Yushima district

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
Yushima 湯島 Yushima district    
文京区 Bunkyo ward, 湯島 Yushima 1 - 3, 本郷 Hongo 2.
The Northern slope along the 神田川 Kandagawa river was called 湯島台 Yushimadai,
the Southern slope was 駿河台 Surugadai.

湯島天神社 / Hirohsige 広重

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Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda / Bunkyo-ku, Yushima
After the founding of Edo, this area became a residential area for lower rank vassals of the Shogun, and before long the Yushima-Tenjin Shrine monzencho (a town built originally in front of a temple or shrine) developed.
Yushima-Tenjin Shrine was revered as a god of learning by people of every social station, and lotteries were held within the shrine grounds. From the Genroku Era (1688-1704), the shrine dedicated to Confucius was moved from Ueno-Shinobugaoka, and the Shohei-zaka School was established within the grounds, and became a Shogunate government authorized educational facility.
A Shogunate government riding ground (Sakuranobaba) was established to the west of the shrine, and was used as a forge for cannons at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate government. During the Edo Period, the area surrounding Kanda Myojin Shrine was made part of Yushima.

- - - - - More ukiyo-e about Yushima
広重 / 湯しま天神坂上眺望 / 湯しま天神雪のあくる日 / 湯しま天満宮 / 湯しま天神
- reference source : national diet library : yushima -


. Yushima Kannon 湯島観音 柳井堂 Yanagii-Do 心城院 Shinjo-In .

. Yushima Tenjin 湯島天神 / 天満宮 Yushima Tenmangu .
Tenman-Gu in Dazaifu 大宰府の天満宮 and 菅原道真 Sugawara Michizane

Yushima Tenmangu is a Shinto shrine commonly called Yushima Tenjin. This shrine was originally established in 458 A.D. in order to worship Ame no Tajikarao no Mikoto, one of deities appears in the Japanese myths. Later, in February 1355, the spirit of Sugawara Michizane, a historical figure, was also enshrined to venerate his extraordinary virtue as a scholar.

In October 1478, Oota Dokan (1432-86), a war lord in Kanto region, made the shrine building anew. Since then, many scholars and men of letters including Hayashi Doshun and Arai Hakuseki Confucian scholars in Edo period, have worshiped this shrine.
Nowadays many students visit this shrine to express their reverence to the enshrined spirit as Kami of Learning. Especially in the season of school entrance examinations, young students visit to pray for the success of passing examinations, presenting votive tablets called Ema.

CLICK for more photos
ema 絵馬 votive tablet

The shrine is also famous for beautiful blossoms of Ume (Japanese apricot) in the precinct.
In February and March, "Ume Matsuri"(Ume festival) is held, and it attracts many visitors who enjoy the Ume blossoms.
- source : yushimatenjin.or.jp

. Ame no Tajikarao no Kami 天手力男神 / 天手力雄神 .


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Yushima Temple Picture (Seidō no Ezu)
The picture shows Yushima Temple, which still exists in Yushima, Bunkyō Ward, Tokyo, looked upon its completion.
It was in 1690 (Genroku 3) that Tsunayoshi, the fifth Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate who was interested in learning, moved the Confucius Temple Kōshi-byō to Yushima.
Aiming to advance Confucianism, Tsunayoshi, the fifth Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, established a temple in Yushima and moved the Confucius temple and private school that had been located at the Hayashi's private residence in Ueno Shinobugaoka. This was the beginning of Yushima Temple. In 1797 (Kansei 9), Hayashi's private school was then founded as a school under the direct control of the Tokugawa Shogunate, "shōheizaka school" (also known as Shōheikō).
The school accepted not only Shogun retainers but also children from around the country who passed an entrance examination called "sodoku ginmi". From all over the country, young people who carried their clan's future with them gathered in Yushima.
Unfortunately, the "Kōshi-byō (Confucius temple)" illustrated in the picture was burnt down during the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 (Taishō 12). Today's temple was re-established in the 1930's (Shōwa).
- source : Tokyo Metropolitan Library -

