11/10/2017

Himonya district

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. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
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Himonya 碑文谷 Himonya district

This is a very old district, dating back to the Muromachi period, when it was called
Himonoyoya 檜物屋 District of woodworkers with Japanese cypress
Now part of 目黒区 Meguro Ward.
Its name is a kind of pun with the sound and meaning of himon (hibun) 碑文 meaning "inscription on a stone".



Many woodworkers lived there.
. himonoshi 檜物師 "artisan making things from Hinoki cypress wood" .
also called magemonoshi 曲物師 craftsmen of bentwood products
kurimono 刳物 "bent things"
Himonoshi craftsmen also lived in
Himonochoo 檜物町 / 檜物丁 Himono Cho District in Edo
close to Nihonbashi - 東京都中央区八重洲一丁目 / 1 Chome Yaesu, Chūō ward


. hinoki 檜 or 桧 Japanese cypress .
Chamaecyparis obtusa


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碑文谷八幡宮 Himonya Hachimangu
目黒区碑文谷三丁目7番3号 / 3 Chome-7-3 Himonya, Meguro



The Shrine dates back to the Kamakura period and has thus a long history. Hatakeyama Shigetada 畠山重忠 (1164 - 1205), a vassal of Minamoto no Yoritomo, came to this shrine to pray for victory in war.
A vassal of Hatakeyama, 榛沢六郎 Hanzawa Rokuro, built a sanctuary for Inari 稲荷社 with a himon seki 碑文石 stone inscription of the name of Himonya 碑文谷.
The stone is 75 cm high, 45 cm wide and 10 cm thick. It was made in the Muromachi period.



In the middle is the Sanscrit letter for 大日如来 Dainichi Nyorai, on the left 勢至菩薩 Seishi Bosatsu and on the right 観音菩薩 Kannon Bosatsu.

Some say the name of Himonya derives from the 碑文 Himon (Hibun) inscription of this stone.

The original 社殿 Shaden Hall was erected in 1674 and rebuilt in 1872. In 1877 it was again refurbished.
The shrine also has a famous 神楽殿 Kagura-Den for Kagura dance performances.
With the separation of Buddhism and Shintoism, part of it became the temple 円融寺 Enyu-Ji (former 法華寺 Hokke-Ji).
The compound is famous for a long row of cherry trees from the first to the second Torii gate.

Sakura matsuri 桜まつり Cherry Blossom Festival during the season.
The main Shrine festival is in Mid-September.

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目黒の筍 bamboo shoots from Meguro
They were grown in the 碑文谷村 Himonya village since 1772.
After visiting the famous Meguro Fudo Temple, people would come here to buy the vegetables.



. Edo Yasai 江戸伝統野菜 Traditional vegetables from Edo .


. Meguro Fudo Temple 目黒不動尊 .
天台宗 泰叡山 瀧泉寺


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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

wara no ryuu 藁の龍 dragon from straw
碑文谷八幡宮 Himonya Hachimangu

Sometimes at the Torii gate of the shrine appeared a large straw rope. looking like a dragon with its tail on the ground.
It is said to be a huge serpent from Mount Fuji coming to protect the Shrine from fire.
In times of drought, people came here for rain rituals.



A Torii gate with a straw rope of a dragon/ snake at shrine
Okusawa Jinja 奥澤神社
東京都世田谷区奥沢五丁目22番1号 / 5 Chome-22-1 Okusawa, Setagaya
The shrine is related to Himonya Shrine.

Okusawa shrine is a quiet emerald in a simple neighborhood, only a few stops from Meguro station on the Yamanote Line. Built during the Edo Period, a huge snake made of straw lies guarding its entrance, wrapped heavily around the stone torii gate. Walk under this, and past the burly protective shisa lion-dogs, and the world behind you falls away.
... To the left behind Okusawa shrine is a little hollow. A tree stands tall, surrounded by low benches. A bamboo fountain bleeds water into another basin, which flows in turn into a shallow moat that runs around the main shrine. Here is another altar – the Cave of the Dragon – which is said to provide the snake at the entrance with its serpentine spine.
Other small figures are hidden in the plants, all in the name of different spirits and gods.
- source : voyapon.com/tokyo-okusawa-shrine -

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Himonya Nio 碑文谷仁王
The Korean statue carver 安阿弥 Annami made the Nio Statues of the temple 妙光山法華寺 Myokozan Hokkeji in the old village of
Bushu, Ebara district, Himonya village 武州荏原郡碑文谷村.
In 1772 Annami became ill when he was about 25 years old and prayed for healing in the hall for many days. On the last day of his vow - indeed - his illness was healed.




