Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

The Fukiya Village in Okayama, Japan – Part 4 –

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/19 Food, Traditional Culture, Travel & View point , , , , , , ,

What to see in Fukiya surrounding area (3)

[The Nishie residence]

FukiyaNisi
This house is located on the opposite side of the Hirokane residence and there is no bus service to/from the village centre in the off season, and even in the high season, a cyclic bus goes there only once a day.
However, a bus is running to/from the Takahashi station a few times a day in all seasons.
So, in the off season, it’s better to go to the Nishie residence first from Takahashi (about an hour ride), then walk up the road to the village centre (probably takes an hour).
Or, walk down from the village centre towards there on the last day of your stay and take a bus to Takahashi.
Or just rent a car or hire a taxi!
It’s not an easy location to reach without a car, but it’s worth a visit.

The Nishie family is another wealthy merchant who made a huge profit from copper mining and “bengara”.
Unlike the Hirokane residence, the family still lives here.
Mrs. Nishie told me some interesting stories about the house like why owners of the mine resided below the mountain.
According to her, ores glitter in the dark.
Copper glows red and silver white, so they look at their mine in the night to know where to dig.
I don’t remember which colour gold glows, but I think it’s yellow.
You cannot see the ores glittering any more because there are too many trees.

FukiyaNisiF

-To the main gate-
"Kadomatsu" can be seen on both sides of the gate.

In the Edo era, the government gave the family authorization to run the area as a local governor.
That means the family could hold a trial when needed in their residence.
The court at that time was called “Shirasu”, the graveled place inside the premises.
Where to sit down depended on the status of people (defendant(s) and witness(es)) who appeared in court.
Common people like farmers sat down on a straw mat on the gravel.
The judge sat in the room, of course the highest place in the court.

The family also held “Terakoya”, a private educational institution for commoners’ children (including girls) to teach the three Rs – wRiting, Reading and aRithmetics.
It’s fascinating to know there was a private residence with a court and a school!

I took only three photos there.
The last photo of this place is the “Irori” that I used in “Saru Kani Gassen” post.

Kadomatsu

Illustration from Illust AC

-About “Kadomatsu” (literally, a gate pine tree)-
A traditional ornament for New Year which is placed by the front door or the main gate.
“Kadomatsu” is thought to be the place where “Toshi-gami” resides.
“Toshi-gami” is a symbol of harvest and ancestor’s spirit, who visits people in New Year.
It’s also a landmark for Gods to come down to our world.

-About “Terakoya”-
There were lots of “Terakoya” throughout Japan, and it is said that literacy in Japan was relatively high.
The government just had to put a notice board to let people know about new orders, bans, etc., because there was somebody who could read it out for others.
In 1887, the Meiji government made a research about literacy.
According to that, 50-60% boys and 40% girls in Okayama could write and read.

At “Terakoya”, children also learnt “Soroban”, an abacus.
A manual book for the “Soroban” called “Jinkouki”, which was first issued in 1627, became a bestseller in the Edo period.
The book contained not only how to add, subtract, divide and multiply with “Soroban”, but also arithmetic puzzles, practical lessons like how to calculate the areas of fields, etc.

[A sample problem in “Jinkouki”]
There are 3 horses for 4 people to go on a road that is 6 (km or mile, any unit of distance will do) long.
To ride on an equal distance for each people, what should they do?
(Only one person can ride on one horse)

People enjoyed solving mathematical problems.
Some people even dedicated mathematical “Ema” (a wooden plaques with people’s wishes and/or appreciation to God) to shrines or temple in the Edo era.
This kind of “Ema” is called “Sangaku”, a math tablet.
Some people offered a tablet with only a question, and another person who solved it donated a tablet with its answer.
The number of existing “Sangaku” from the Edo period is now only about 400.
If you are interested in “Sangaku” example, there is one in Wikipedia.
To me, people at that time seemed to be a bunch of geniuses.

Speciality Dish

There is a restaurant where you can try “Bengara curry” in the Fukiya village.
It’s Southern Indian style because the name of “Bengara” is said to be derived from “Bengal” region in Southern India.
Its colour looks similar to “Bengara” colouring, but of course it does not really contain “Bengara”.
Retort-packed “Bengara” curry is also sold.