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Seidō 聖堂(せいどう) Seido
This picture gives a full view of the Yushima Seidō with Kanda River in the foreground.
The private boarding-school of 林羅山 Hayashi Razan in 上野忍岡 Ueno-Shinobugaoka
was moved here in 1690 and named the Seidō.
It was set up as a school under the direct control of the Bakufu government in the Kansei era.
The 昌平坂学問所 Shōhei-zaka Gakumonjo, where students read kanbun (reading Chinese texts in Japanese)
for the purposes of proofreading, was located in the area where
"此辺学問所 (location of school)" is written."
A description in the picture reads
"The first school of its kind in Japan and a most glorious place of Tokyo."
- source : Tokyo Metropolitan Library -

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Yushima Tenmangū Shrine 湯しま天満宮
Yushima-Tenjin is the shrine that enshrines Sugawara Michizane
known as deity of scholarship.
Along with Kannō-ji Temple in Yanaka and Meguro Fudō, it was popular with the populace as one of the
'Edo-Santomi', three shrines that sold official shogunate tomikuji tickets (lottery in the Edo period).
- source : Tokyo Metropolitan Library -


Yushima Seidō 湯島聖堂 Yushima Seido, literally "Hall of the Sage in Yushima"
located in the Yushima neighbourhood of Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan, was established as a Confucian temple in the Genroku era of the Edo period (end of the 17th century).
The Yushima Seidō has its origins in a private Confucian temple, the Sensei-den (先聖殿), constructed in 1630 by the neo-Confucian scholar Hayashi Razan (1583–1657) in his grounds at Shinobi-ga-oka (now in Ueno Park). The fifth Tokugawa shogun, Tsunayoshi, moved the building to its present site in 1690, where it became the Taiseiden (大成殿) of Yushima Seidō. The Hayashi school of Confucianism moved at the same time.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


source : ndl.go.jp/landmarks
本郷湯島絵図 Map of Hongo and Yushima


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Yushima - Education at Edo's First University
The Kanda River is a man-made waterway that splits the high land around Kanda in half. The steep-walled valley that carries this river (actually a canal) through Edo was dug in 1638, as part of the Kanda Josui (Kanda water supply) project that Tokugawa Iemitsu organised to supply water to the city. Before that, the whole area was one large plateau. Today, however, the river cuts through a deep valley in the neighborhood known as Ochanomizu, separating two hilly districts.
To the south is Surugadai, a residential area filled with the homes of lower-ranking samurai.
To the north is Yushima, which is the site of Edo's largest schools, and its only "university" -- the Shoheizaka gakumonsho.

お茶之水 / 御茶ノ水 Ochanomizu - 広重 Hiroshige

The Yushima area has been a center of culture and learning since Edo was built. In addition to all the schools in the area, which were constructed more recently, this district is also home to several influential shrines that were built even before Tokugawa Ieyasu moved to Edo in 1592. One of them -- Yushima Jinja -- has long been associated with knowledge and learning. Yushima Jinja sits on the top of Yushima hill, which is one of the highest points in the city. This shrine has been one of the prominent buildings in the area since the late Muromachi era.

From the top of the hill, there is a fine view out over the housetops of Kanda and Nihonbashi, and the blue waters of Edo Bay sparkle in the distance. As the city of Edo grew, many popular teahouses and restaurants grew up around the shrine. Customers liked to gather for long conversations at the teahouses, to enjoy the fine view of the city. In time, these teahouses became popular meeting places for teachers, students, academics and artists. They would hold meetings where they would eat, study, discuss important issues, play shogi (Japanese chess) and enjoy the wonderful view.

However, our destination today is not Yushima, which is several minutes walk from the Kanda River, but a smaller hill much closer to the river, known as Shoheizaka. This hill is named after the area where Confucius was born, and it gets its name because it is the main center of Confucian learning and education in Edo. The hill is covered by a cluster of large buildings that house Edo's main gakumonsho (school district). At the center of the district is the official government daigaku (university) established by the first shogun and run by the Hayashi family, who are the hereditary leaders of this university.