碑文谷 法華寺 
(江戸名所図会 Edo Meisho Zue)

On the left side is the inscription 八まん Hachiman - short for 碑文谷八幡宮 Himonya Hachimangu.
Hokke-Ji was built in the Heian period by 天台宗 the Tendai sect. During the Kamakura period it belonged to the 日蓮宗 Nichiren sect and in the middle of the Edo period it came back to the Tendai sect. At the end of the Edo period it was re-named 円融寺 Enryu-Ji.


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- reference : nichibun yokai database -


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. 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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- - - - - #himonya #hibun - - - -
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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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. 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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- - - - - #kameido #tenjin #tenmangu #wisteria - - - -
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10/20/2017

Sashigaya Koishikawa

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. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
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Sashigaya 指ヶ谷 / さしがや in Koishikawa
- 指ヶ谷町 Sashigaya-choo


Koishikawa 小石川, District within Bunkyo, Tokyo. - see below

- quote -
Scenography and the city form
Tokyo is based upon an ortography of seven hills and five corresponding valleys, the intersection of which necessitated specific responses in spatial planning and gave the city its physical form.
The seven hills include the highlands of Ueno, Hongo, Koishikawa-Mejiro, Ushigome, Yotsuya-Kojimachi, Akasaka-Azabu, and Shiba-Shirogane.
The valleys of Sendai-Shinobazu, Sashigaya, Hirakawa, Tameike, and Furukawa weave in-between the highlands, giving the city a bi-fold distinction.
- source : architokyo.wordpress.com/empty-centre-symbolism... -

The old name of Sashigaya was lost in 1966 and is now incorporated as
白山 Hakusan with 5 sub-districts. The Hakusan Shrine is in the 5th district.



Once the 3rd Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu was hunting with hawks in the hills of this area, a wilderness of sorts. When the hawk was set free, it flew away in great speed. Iemitsu tried hard to follow it and saw it disappear in a valley. He stretched out (sashi) his finger and called "this valley, this valley" (ya).
Hence the name of the valley was born "finger-pointing valley".
And soon after, around 1634, farmers settled in the valley. In 1747 the growing village was put under the jurisdiction of the Machi Bugyo Magistrate.




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「段彩陰影図 / 小石川2」  
中央で二つの谷筋が合流している付近が指谷で、岬状に突き出す台地の先に白山神社が祀られています。なお、オレンジ線は区境ですが、大半が文京区です。

白山下交差点  
正面が小石川台に上る蓮華寺坂、右手手前が白山坂、左手手前が浄心寺坂でいずれも本郷台に上ります。江戸時代には五差路でしたが、明治末に旧白山通りが開通し、六差路になりました。  

浄心寺坂  → 「
江戸名所図会 / 丸山浄心寺」にも描かれており、坂の中腹にある浄心寺からのネーミングです。坂下の左手には千川屋敷がありました。右手には八百屋お七の墓所のある円城寺が現存しています。
- reference source : blog.goo.ne.jp/kawawalk... -


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a square manhole
- detailed walk and photos from modern Sashigaya and Hakusan-doori 白山通り
- reference source : ankyoneko.exblog.jp... -


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Katsushika Hokusai 礫川雪ノ旦/小石川雪ノ旦
snow at the tea house in Koishikawa

Koishikawa (小石川) is a locality within Bunkyo, Tokyo.
It is located nearby with the same name are two well regarded gardens: the Koishikawa Botanical Garden (related to Tokyo University) in Hakusan, and the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden in Korakuen.

Koishikawa Garden
The construction was started in 1629 by Tokugawa Yorifusa, the daimyo (feudal lord) of Mito domain, and was completed by his successor, Tokugawa Mitsukuni.

Mitsukuni named this garden "Kōraku-en"
(Kōraku means "enjoying afterwards") after a Chinese teaching of "a governor should worry before people and enjoy after people". The garden shows strong Chinese character in its design, as it was influenced by the West Lake of Hangzhou.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. Koishikawa Denzu-In, Dentsu-in, Dentsuin 小石川伝通院 .

. Koishikawa 小石川養生所 Koishikawa Yojosho Hospital .

. Matsuo Basho in Koishikawa 松尾芭蕉 小石川 .


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- - - - - Hakusan 白山
A part of Old Edo with the atmosphere of Shitamachi. The name "White Mountain", refers to the Shrine located in this district.


小石川白山権現社 Koishikawa Hakusan Gongen Sha
東京都文京区白山五丁目31番26号 / 5 Chome-31-26 Hakusan, Bunkyō-ku, Tōkyō
『江戸名所図会』Edo Meisho Zue

This shrine was under the patronage of the Edo Bakufu government. The second Shogun Hidetada moved the Shrine from 本郷一丁目 Hongo first district to its present location near the 御薬園 Go-Yakuen Garden for medicinal herbs, part of the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens.


