Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You Can Go Back, Part 3

From the Inari shrine, the boundary of the green area on the map for Shimadzu Castle was just a short walk south, behind a junior high school.  So, I followed the Inari river to the school, and turned right just before the school.  A block farther west, I reached an intersection with what looks like the outer walls of a typical Japanese castle.  There's nothing in the area indicating where the castle ruins themselves are, but I didn't see any roads leading farther into the hill, and this spot was close to the marker on the map.  I'm going to assume that these are indeed the remains of the castle walls until later corrected.

Shimadzu Castle Ruins

(Corner of wall)

(Looking back at the city. The road here is closed off as being "dangerous.  It runs behind some houses, and leads to some dried out family gardens.  It deadends in another 20 feet next to one of the gardens.)

(Looking into the ruins from a t-intersection next to the gardens.  Since I wasn't wearing hiking boots, or protection against snakes, this is as close as I felt like getting.)

(Close-up of a ruined building.  It doesn't look like a traditional castle building, so I'm assuming it was constructed after WW II as a regular house and then allowed to dilapidate.)

(Along the front wall of the ruins, next to the school pool.  It was kind of surprising to me that no one was using the pool on such a hot day (especially since the pool next to the marker for Sukeyuki Ito was so crowded).  Instead, about 20 kids were playing soccer on the grounds on the other side of the pool.)

I returned to the river and headed south along the front of the school, where I found another marker.

Daijoin (in front of the school near the castle ruins)

(Reproduction of old map)

("A favorite Shimadzu place of worship
Daijoin and Niodosui
... The first temple to be destroyed in the anti-Buddhist movement...
Daijoin was the first temple in Kagoshima to be destroyed in the anti-Buddhism of the early Meiji period. The history of Daijoin begins with Shogonji, a temple built by the Shimadzu family in Ijuin. This was moved to Shimizu by the 15th Lord, Takahisa, where it became the center of the Satsuma Shingoan sect. The temple flourished under successive generations of Shimadzu patronage, and branch temples spread throughout Satsuma.
All that remains now, however, is the gravestone of Kakuzan, the 11th priest, by the side of the gatepost to Shimizu Junior High School. Until recently a bridge built, like the five stone bridges over the Kotsuki, by Iwanaga Sangoro stood in front of the school but it was washed away by floods in 1988, and has been replaced by a new bridge.
The entrance to the old Daijoin Temple, Niodo, gives its name to the nearby spring. Niodo no mizu, which not only provided natural water for tea and sake but probably also supplied the name of the town, Shimizu, which means pure water.")

(Front gate of Shimizu Junior High School)

(The bridge in front of the school. This is the one mentioned in the marker as having replaced the older bridge after flooding in 1988.)

(Looking up at the school towards where the Shimadzu castle ruins are supposed to be in the background.  We're in typhoon season now, and every so often heavy clouds would blow in and obscure the sky.  There'd be a mild drizzle for a minute or two, and then the sky would clear again.  Most of the main storm missed us, having traveled farther north.)

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