Shortly after Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun, in 1603, he convinced a well-known Confucian scholar from Kyoto, named Hayashi Rinzan (Hayashi Razan), to move to Edo and become one of his main advisors. He needed a very intelligent individual who knew a great deal about government and social structure, and Rinzan was just the man. He helped Ieyasu design the structure for his bakufu government, and develop a set of laws to govern the country. Rinzan built his home in the area near Yushima shrine, and when he was not advising the shogun he gave lectures and tutored the children of leading daimyo and other top government officials.

Many years passed and Rinzan was no longer as busy helping the shogun plan government policy. However, demand for his tutoring continued to increase, so at last he decided to ask the shogun if he could set up his own private school, so he could offer more formal classes. When Ieyasu heard of this plan, he immediately commissioned Rinzan to set up an official government university, to serve all of the samurai families in Edo. He made Hayashi Rinzan the daigaku-no-kashira (head of the university) and decreed that Rinzan's descendants would always inherit this position.

Education is considered very important in Japan. Even farmers in rural areas send their children to the local Buddhist temples to study, or have tutors visit. In the urban areas, well over 90% of the population can read and write. The Buddhist temples across the country play an important role in education. Most Buddhist scriptures are written in Chinese, so in order to understand them, Buddhist monks and priests must study both Japanese and Chinese for many years. Buddhist scholars often travel to China to study, and they bring back many Chinese documents -- not only religious texts, but also books on literature, history, philosophy and so on. For this reason, most Buddhist temples have become centers of knowledge and education. In fact, Hayashi Rinzan was a Buddhist monk before he came to Edo to become Tokugawa Ieyasu's advisor

Ieyasu ordered Hayashi Rinzan to establish a large school that would be open to all children of the samurai class. The working-class people continued to get their education from monks and lay-teachers at the local temples, but Rinzan's new school was to be the main center of learning for the upper classes. Rinzan built the first gakumonsho near his home. It consisted of separate classes for different studies, such as writing, literature, poetry, history, government, and so on. The school was a big success, and it continued to grow steadily.

After Rinzan died, the school was taken over by his son, Hayashi Gaho, who developed a set of courses in different subjects, and who continued to build the reputation of the school. He was succeeded by his son, Hayashi Hoko, who many consider the most influential of all the daigaku-no-kashira. The fifth shogun , Tsunayoshi, was a private student of Hoko, and his early years as a student had a great impression on him. Tsunayoshi was not very athletic, but he loved reading and education. After he became shogun , he tried to repay his old teacher by paying to expand the school that Hayashi Rinzan had founded. In 1691, the shogun set aside a large area of land in Yushima to build larger and more suitable buildings where students could come to study. The area was named Shoheizaka (Shohei hill ) after the place where Confucius was born.

Tsunayoshi believed that education should be available to all people of Edo, so he decreed that the school should be open not only to samurai, but also to lower-class people such as merchants, artisans and farmers, as long as they could afford to pay the school fees. In practice, though, only a few rich merchants were able to send their children to this school. Still, the public lectures held each morning are often attended by commoners, and Yoshitsuna and later shoguns contributed funds to help expand the temple schools (tera-koya ), where the majority of lower-class people get their education.

Today, the gakumonsho is run by the great-grandson of Hayashi Rinzan. Although it has lost some of its influence, and it is no longer quite as open to students from the lower classes, it remains the most important school in Edo -- and probably in all of Japan. There are no grades in the gakumonsho; young and old students attend classes together, though in most of the classes they are separated according to ability. New students start out in courses that teach reading and writing. Younger instructors work with the students one-on-one, teaching them to read and write. At first, the students simply recite the pronunciation of characters and practice writing them. Depending on how quickly the student learns, this phase of study can take anywhere from a few months to two years. There are thousands of characters to learn, and the student must study very hard to learn them all.

After they have developed acceptable reading and writing skills, the students enter classes in reading, literature and mathematics. These classes usually have a few dozen students, and they take turns reading out loud from translations of some of the Chinese Classics, or from famous works of Japanese literature. This not only gives students a basic knowledge of the most important books, but it also helps them improve their reading and comprehension.