Hakusan Jinja 白山神社 Hakusan Gongen 白山権現社

. 東京十社 Tokyo Jissha - ten important shrines of Tokyo .

. Hakusan shrines 白山神社 in Japan - Introduction .


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- Hiroshige 広重

白山傾城か窪 Hakusan Keijogakubo
Hakusan-jinya Shrine, which is also the origin of the area name, was an enshrinement of Kaga Hakusan's Hakusan-jinja Shrine and the village shrine for Koishikawa. The shrine flourished as the major shrine for worship of Hakusan in Edo. T
he Hakusan-jinja Shrine was relocated to its present position when 5代将軍綱吉 the 5th Shogun Tsunayoshi was the head of the Tatebayashi Clan, and the Koishikawa Goten (a stately mansion at Koishikawa, also known as Hakusan Goten) was constructed at the site of the ruins. The mansion drew water from the Sen-kawa River and was surrounded by a moat and was said to have been a very picturesque site.
After the death of Tsunayoshi, the residence was abandoned, and in 貞享年間 the Jokyo Era (1684-88), the 小石川薬園 Koishikawa Yakuen (a garden for medicinal herbs) was established on the site. At present the site is The University of Tokyo affiliated 小石川植物園 Koishikawa Botanical Gardens.
The Nakasendo Highway branch off of the Nikko Highway at 駒込追分 Komagome-Oiwake passed through Hakusan, and the area was commonly called 鶏声ヶ窪(傾城ヶ窪) Kaiseigakubo. It is said this is because the sound of a bird crying was heard every morning in 下総古河藩下屋敷 the Shimosa Koga Clan villa, and when the location the bird cry was heard from was dug up, 金の鶏 a golden rooster was found.
- source : ndl.go.jp/landmarks... -

. kinkei 金鶏と伝説 Legends about the golden rooster .


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the tomb of 八百屋お七 Yaoya Oshichi



. Yaoya no O-Shichi Greengrocer's Daughter Oshichi .
and the Big Fire in Tenna' or 'Oshichi-fire'.


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- quote -
Yukio Ozaki 尾崎行雄 Ozaki Yukio
(December 24, 1859 – October 6, 1954) was a liberal Japanese politician, born in modern-day Sagamihara, Kanagawa. Ozaki served in the House of Representatives of the Japanese Diet for 63 years (1890–1953). He is still revered in Japan as the "God of constitutional politics" and the "father of the Japanese Constitution."
..... Yukio and his brother Yukitaka went to the United States in 1888 but Ozaki could not endure the temperature extremes and could not sleep in the heat of New York City and Washington, D.C. He sailed back to Japan via England and was then elected to his first term in the Japanese Imperial Diet. .....
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

When he returned to Japan, he took up residence in Sashigaya in Tokyo's Koishikawa district


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. 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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[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]
- - - - - #sashigaya #koishikawasashigaya #hakusan #hakusangongen #koishikawa - - - -
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10/06/2017

Akasaka district

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Akasaka 赤坂 "the red slope" district



1. HIE SHRINE
2. NATIONAL DIET BUILDING
3. NATIONAL DIET LIBRARY
4. SUNTORY MUSEUM OF ART
5. THE NATIONAL THEATER
The station area of Akasaka is full of offices and during the day it is busy with salarimen running about, but in the evening it relaxes and becomes a nightlife area of narrow streets with pubs and restaurants. It's not really a tourist area, but there are some things to check out in the nearby vicinity.
- source : tokyopocketguide.com/tokyo/akasaka -

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- quote
a residential and commercial district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan, located west of the government center in Nagatachō and north of the Roppongi nightlife district.
Akasaka (including the neighboring area of Aoyama) was a ward of Tokyo City from 1878 to 1947, and maintains a branch office of the Minato City government.
Hikawa Shrine
Nogi Shrine
Takahashi Korekiyo's residence and memorial park
- - - - - In neighbouring Moto-Akasaka (literally "original Akasaka") to the North:
Akasaka Palace (State Guest House)
Togu Palace Residence of the Crown Prince of Japan
- more in the wikipedia

There are many sub-districts in Akasaka
Akasaka 1 to 9, 赤坂一丁目 to 赤坂九丁目 / 元赤坂町 Moto-Asakusa

