Saturday, August 18, 2012

You Can Go Back, Part 4

I'd hit all of the markers shown on this part of the the tourist map, but there were still three left closer to the bay.  So I followed the Inari river south and east, taking me past the Niodo Water shrine and Honryuji, to the street in front of Minamikata shrine.  I followed the street east to the main throughway running from Tenmonkan to Senganen.  After walking a couple blocks south, I made a little dogleg northwest, which placed me in front of both Arinori and Kasuga Jinja.  One of the other markers, mentioned in the "Kindness of Strangers" series, at the Fukushoji Buddhist Temple Ruins, was for Yokoyama Yasutake, Arinori's older brother.  Yasutake was the one who sacrificed himself to protest the corruption of the new Meiji government.

Arinori Mori (Education minister)

(Photo of Mori)

("Mori Arinori's Birthplace
A man before his time
... The first Japanese Education Minister...
1885, as a member of Ito Hirobumi's cabinet, Mori Arinori became Japan's first Minister of Education. Mori modelled Japanese education, from primary school to university, on the German system. His conviction that schools should produce men to serve the nation determined the course of Japanese education up to World War II. At the age of 17, Mori had already been sent to Britain with Godai Tomoatsu and seventeen other young Satsuma men. He later represented Japan in China and the U.S. These experiences put him at the forefront of the process of westernization, and he became famous as the promoter of such advanced causes as the abolition of swords, freedom of belief, monogamy, women's rights and western style weddings. He even suggested that Japan should adopt English as its national language. Japan, however, was not yet ready for such advanced ideas.  He was assassinated [sic] official residence on the morning of the promulgation of the constitution of 1889, on the pretext of a rumor he had shown irreverence during a visit to Ise Shrine.")

Note that Arinori is identified as one of the "Satsuma young men". There are the guys memorialized in the statue monument in front of Kagoshima-chuo train station, tasked to travel to western countries and bring information and knowledge back to Satsuma to assist in modernizing the country.


(Memorial)

Across the street, Kasuga Jinja is mentioned in the historical marker at Minamikata Jinja as one of the 5 main shrines.


(Reproduction of old map)


(Front of shrine)

("Naval Port and Kasuga Jinga
Satsuma's Naval Base from the Time of the Warring States
... The Ships that Conquered Ryukyu Set Sail from Here ...
In 1609, the Shimadzu clan, defeated at Sekigahara, lost the chance of advancing north and sought instead to trade with Ming China. Kabayama Hisataka and Hirata Masamune invaded Ryukyu with more than 100 warships and 3,000 soldiers and thus obtained the right to trade with China. The port the Satsuma navy used at that time was near here; sailors would have embarked in the vicinity of Tobashira bridge, not far from the mouth of the Inari.
At that time, the whole of this area was under water. A Port had been built near the mouth of the Inari during the Warring States about 500 years ago, and this had spread as far as the borough of Namekawa, to form quite a large settlement of sailors and shipwrights centered on a dock. In the course of time, however, repeated flooding filled the bottom of the river with sand and gravel making the harbour increasingly unsuitable for large ships, and thus the port was moved to the mouth of the Kotsuki. The old Harbour has been completely filled in and is now occupied by Kasuga Jinja, a branch of the Kasuga shrine of Nara and one of the five famous shrines of Kagoshima.")


(Side of shrine)


(Stones at side of grounds)


(Front doors of the shrine. It's kind of pointless shooting pictures of glass doors, since all you get is a reflection of what's behind you. But, the space inside the doors is mostly empty.  It just leads to the entrance of the actual shrine in back.  It is interesting, though, comparing this picture with Inari Jinja, which just has worn, plain wood doors leading to the principle shrine.)


From here, it's a short jog to the main road, and then a right at a Y-intersection to return back to the Reimeikan, the International Exchange Center, and the 20 minute walk back home.  What surprised me is that at the entrance of the Y, there are two small lantern stones (very modern and not worth taking photos of) that indicate that this is the starting point of the original road that runs all the way to the Kotsuji river, right in front of my apartment.  So, 400 years ago, if I wanted to walk through town to get to my apartment, this is the road I would have used.  It also takes me past several big estate grounds, one of which seems to be part of a present-day utility company and is closed to the public.  The last remaining marker, for Dairyuji, shown on my map is at the front of another school




(Map showing temples, gravestones and other markers around Kagoshima station)


(Stone with marker sign at the entrance of the school.)

("Dairyuji and Priest Bunshi
From child prodigy to priest diplomat
... temple school opened by Confucianist Priest Bunshi ...
In the period of civil wars, Shimadzu Takahisa, who lived in Tabuse, Minami-Satsuma city, defeated Shimadzu Sanehisa in a dispute for the leadership of the Shimadzu clan, and became the 15th Lord of Satsuma. Takahisa built his castle on this site.
The center of the town for more than fifty years, it fell into disuse when the 18th lord, Iehisa, built Tsurumaru Castle, and its place was taken by the Zuiunzan Dairyuji Temple. The name Dairyu is an amalgamation of the pseudonyms of Takahisa and Yoshihisa, his son. Nanpo Bunshi was invited to be the first priest, and he propagated the teachings of the Confucian Keian Genju.
Bunshi was born at Obi in Hyuga (Miyazaki) in 1555. He was such an intelligent boy that he was called Monju-do (child prodigy). He studied the teachings of Keian under Ichio Genshin at Ryugenji Temple in Kushima. Among his many writings, "Teppo-ki" in Minami-ura Bunshu is an important historical record of the introduction of guns to Japan.
Bunshi was also political advisor to three Shimadzu lords, Yoshihisa, Yoshihiro and Iehisa, and he showed great acumen in the Ryukyu (Okinawa) policy, earning the name of "diplomat in a black surplice". He died in 1620, and his tomb is to be found in Ankokuji Temple in Kajiki.


(Neighboring Stone)

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