Scanning photos today I found another early map of Fukuoka. I think I took this in the archaeology center in Fukuoka. I labelled some of the main points we know today. I think it was made after 1603 as Fukuoka castle is clearly visible. According to my earlier post, the population of Fukuoka at that… Read More Early map of Fukuoka city c.1600
Last summer I went to Beppu for a few days. Unfortunately as the trip drew closer Kyushu was hit by a bloody typhoon. The typhoon passed but we were still on the back end of the weather so it rained for most of the time 😦 Anyway here are some photos of the 2 day… Read More Welcome to hell! Beppu Jikoku, Oita.
A statue of Shiro Amakusa. The young Christian rebel who rose up and led a rebellion against the Tokugawa Shogunate. Amakusa-Shimabara Rebellion (1637) Cherry blossoms and a Tori on the way up to Nokanetenbo Park Sakitsu Church, established in 1569 by the Portuguese. Interior of the church. I have never seen tatami in a church… Read More Amakusa and the Shimabara Rebellion – Kyushu.
I have been living in Fukuoka city now for about a year and I’m slowly learning more about this great city. One point that many people don’t realise when we talk about population history is how few people used to live in cities. Cities we all know today a mega cities with millions of people… Read More Fukuoka Population Statistics from 1150.
It’s been a little while since I reviewed a ukiyo-e print so here we go. This print is from the 69 stations of the Kisokaido and the artist credited is no other than Utagawa Hiroshige! Print number 51, Fujimi. I like this print as it depicts lunchtime on the busy walking path. The post town… Read More 69 Stations of the Kisokaido #51 Fujimi
A few years ago I wrote about the history of Kendo. I recently updated the post and submitted it as a Taiken article which they approved. Thankyou Taiken Japan for your continued support of my articles. Please find the article here: https://taiken.co/single/a-history-of-kendo-and-why-i-love-it/
During the ‘isolation period’ of Japan also known as the Edo Period a few nations were still allowed to trade in Japan. The Dutch, Koreans and Chinese were the only nations granted trade rights. The Dutch company ‘VOC’ were famous around the world and they set up a trade port in Nagasaki. Dejima was established… Read More Dutch trade port of Dejima, Nagasaki.
While I was living in Kumamoto one of things I really wanted to do is visit the cave Musashi Miyamoto retired to after his last duel with Kojiro. Musashi spent the last 5 years of his life at Reigando, a cave located on the western side of Mt Kinpo just outside of Kumamoto city. Unganzenji… Read More Reigando (Musashi’s last resting spot) – Pictorial
Happy Thursday! I’m going to start posting some new blogs which only focus on my photography. Articles are great but time consuming and I have so many photos just sitting on my hard drive. Anyway I’m going to try and start posting a little more regularly between writing in depth articles with some great photos.… Read More Nanzoin Temple, Fukuoka, Kyushu
History of the Japanese Tea Ceremony Drinking of green tea was known in China from the fourth century. Tea plants didn’t grow in Japan until the first seeds were brought from China during the Tang dynasty (China 618-907), when relations and cultural exchanges between the two countries reached a peak. In the eighth century the… Read More History of the Japanese Tea Ceremony
I’m delighted to let you know that I am now writing articles for http://www.taiken.co. This is a link for my first article with them featuring the great Fujisaki Hachimangu horse festival held in Kumamoto, Kyushu in mid September. Enjoy https://taiken.co/single/fujisaki-hachimangu-horse-festival-in-kumamoto/ Stu
A couple of weeks ago I visited Raizan Sennyoji in Itoshima. Itoshima is a nice little country suburb a little to the west of where I live in Fukuoka. It is famous for beautiful beaches, mountains and the countryside. Many people also farm and produce a lot of great produce. It’s a nice place to… Read More Raizan Sennyoji and early Buddhism in Japan. Itoshima, Fukuoka
Miyamoto Musashi Died On June 13, 1645. Considered one of the greatest samurai of all time, Miyamoto Musashi’s reputation has grown to mythic proportions over the years, despite much of his life remaining a mystery. The undefeated swordsman, master of strategy, calligrapher, painter, writer and martial arts icon, Miyamoto Musashi was born towards the end… Read More Reigando Cave and the life of Miyamoto Musashi
The first Kamakura Shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo, was born on this day, May 9, 1147 Yoritomo’s paternal grandfather, Minamoto no Tameyoshi was head of the noble Minamoto clan, while his maternal grandfather, a member of the illustrious Fujiwara clan, was the chief priest at Atsuta Shrine, Japan’s second most venerated Shinto Shrine after the Great… Read More Minamoto no Yoritomo
Miyajidake sits in the northern region of Fukutsu city about 1 hour from central Fukuoka. It is famous for the ‘road of faith’ and stairs leading up to the main temple which look out directly to the sea about a kilometre away. More on this later. Sunsets around October are supposed to be really beautiful.… Read More Miyajidake Shrine, Fukutsu City, Kyushu.
Hitoyoshi Castle is not as well known as other castles such as Kumamoto or Nagoya but the history of this castle is much longer and has quite an interesting story. It is ranked in the top 100 castles of Japan probably due to its long history and importance for administration and trade in central Kyushu. … Read More Hitoyoshi Castle Ruins, Kyushu
My friend William Baerg is a contributor for the Kumamoto International Facebook page and has nicely agreed for me to post an article on my blog. Tani Tateki (谷干城) was a military leader during the Meiji Restoration who was for a crucial period in charge of the defense of Kumamoto. Even under mustache standards of… Read More Tani Tateki – Kumamoto Castle defender during the Seinan War.
I haven’t done a post for a while about one of my favourite Ukiyo-e print series. So lets have a look. It is print #35, Narai Station, currently Narai town in Nagano Prefecture. It is a beautiful little town in the Japanese Alps and it still has the old Edo period feel to it. It… Read More Keisai Eisen – Kisokaido Narai Station, Print #35.
I visited Shiga back in 2016 in January. I was expecting it to be cold but I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up in the morning. A fresh layer of snow had fallen in the early hours of the morning which was great. Walking around on the fresh snow is great but unfortunately it… Read More Himure Hachimangu, Omihachiman, Shiga.
I had a day off today and it wasn’t raining so I decided to visit Lafcadio Hearn’s residence just down the road from where I live. The address is 2-6 Anseimachi, Kumamoto. It is right behind Tsuruya shopping center. I had come across Hearn’s name before while researching some other Japanese history but never knew… Read More The life of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (aka Koizumi Yakumo).