一ツ木町(赤坂一ツ木町)Hitotsugi (see below)
葵町(赤坂葵町)Akasaka Aoi
台町(赤坂台町)Akasaka Daimachi
桧町(赤坂桧町)Akasaka Hinoki
表町(赤坂表町)Akasaka Omotecho
新町(赤坂新町)Akasaka Shinmachi
田町(赤坂田町)Akasaka Tamachi
榎坂町(赤坂榎坂町)
新坂町(赤坂新坂町)
溜池町(赤坂溜池町)
丹後町(赤坂丹後町)
伝馬町(赤坂伝馬町)
中ノ町(赤坂中ノ町)
氷川町(赤坂氷川町)
福吉町(赤坂福吉町)
霊南坂町(赤坂霊南坂町)
青山権田原町(赤坂青山権田原町)
青山六軒町(赤坂青山六軒町)

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. Hikawa Jinja 氷川神社 Akasaka 赤坂 .
東京都港区赤坂6-10-12

. Nogi Jinja 乃木神社 .
8 Chome-11-27 Akasaka

. Akasaka Mitsuke 赤坂見附 .
and the 弁慶濠 Benkei Moat

. Akasaka Tameike 赤坂溜池 Akasaka Pool .


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- quote -
Minato-ku, Akasaka
The general name for the area around Akasaka-mon Gate. There are many theories on the origin of the area's name, including that it was a saka (Kinokuni-zaka Hill) which lead to Akaneyama (the land of the Kii Tokugawa residence, which was once said to have produced akane (Japanese madder)) and that it was a place with a red dirt hill.


Kinokuni-zaka akasaka tameike enkei 紀の国坂赤坂溜池遠景 - Hiroshige 広重

From the early Edo Period, a large number of Daimyo (feudal lords) residences and homes of vassals of the shogun, and thus surrounded by the homes of the samurai class, the area formed into a region with many tradesmen and merchant homes and temples.


Akasaka kiribatake 赤坂桐畑 - Hiroshige 広重

Nishiki-e often pictured fields of kiri paulownia trees and Kinokuni-zaka Hill (so named as it was along the side of the Kii Tokugawa residence). Paulownia trees were planted as reinforcement for the cisterns as they are fast growing trees.
- source : National Diet Library -

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Akasaka hitotsugi choo 赤坂一木町 / 一ツ木町
The original spelling was hito-tsugi 人継 "relay of people",
since the hamlet was located on an exit road of Edo and horses and porters were on relay station here.
Now the spelling is hitotsu-gi 一ツ木 "one tree".
The hamlet was written 人継村, later一木村, Hitotsugi Village.

The name was lost in 1966, when the district was incorporated to Akasaka 4 and 5 赤坂四丁目と赤坂五丁目.


The 一ツ木通り Hitotsugi Street is still seen today.

When Tokugawa Ieyasu begun to live in Edo in 1590, he had about 140 people from 伊賀 Iga come to live here and attend to his hawking tours.

Around 1696, the residence of the city magistrate 大岡忠相 Oka Tadasuke Echizen no Kami was located here. The 豊川稲荷 Toyokawa Inari Shrine in the compound is still there now.
More townspeople came to live here,
including craftsmen making containers for tea and tobacco, geta 下駄 sandals and 筆 writing pens.

. Ōoka Tadasuke 大岡忠相 Oka Echizen 大岡越前 .
(1677 – 1752)

Before the war, it was the location of 近衛歩兵第二旅団司令部 the Konoe Shidan imperial guard.


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. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

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

. 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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8/06/2017

Iidamachi district

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. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
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Iidamachi, Iida-machi 飯田町 Iidamachi district and Kudanzaka

This district got its name during the time of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
In 1590, when Ieyasu inspected the area around his new residence in Edo, he found that in this area there lived only 17 farming families.
The head of one of them was 飯田喜兵衛 Iida Kihei,
who served as guide for Ieyasu. Kihei knew all the details of the area and could answer to all the questions of Ieyasu, so he was made headman of the area, and Ieyasu gave it his name, Iida-machi.


Iidamachi was later part of the Shitamachi downtown districts for the townspeople. One hill above it was called
飯田町中坂 Iidamachi Nakazaka



There was also the slope Kudanzaka 九段坂 on the hillside, which was called 飯田坂Iidazaka before the settlement of the nine sub-slopes.

The river along its borders was 飯田川 Iidagawa, with a bridge called 俎橋 Manaitabashi (lit. Chopping Board Bridge). The Manaita area was a busy river port, with a lot of food landing here.
Many people working for the kitchen of the Shogun (賄方 makanaikata) lived here.
The district was even jokingly called 台所町 Daidokoro-cho, "Kitchen district".


千代田村があって14軒の中の1軒が飯田喜兵衛 Home of Iida Kihei in Chiyoda-mura village

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. Iidabashi 飯田橋 Iidabashi Bridge .