Related posts:
#Fukiya(1) (2) (3)

The following two tabs change content below.

kara

A Japanese living in Okayama. A proud "Otaku"! Loves animals, snacks, manga, games (PC, iPad, Nintendo DS, PSP), foreign TV dramas, traveling and football (soccer).

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

yakushiji_night

Nara Quest : Yakushiji Temple (薬師寺)

The history of Yakushiji Temple Late in the 7th century(A.D.680), the erection of Yakushiji was planned Emperor Temmu to pray for the recovery of his Empress from a serious illness. The construction of Yakushiji on the site of Asuka, the south part of Nara, in the Fujiwara Capital, was not completed before the Emperor’s death. […]

Read Article

tanuki illust

Are you okay, Tanuki? – The Japanese Raccoon Dog in Legends and Popular Culture 2

Last time, we featured how the tanuki is similar to the kitsune in terms of how they are portrayed in Japanese legends and myths. In this post, we will talk about how the tanuki is depicted in modern Japan and in popular culture. When you stroll around Japan, you will notice that restaurants and pubs, […]

Read Article

don!

Pyoon! Nyan! Pachi! – Learning the Japanese Onomatopoeia 1

Onomatopoeias are always present in any language in the world. The hiss of the snake, the clanking of the bells, the drizzling of the rain – the words in italics are just some of the onomatopoeias that can be found in an English dictionary. The Japanese language too is full of onomatopoeias. Some of them […]

Read Article

kodomo no hi

Golden Week – Children’s Day

Today in Japan is Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no Hi) which is a part of the series of holidays called the Golden Week. If you want to read more about Greenery Day, read our previous post. Continuing our series of posts regarding Golden Week, we will feature Children’s Day (子供の日) or Kodomo no Hi. Children’s […]

Read Article

setsubun

Setsubun – Driving Demons Out and Luck In

Japan is blessed to have four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The word setsubun (節分, seasonal division) referred to the days marking the change from one season to the next. So, originally there were four of them, but nowadays, only the day before the beginning of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar, called […]

Read Article

Osafune sword craft centre

Osafune in Okayama : The land of Japanese sword – Part 2 –

Bizen Osafune Japanese sword museum (1) About 30 minute walk from the Kagato station. It’s an institution with a sword museum, a shop, a forge and a sword craft centre. It cost me 500 yen (in November 2014) to enter the museum, but others were free. There were no swordsmiths nor craftsmen except one when […]

Read Article

Firefly watching - upclose

Japanese Seasonal Events: Firefly Watching 2

Firefly watching in Shirochi, Takahashi In Okayama prefecture, there are at least seven places listed on the website that I visited. I decided to pick one with easy access and free parking area. The viewing spot is located in Ochiai-cho, Shirochi, Takahashi-shi. In other viewing spots, artificially-reared fireflies are released to join other wild fireflies. While in […]

Read Article

Dazaifu28

Go west : Dazaifu Tenman-guu – Main area

Dazaifu Tenman-guu : Main area and around The main shrine area – Rou-mon – The main gate to the main shrine area. “Rou-mon” means “two-story gate”. Now the word is used for a gate which has no roof for the bottom story. A gate with roofs for both stories are called “nijyuu-mon” (“Doubled gate”). This […]

Read Article

Fushimi Inari_2

TOP 30 popular tourist destinations in Japan

“TripAdvisor”, a travel web site, has released their ranking of the “Top 30 most popular tourist destinations in Japan among foreigners in 2014″. It’s based on reviews written in languages other than Japanese between April 2013 and March 2014.(In Japan, business and school terms usually start from April.) Where do you think is the most […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Port of Miyanoura: Visiting the West Coast of Naoshima

When you say Naoshima as a tourist one would automatically think of its most famous landmarks, the big red or yellow pumpkins you would find by its shore. But more than this two landmarks, it is home to a collection of world renowned contemporary art galleries and exhibits. I must admit I was not attracted to […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