Monday, August 13, 2012

You Can Go Back, Part 1

After I returned home from my first long walk out for building my leg back up, I realized that there were two photos I wanted to take for the "Kindness of Strangers" series - one of Saigo Takamori's gravemarker in the main cemetery and one of the friendly temple on the side of the hill.  Because the Friday Lunchtime English lessons take place at the International Exchange Center, 20 minutes in the direction of Saigo's cemetery, I figured that I could set out for a second walk following the Lunchtime lesson, grab the two pictures I wanted, then head towards Kinko bay and try getting photos of the remaining memorial markers shown on my map.

Because the map isn't 100% accurate, there's a certain amount of hunting and pecking involved, and since some of the places aren't along a straight line, there's more backtracking required as well.  Overall, this walk took almost 4 hours, but I was taking my time and not trying to wrap things up quickly.

From the high school near the Christian cemetery, I headed east towards the first marker shown on my map.  After 4 blocks, I discovered the memorial for Sukehachi, which wasn't on the map.  This is a residential area, with a co-op store across the street.

("Site of self-sacrificial death of Narahara Sukehachi
Narahara Sukehachi is from Kamo in the domain of Yamashiro. When he was 16 years old, he served Shimadzu Tadamasa the 11th Lord. Tadamasa had succeeded his father Tatsuhisa in 1474 at the age of 12. His reign was a troubled time due to continuous disturbances and war.
In 1506, the Kimotsuki Clan of Osumi revolted, this led to the suicide of Tadamasa in the Shimadzu Castle on February 15th, of 1508. Narahara Sukehachi who was 25 years old, wrote a will addressed to his relatives and friends and sacrificed himself in honor of Lord Tadamasa at the foot of the camphor tree outside the Fukushoji Buddhist Temple on February 20th of the same year.
His posthumous Buddhist name is Kangetsu Dosan. It is said that Sukehachi's death is the first sacrificial death in the Shimadzu Family. A statue carved with six jizo guardian dieties was erected there for the repose of his soul. The stone pillar in front is said to be part of a statue Narahara Kizaemon who was involved with the Namamugi Incident (Richardson Affair) in the end of the Edo Era is a decendent of Sukehachi.")

The first location shown on my map is for "Niodo Water".  It's a few blocks closer to the Inari river in the direction of the bay.  The shrine is on the corner of an apartment complex.

 ("Niodo Water
Daijoin Temple, which flourished as Satsuma's main temple of Shingon Buddhism, was located on the land extending from here to the north (current Shimazu Junior High School). Daijoin has long been a place for worship in which consecutive Shimadzu lords had deep faith. The bridge in front of the temple was called Daijoin Bridge. To the south from the bridge was an approach called "Bochu-do" along which ten branch temples of the Daijoin Temple were lined. A large Deva gate was located about 200 meters from the Bochu-do gate. The fountain springing from a source close by was called "Niodo water". This water was very good for making tea and sake, and the current Shimizu-cho (clean water town) is said to have derived its name from this clean water. Currently, this water serves as a source for the local water works and is being used as tap water in Kagoshima.")

(Close-up of shrine)

Crossing the river and going down to the nearby junior high school, the memorial for Sukeyuki Ito in located within the trees next to the swimming pool.  Since the gate on this side of the school was locked, this was as close as I could get to the memorial.  Which was ok, since the sign was facing the sidewalk on this side.

("Birthplace of Sukeyuki Ito, Admiral of the fleet
Sukeyuki Ito, called an elder of Satsuma's navy, was born here. He experienced in his youth the Namamugi Incident of 1862 on the way home from Edo as an attendant of Hisamitsu Shimazu. This incident led to the battle with the British Fleet, in which Sukeyuki served at the Gionnosu cannon emplacement. He also joined a commando squad in the disguise of a water melon vendor at sea. Later at the Naval Training Institute, he was tutored by Kaishu Katsu, the captain of the Kairin Maru and founder of the Japanese Navy, and at Egawa private school, he learned about the European gunnery, growing to become "Ito of the navy".  In 1894, in the Sino-Japanese War, he served as the general commander of the Japanese naval forces, winning a victory. His efforts to save the defeated admiral Ding Ru-Chang of the Ching Dynasty, and the escorting of his coffin won him praise for showing the highest example of chivalry.")

Doubling back up towards Niodo Water, I had to do some searching for Honryuji. The map indicated that it was a block farther south, in the middle of some apartment buildings.  In fact, it's between one apartment complex and a parking lot.

("The site of Honryu-ji Temple
"When the first Lord of the Shimadzus died at Kamakura, Kagoshima Godoin was dedicated to Tadahisa." This was recorded in a Japanese history book. Tadahisa was given a posthumous Buddhist name, Tokubutsudo. The following listed lords of Shimadzu also got posthumous names such as the 2nd lord Dobutsu, the 3rd Donin, the 4th Dogi and the 5th Dokan. All these names had a Japanese letter of (do, a way), therefore the temple was named Godoin (The Five Do Temple). When the 19th Lord Mitsuhisa reigned, the temple was renamed Honryu-ji. The new name came from the famous verse "Motomachi-te michi shozu" which was written in the book of "The Analects of Confucius". Honryu-ji was a subordinate temple of Jokomo-ji Temple of the Ji sect of Buddhism. At the time of the 21st Lord Yoshitaka Shimadzu, the entrance was reconstructed and it gave a grand and imposing appearance. The tombstones of these five lords of Shimadzu still remain in this place. However, the actual family grave of the Shimadzu Family is in Izumi (Noda, Izumi-gun). Izumi was a town where the Shimadzu Family first had their headquarters. Honryu-ji was recognized as the mausoleum of the clan. On March 31, 1989 (in the first year of Heisei), it was designated as a municipal historical monument.")

(View over the parking lot wall)

(Close-up at the back)

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