Iidabashi Station (飯田橋駅 Iidabashi-eki)
is a major interchange railway station which straddles Tokyo's Chiyoda, Shinjuku and Bunkyō wards. It was originally built as Iidamachi Station (albeit in a slightly different location), terminus of the then Kobu railway, precursor to today's Chūō Line.

Iidamachi Station (飯田町駅 Iidamachi-eki)
was a railway station on the Chūō Main Line located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan.
Iidamachi Station was operated by Kōbu Railway, Japanese Government Railways, Japanese National Railways and Japan Freight Railway Company (JR Freight). Its location was 0.5 km from Suidōbashi Station and 0.4 km from Iidabashi Station.
The station was built in 1895 as the terminal of the Kōbu Railway, a predecessor of the present Chūō Main Line. It ceased to serve passengers in 1933, but continued to serve freight until 1997. - March 9, 1999 - Station officially closes.
After the closure, the site of the station was redeveloped and became a business district named I-Garden Air. One of the buildings in the area is the headquarters of JR Freight.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !





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Kudanzaka 九段坂 Kusansaka, Kudan slope


九段坂 - 牛ヶ淵 Kudanzaka Ushigabuchi
Utagawa, Hiroshige




東京名所 九段さかの灯籠 Kudanzaka Lighthouse (Kudanzaka tôrô)
広重、安藤徳兵エ Hiroshige III, Ando Tokobei

東京名所 Tokyo meisho
- source : mfa.org/collections -


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- quote
... luxury is said to have been prodigious when Tanuma Okitsugu was in power, but the commoners were still quite plainly dressed, as may be seen from the fact that among the inhabitants of Iidamachi Edo there was only a single person who possessed a haori (coat) and this gentleman was so afraid of gossip that he never put on the haori until out of sight of his neighbours.
----- The Economic Aspects of the History of the Civilization of Japan
By Yosaburō Takekoshi
- source : books.google.co.jp/books

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In the Nakazaka district lived the famous writer
. Takizawa Bakin 滝沢馬琴 / Kyokutei Bakin 曲亭馬琴 . (1767 - 1848)


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. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

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

. Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

. Japanese Architecture - Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


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7/26/2017

Matsugae district

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. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
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Matsugaechoo 松枝町 / 松ヶ枝町 Matsugae-Cho district

In 大奥 Ōoku, the Women's quarters of the Edo castle lived an Elder Lady named 松ヶ枝 Matsugae.
In 1705, when she retired, this district was given to her to live.



Nearby is the pond Otamagaike お玉ヶ池 and Otama Inari Shrine お玉稲荷. 
During the middle ages, this area was along the highway to Oshu, and there was a beautiful woman named Tama who served tea to travelers near the reservoir. 2 men proposed marriage to Tama, however she could not decide between them and drowned herself in the reservoir. It is said the village people dedicated the small shrine to Tama's spirit.
. Kanda Konyachō 神田紺屋町 Konya-Cho district .


source : saurus.coolpage.jp/Walking-Kanda...

Otama Inari Shrine お玉稲荷 

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. Medicine in Edo .

Itoo Genboku 伊藤玄朴 Ito Genboku
(1801 – 1871)



He was born in Saga prefecture in 神埼仁比山 Kanzaki Niiyama.
A doctor and surgeon who had studied with Siebold. He lived in Matsugae district.
He was the first to use a cowpox vaccine.




- quote -
Tomb of Ito Genboku
Ito Genboku was a physician of Dutch medicine at the end of the Edo Period. He was born into an agricultural family from what is now Saga Prefecture in 1800. Wishing to become a doctor, he translated from the Dutch language and studied Western medicine under the German physician Philipp Franz von Siebold in Nagasaki.
He began his practice in Edo (present day Tokyo) in 1828 and, in 1831, became an official physician of the Saga Domain. From 1833, he began to receive many students and visitors at his residence-cum-school known as the Shosen-do located on Shitaya Izumibashi Street.
The central focus of his endeavors came to be the foundation of the first inoculation center in Edo. Built in 1858 in Kanda Otamagaike, it was relocated the following year in Ito's neighborhood on Shitaya Izumibashi Street. In 1860, the Bakufu government took over direct control of the center, renamed it the Seiyo Igaku sho (Institute of Western Medicine), and appointed Genboku in charge of its management. After the transition from Tokugawa rule to the Meiji State in 1868, the institute served as the predecessor of what is now
the University of Tokyo School of Medical Science.


In 1871 Ito Genboku died at the age of 72 and was buried here at Tenryu-in Temple.
- source : taito-culture.jp/city... -


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Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold  フィリップ・フランツ・バルタザール・フォン・シーボルト
(1796 – 1866)
a German physician, botanist, and traveler. He achieved prominence by his studies of Japanese flora and fauna and the introduction of Western medicine in Japan. He was the father of the first female Japanese doctor, Kusumoto Ine.