The higher-level classes are broken down by subject; for example, students may study history, government, poetry, literature or some other topic. In these classes, the teacher's role is mainly just a moderator. Students debate and discuss with one another the meaning and interpretation of various classic books. A passage will be selected and one student will give a speech explaining their intrepretation. Their classmates will listen, then debate the various interpretations with one another. The teacher may offer suggestions to get the discussion going, but will usually just listen as the students debate. Later, the teacher will give a lecture (often at one of the morning public lectures) and provide their own interpretation of the passage. This method helps the students improve their understanding as well as their debate and discussion skills.

The instruction at tera-koya (temple schools) is similar to that at the gakumonsho, but very few students pass beyond the first two stages, which teach reading, writing, literature and mathematics. Math skills are particularly important for merchant families, and nearly everyone learns how to use a soroban (abacus) in their first year at school. Although boys and girls are kept in separate classes at the tera-koya schools, girls receive nearly the same type of instruction as the boys. At some schools, girls make up nearly half of the total number of students.
This is much more than in rural areas, where girls tend to go to school for only a few years.
- source : Edomatsu

. Shooheizaka Gakumonjo 昌平坂学問所 Shoheizaka Gakumonjo .
and other gakumonjo 学問所 Academies of Higher Learning in the Edo period

. Hayashi Razan 林羅山 (1583-1657) . - Confucian Scholar

. Ochanomizu 御茶ノ水 / 御茶の水 / お茶之水 / 御茶ノ水 .


- quote 聖橋 Hijiribashi -
A bridge connecting sanctuaries
Hijiri-bashi Bridge is a modern arch bridge on the Kanda River. The grand arch is a Tokyo landmark and is the model for the Otonashi-bashi Bridge in Takinogawa, Kita City.
The bridge may not be sacred, but it has got saintly connections as it connects two sanctuaries. In the north is The Mausoleum of Confucious at Yushima, a former training center for bureaucrats of the Tokugawa shogunate; and on the south is the Byzantine-style Holy Resurrection Cathedral — a designated Important Cultural Property of Japan.
- source : gotokyo.org/en ..



. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

. Enmanji 湯島円満寺 temple Yushima Enman-Ji .
1 Chome-6-2 Yushima, Bunkyō
kimi 鬼魅 demon monsters / dakatsu (jakatsu) 蛇蝎 snakes and scorpions
On the 8th day of the 9th lunar month in 1820, there was a strong typhoon. A large tree fell down and two people died below it.
During such a strong wind, people think that demons, snakes and scorpions ride in the sky. Sometimes even if there is no wind, when they ride the sky things may fall down.

. neko 猫 / ねこ と伝説 Legends about cats, Katzen .
neko 猫 cat
At a 煎餅屋 Mochi rice cake store in front of Enman-Ji, a large cat came every night and ate many things. So the shop owner caught it, killed it and asked his wife to dispose of the dead body. After his wife came back, she changed in strange ways, scratched the face of her husband, made movements like a cat. The husband called the neighbours to help him catch and bind the woman. There she begun to cry ニャアニャアワウワウ nyanyaaaa like a cat. She put her head into the bowl of food and liked fish best - just like a cat!


. Rinshōin 湯島麟祥院 Temple Yushima Rinsho-In .
4 Chome-1-8 Yushima, Bunkyo, Tokyo
麟祥 rinsho is an auspicious name according to Chinese Buddhism.
a Zen-temple near Yushima Tenmangu.

suzume ikusa 雀戦 fight of the sparrows
In 1832 onf the 6th to 10th day of the 8th lunar month, in the nearby forest of the forest, there lived more than 4000 sparrows.
They started to get in a fierce fight and even eat each other.


- - - - - H A I K U and S E N R Y U - - - - -

saruame no Yushima no Miya no shichi go san

the Shichi-Go-San festival
at Yushima Shrine
with Monkey Sweets

Tr. Gabi Greve

. Mizuhara Shūōshi 水原秋櫻子 Mizuhara Suoshi (1892-1981) .

. shichi go san 七五三 "seven five three" ritual .
- - kigo for early winter - -


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. Kanda 神田 Kanda district  .

. Bunkyō 文京区 Bunkyo ward, "Literature Capital" .

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .

. Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

- - - - - #yushima #edobakufu #yushimatenjin - - - -

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