Yuda Onsen, and I am informed that the meaning is read nowadays to mean that both men and women are welcome in Yuda Onsen's spas.

He was a very interesting poet, by all accounts an inveterate drunk who came under the influence of the Free Haiku Movement.

After what was probably a failed suicide attempt he became a monk and then spent the rest of his life wandering Japan, begging, and writing poems a la Basho.

His poetry, like much of Japanese "folk" culture is quite crude and earthy, displaying a very human and natural attitude. Those who prefer the sanitized Victorian/Puritan/Confucian version of japanese culture that prevails today may not like his stuff, but its worth searching out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Samurai with guns

One day in Yamaguchi City 5952

These 2 draincovers are on Ishin kaido, Restoration Road, in Yuda Onsen, Yamaguchi. The restoration referred to is the Meiji restoration of 1868 whereby the government forces were defeated and the emperor "restored" to rule by the Imperial faction led by the domains of Satsuma and Choshu (the previous name for what is now Yamaguchi Prefecture). The partnership of Satsuma and Choshu had been brought about by Ryoma Sakamoto of Tosa domain. An early meeting of all three parties took place in Yuda Onsen.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5951

The civil war to bring about the Meiji restoration is known as the Boshin war, and both sides used plenty of foreign weaponry. The Imperial faction used a lot of French Minie rifles, and these were more accurate and had a longer range than the guns used by the Shoguns forces. This may not have been a deciding factor, but is must have helped in their victory.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chuya Nakahara's hat

One day in Yamaguchi City 5932

Recently someone described me as having a fetish for manhole covers. Not sure if it's true and accurate, but I do find them a fascinating way to learn about places.

For anyone who truly has a fetish for them, Yuda Onsen in Yamaguchi Prefecture is the place to go. In this small town they have dozens and dozens of different designs.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5931

This group of four all show Chuya Nakahara' hat. He was a local boy who made quite a name for himself as a poet during the Taisho period. He was influenced by Dadaism and later French Symbolism, and though not so well known outside Japan was known for his avant gardeism and bohemianism, though apparently he is most wull known for the hat he wore.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5930

He died young at only 30 years of age. There is an excellent site in English on him here

One day in Yamaguchi City 5933

The town has a small museum containing his manuscripts and other materials from his short life.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5927