- Arrival in Japan
On 28 June 1823, after only a few months in the Dutch East Indies, Siebold was posted as resident physician and scientist to Dejima, a small artificial island and trading post at Nagasaki, and arrived there on 11 August 1823. During an eventful voyage to Japan he only just escaped drowning during a typhoon in the East China Sea. As only a very small number of Dutch personnel were allowed to live on this island, the posts of physician and scientist had to be combined. Dejima had been in the possession of the Dutch East India Company (known as the VOC) since the 17th century, but the Company had gone bankrupt in 1798, after which a trading post was operated there by the Dutch state for political considerations, with notable benefits to the Japanese. ...
... In 1824, Siebold started a medical school in Nagasaki, the Narutaki-juku, that grew into a meeting place for around fifty students. They helped him in his botanical and naturalistic studies. The Dutch language became the lingua franca (common spoken language) for these academic and scholarly contacts for a generation, until the Meiji Restoration.
- Japanese family
During his stay in Japan, Siebold "lived together" with Kusumoto Taki (楠本滝), who gave birth to their daughter Kusumoto (O-)Ine in 1827. Siebold used to call his wife "Otakusa" (probably derived from O-Taki-san) and named a Hydrangea after her. Kusumoto Ine eventually became the first Japanese woman known to have received a physician's training and became a highly regarded practicing physician and court physician to the Empress in 1882. She died at court in 1903.
... Siebold Incident
In 1826 Siebold made the court journey to Edo. During this long trip he collected many plants and animals. But he also obtained from the court astronomer Takahashi Kageyasu several detailed maps of Japan and Korea (written by Inō Tadataka), an act strictly forbidden by the Japanese government. When the Japanese discovered, by accident, that Siebold had a map of the northern parts of Japan, the government accused him of high treason and of being a spy for Russia.
The Japanese placed Siebold under house arrest
and expelled him from Japan on 22 October 1829. Satisfied that his Japanese collaborators would continue his work, he journeyed back on the frigate Java to his former residence, Batavia, in possession of his enormous collection of thousands of animals and plants, his books and his maps. The botanical garden of Buitenzorg would soon house Siebold's surviving, living flora collection of 2,000 plants. ...
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !




- quote -
The Legend of Yoshitsune
Could Genghis Khan have actually been a Japanese samurai who went to Mongolia?

The first person who introduced this theory was a well known German Doctor, Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold (1796-1866), who was sent to Japan in 1823 by the Dutch government. He carried out research and established a Western style medical school in Edo period Japan while it was still under the rule of samurai.
In his seven volume series “Nippon,” he wrote about Yoshitsune and Genghis Khan. During the Meiji period (1868-1912) after the modernization of Japan, some intelligentsia discussed this theory. However it was Oyabe Zenichiro’s substantial bestseller of 1924, Genghis Khan wa Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune Nari [Genghis Khan was Yoshitsune] which made this theory known to the public.
- Harada Minoru -

. Genghis Khan (1162 - 1227) .

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. isha 医者, ishi 医師 doctors in Edo .

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .



oyako tanuki 親子狸 parent and child badger
o-tanuki san おたぬきさん the honorable Tanuki

Once a Tanuki badger family, who lived near the pond Otama-ga-ike お玉ヶ池, close to 東紺屋町 Eastern Konya-Cho.
The original story tells of a wooden sculpture which the 6th Shogun Tokugawa Ienobu 徳川家宣 (1662 - 1712) gave his retainer hatamoto of the 河原林家 Kawarabayashi clan. After the Meiji Restauration, the estate of the clan had to be removed, so the Tanuki statues were given to the shrine.
Praying here brings good luck in all kinds of contests 勝負事.

. Yanagimori jinja 柳森神社 and Tanuki legends .

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- reference : nichibun yokai database -


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. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

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

. Kanda 神田 Kanda district .

. Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

. Japanese Architecture - Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


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7/18/2017

muken no kane bell

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. Persons and People of Edo - Personen .
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Muken no Kane 無間の鐘 "Unlimited Bell", "Soundless Bell", "the Bell of Muken"
mugen no kane 無限の鐘 - "The Bell of Hell"
mugen jigoku / muken jigoku 無間地獄 Hell of Avici.
Buddhist Hell of "Uninterrupted, Eternal Torment"


. kane 鐘 bell, temple bell - Introduction .

There are various temples in Japan who claim this bell.

