11/02/2017

Kameido district

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. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
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Kameido choo 亀戸町 Kemeido, Kame-Ido "Turtle Well"
Kōtō 江東区 Kōtō-ku, Koto, "East of River" - there are 45 districts in Koto, one of them is Kameido.



The water of the old 亀戸村 Kemeido village in Edo was very good, and the place with its many wells 井戸 used to be called 亀ヶ井, then written 亀井戸 and finally shortened to 亀戸.

Near the Tenjin Shrine in Kameido 亀戸天神宮 there is a Heart Pond, which is famous for its turtles and plum blossoms, but also the wisteria later in the year.


Garyoobai 臥龍梅 Plum tree - 広重 Hiroshige

- reference : kameido garyobai plum -


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. Honjo 本所 Honjo district .
On the fringe of these vast stretches of farmland, in the green and pleasant districts neighboring Honjo, are many famous sightseeing spots that are popular with samurai and townspeople alike. Immediately to the east of the main residential area, a five or ten minute boat ride down Tatekawa canal, is the Kameido Tenjin shrine.
This shrine is dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, the god of knowledge, and many students come here to pray before taking their exams. However, that is not the main attraction of the temple. On the banks of a large reflecting pond in front of the temple are hundreds of wisteria vines, which have been carefully tended over hundreds of years, growing on trellises that hang over the still green water of the pond. In late May, when the wisteria are in full bloom, the entire area is a sea of purple blossoms. The long, dangling wisteria blooms reflected in the greenish water make a very picturesque topic for artists; some of the most famous ukiyoe prints depict the gardens at Kameido Tenjin.
Incidentally, Kameido literally means "turtle well". As the name suggests, the pond at Kameido Tenjin is filled with hundreds of turtles, though the temple has been around for so long that no one is sure whether the temple was named after the turtles in this pond, or whether the pond was built to match the name of the temple.


亀戸天神社 Shrine Kameido Tenjinsha






The Bullfinch from shrine Kameido Tenjin - uso kae 鷽替え 亀戸

. Usokae shinji : Bullfinch-exchanging ritual .



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Helen Hyde

. Wisteria at Kameido 亀戸の藤.

kono fuji wa hayaku sakitari Kameido no
fuji sakamaku wa tooka mari nochi

these wisteria
have bloomed early...
the blossoming of
those at Kameido will be
more than ten days later


Tanka by Masaoka Shiki
Tr. Janine Beichman


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. Kobayashi Issa .

心の字に水も流れて梅の花
shin no ji ni mizu mo nagarete ume no hana

water flowing over
the word "heart"...
plum blossoms


More literally, "water also is flowing/ over the word heart..." The mo ("also") suggests that the water is flowing over other things as well, not mentioned. In one text, the poem has the headnote, "Offering at Tenshin Shrine."

This suggests to Robin D. Gill that the character for "heart" may be carved on a stone that is somehow positioned so that water flows over it. The water might be the purifying well water with which people who enter the shrine wash their hands and mouths, flowing into a drain channel containing the carved "heart," or perhaps a stream is flowing through the area, over an engraved stone. Either way, Issa juxtaposes flowing water, the word "heart," and plum blossoms. The deep connection between these three elements of the poem is only hinted at.
Tr. and Comment : David Lanoue

Near the Tenshin Shrine in Kameido (Edo) 「亀戸天神宮」there is a Heart Pond, which is famous for its plum blossoms, but also the wisteria (fuji) later in the year. The shrine is also called: Kameido Tenman Gu.




亀戸天神境内 - 広重 Hiroshige


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. Edo dentoo yasai 江戸伝統野菜 Traditional vegetables of Edo .



Kameido Daikon 亀戸大根 large radish from Kameido
The Kameido daikon, despite its name, is not to be found anywhere in Kameido.
Initially grown as the local radish of the Kameido area during the Bunkyu era, its production was moved out of town more than a century ago. Its pale color and small, carrot-like shape earned it such endearing names as okame daikon and otafuku daikon, both of which refer to a traditional mask of a white-faced woman having a prominent forehead, puffed cheeks, and a small nose. Sown in the fall and harvested in early spring, it quickly came to be widely cultivated as a precious winter vegetable. But with the wave of urbanization set off by the opening of a local train station in 1904, farmlands soon disappeared from Kameido.
The Kameido daikon found a new home in Takasago, Katsushika Ward, eight kilometers to the northwest.


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Kameido Jiken 亀戸事件 Kameido Incident
- quote -
The Kameido incident took place in 1923 in the aftermath of the Great Kantō earthquake.
On September 1, 1923, the Great Kantō earthquake struck Tokyo and Yokohama and martial law was imposed in the aftermath of the earthquake.
On the evening of September 3, the Kameido police in Tokyo began arresting known social activists, suspecting that they would "spread disorder or forment revolution amid the confusion". During the mass arrests, police arrested union leader Hirasawa Keishichi, and Nakatsuji Uhachi, a member of the Pure Laborers' Union. The Special Higher Police arrest seven members of the Nankatsu Labor Association. Army troops detained an eighth member of the association, Sato Kinji.
Between late at night on September 3 and September 5,
troops of the 13th Cavalry Regiment on emergency duty in Kameido shot and decapitated Hirasawa and nine others. They disposed of the bodies, together with those of Korean and Chinese massacre victims, along the banks of the Arakawa drainage canal. The police issued an official notice on October 14, claiming that troops had shot the men because they were agitating prisoners. The following year, the Liberal Lawyers' Association and union leaders worked to bring the facts to light and establish responsibility, with partial success. Police claimed to have cremated the remains of the victims. With no remains to bury, a memorial service was held in February 1924.
- List of Victims of the Kameido Incident
- source : wikipedia -



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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

In 1727 around the New Year,
there was a hikari mono 光物 strange light coming from the forest of the Shrine 香取明神社 Katori Myojinsha, located East of 亀戸天神社 Kameiod Tenjinsha.
And soon later, with a loud screeching sound, 神木の松の木 the sacred pine tree fell down. In its branches was a white 御幣 ritual wand.
Soon there was a rumor that this was 常陸国の安馬大明神 the Deity from a Shrine in Hitachi province, who had come for a visit.


In 1785 from the 3rd day till the 9th day of the 6th lunar month
there was a rain ritual and 歌会 poetry reading performed at Kameido Tenjin. While the ritual lasted, it was raining, but after that it stopped to rain.
So on the next day, only the first part of a poem was read and rain started.
On the 11th day the second part of the poem was read and the rain stopped.

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- reference : nichibun yokai database -

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

亀戸の湯屋のけむりや初天神
Kameido no yuya no kemuri ya hatsu tenjin

smoke of
the public bath in Kameido -
first Tenjin ceremony

Tr. Gabi Greve

加藤松薫 Kato Shoku

. Sugawara Michizane 菅原道真 .
Hatsu Tenjin 初天神 First visit to a Tenjin Shrine
- - kigo for the New Year - -


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. Kōtō 江東区 Koto ward, "East River" .

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

. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

. Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu poems in Edo .

. Japanese Architecture - Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


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