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- quote -
Keisei Dôjôji - Mugen no Kane Shindôjôji 無間鐘新道成寺
"Keisei Dôjôji"
is a variation of the famous dance "Musume Dôjôji" (created in 1753) about a young girl who is rejected by a priest. He flees from her and hides under the bell at Dôjôji Temple. She pursues him and in her rage transforms into a serpent, which wraps itself around the bell. The bell is destroyed and the priest is fried to a crisp!


In "Keisei Dôjôji",
the girl did not transform herself into a serpent, but rather appeared as Katsuragi, a beautiful, high-ranking courtesan, thereby reflecting the close relationship between Kabuki and the pleasure quarters at the beginning of the 18th century when "Keisei Dôjôji" was created.
The story included a parallel tradition that the person who strikes the bell during life will be visited with unlimited wealth, but on death they will suffer unlimited torment in hell.
The courtesan describes her life and emotions in the pleasure quarters, which was like being lost in dark clouds of passion, as well as her punishment in hell, which she says is a forest of tightly packed swords through which souls are relentlessly pursued and their flesh cut to shreds. She has now come to pray to the bell that has caused her so much trouble. Hoping that her prayers will clear away her burden of sin, the spirit of the courtesan disappears.
- Courtesy of Jean Wilson (1999)
- reference source : kabuki21.com... -

. Anchin and Kiyohime 安珍・清姫 - 道成寺 Dojo-Ji .

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Hirakana Seisuiki "The Soundless Bell"


The story of the lovers 梅枝 Umegae and Genta.

Mugen no Kane 無限の鐘 The legendary Bell of Hell.
The person who strikes this bell becomes immensely rich in this world but will go directly to hell after his/her death to suffer eternally.
In Kabuki, many dances were created based on this legend and in association with the world of courtesans, always desperately helping their lover in need of money and ready to sacrifice themselves by striking the Bell of Hell. Nowadays, the only surviving mugen no kane scene is part of one act of the epic drama "Hirakana Seisuiki", commonly called "Mugen no Kane" or "Kanzaki Ageya".
- source : kabuki21.com...-


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Umegae muken no mane 梅が枝無間の真似
Parody of Umegae Striking the Bell of Limitless Hell

歌川国義 Utagawa Kuniyoshi


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. ume ga e utau 梅が枝うたう Umegae, Poetry for plum branches .
kigo for the New Year

- quote -
Umegae 梅枝
A pictorial subject based on "A Branch of Plum" Umegae, Chapter 32 of
GENJI MONOGATARI 源氏物語 (The Tale of Genji).


In the chapter,
Genji's household is preparing for the coming of age ceremony of the princess who will become the Akashi Empress (明石). On the tenth day of the Second Month Genji holds a competition to determine the incense she will use at court. He gathers scents from several people and calls on Prince Hotaru (Hotaru Hyoubunokyou 蛍兵部卿) to judge them. The scene most frequently chosen for illustration shows Genji and Prince Hotaru looking at two jars sent by Princess Asagao (朝顔), one indigo with a pine branch, one white with a plum branch from which most of the blossoms have fallen, and to which she has attached a poem. The Crown Prince also has his coming of age ceremony in this chapter.
In the Third Month the third daughter of the Minister of the Left (the third in rank of the three main ministers of state, below the Minister of the Right and the Prime Minister) is presented at court, while the Akashi Princess is presented in the Fourth Month.
At this time Tou no Chuujou 頭中将 (To no Chujo, here called the "Palace Minister", or Naidaijin 内大臣) begins to reconcile himself to the love between Yuugiri 夕霧, Genji's son, and his daughter Kumoi no kari 雲井雁.
- source : JAANUS -


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source : mfa.org/collections...Denman Waldo Ross Collection..

Ukiyo tokei Muken no kane 浮世とけいむけんのかね
A Floating World Clock as the Bell of Muken

Gakô Senkadô 西村重長 Nishimura Shigenaga (1697 - 1756)


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source : mfa.org/collections... William Sturgis Bigelow Collection...

Mitate Muken no kane zu 見立無間鐘図 Parody of Muken no Kane
川又常行 Kawamata Tsuneyuki (1677 - ?)

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- - - - - Once upon a time


- reference source : ochakaido.com/rekisi/mukashi... -

At the time of 聖武天皇 Emperor Shomu Tenno (around 730)
there lived an Immortal, 仙人, in the village of 菊川村 Kikugawa in Shizuoka.
He prayed every day to 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O and then went to the village for alms. After this, he rang the bell at the top of 粟ヶ岳 Mount Awagatake 淡ヶ嶽.
This bell could be heard all over the 遠州 Enshu region (now Shizuoka). Each ring had a special prayer wish:

一つつけば、事故や災難をまぬがれ、one - prevent accidents and disasters
二つつけば、病気にならず、- two - do not become ill
三つつけば、家内安全、- three - peace and well-being at home
四つつけば、運が開けて出世する、- four - find good luck for your business life
五つつけば、子宝に恵まれ、- five - be blessed with children
六つつけば、幸運がつづき、- six - may good luck continue
七つつけば、大金持ちになる、- seven - may you become rich

and so on for each ring.
The villagers climbed up to the temple to participate from these good prayers.
But the path to the temple was steep and narrow, and in their hurry they pushed and some fell into the ravine, some even died.
When the head priest saw all this, he decided to exclude the villagers from the prayers of the Immortal and threw the bell into the deep well.
This became known to our day as
"mugen no ido" 無間の井戸 "the endless well", "eternal well" at the top of Mount Awagatake.




Muken no Kane is 遠州七不思議 one of the seven wonders of Enshu. at 無間山観音寺 Mukenzan Kannon Temple.

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Daimugenzan 大無間山 is a mountain in Shizuoka.



- Read a long legend here:
. The perpetual life-giving wine and sennin heavenly immortals of Mt. Daimugenzan .
- - - - - excerpted from ANCIENT TALES AND FOLK-LORE OF JAPAN by Richard Gordon Smith [1918]


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at 瀬戸内海 - 塩飽本島 Setonaikai Shiwaki Honjima Island
極楽寺 Temple Gokuraku-Ji, at the 観音堂 Kannon-Do hall

The temple has the family graves of the 丸尾家 Maruo Clan.
The temple bell relates to the story of 丸尾五左衛門 Maruo Gozaemon, a former Samurai turned very rich merchant of the Edo period.


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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


. abi jigoku 阿鼻地獄 / 無間地獄 Avīci, Buddhist Hell of Avici .
is called 無間地獄 "Mugen Jigoku".
... the hell of "Uninterrupted Torment" (Avici), where big dogs, pythons and monsters with many heads vomit volumes of flame to burn the sinners.
Avīci hell is also known as the "Mugen-Do, non-stop way" (無間道).


................................................................................. Nagano 長野県
佐久市 Saku city 野沢町 Nozawa

Near Nozawa town there lived a 長者 very rich man. Once he was involved in a law suit and wanted to win it. So he pledged to go to 高野山 Mount Koyasan to ring the bell Muken no Kane, if he won. He won the law suit, but after that misfortune continued, he lost more and more money and after his sudden death nobody of the family wanted to live in his mansion.


................................................................................. Niigata 新潟県
佐渡市 Sado city 相川町 Aikawa

hiru 蛭 leech
Around 1610 a person born in Tajima (Now Northern Hyogo) came to Aikawa and made a fortune in the gold mines of Sado. But he became very stingy and on the last day of the year went to the gold mine and slept there. His wife was at home preparing New Year food and wondered what to do about him. Then she remembered the lore about Muken no Kane. She pretended the grounding mortar was a bell and banged it with the pestle. From that day on the family became even richer and more gold was found in the mines.
Legend says that one can hit this bell only once in a lifetime for a positive wish. On the grave of such a person will be leeches for the next seven generations. And indeed, when her husband died, leeches showed up on his grave stone.


................................................................................. Shizuoka 静岡県
周智郡 Shuchi district 水窪町 Misakubo

hebi 蛇 serpent
Once a person went to a special riverside, オトボウ淵, to make a wish and then rung Muken no Kane. He soon became a very rich man. But after his death a serpent showed up at the riverside. If anyone wanted to approach the riverside, he had to hang some smartweed (Persicaria)around his hips for protection.


................................................................................. Wakayama 和歌山県
有田郡 Arida district 清水村 Shimizu

hiru 蛭 leech
Once a man rung the Muken no Kane and then became very rich.
But since then the soy been rice gruel the family eat on the fifth day of the New Year suddenly turned into very large leeches.

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日高郡 Hidaka district みなべ町 Minabe

To make a Muken no Kane people need a special clay and water, and then put inside it the statues of Ebisu and Daikoku when firing the pottery.
If during this process there was a huge sound, the wish was granted and the person became rich. But in reverse he had to promise to refrain from something he liked, for example not making special New Year food. One man even promised he would offer his body after this death to be eaten by the wolves.

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- reference : nichibun yokai database -

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Muken-no-kane
Fuga hibachi muken no kane uki-e kongen - The Elegant Brazier,
Sato nomi sao muken no kane goto
- reference : "muken no kane" kabuki -




source : traveljapanblog.com/wordpress...
muken jigoku 無間地獄 Hell of Incessant Suffering


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. Edo Culture via Ukiyo-E on Facebook .

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. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

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

. 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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