Takahashi in Okayama, Japan -Part 3-
Other places to see in Takahashi (1)
[Raikyuu-ji (Raikyuu temple)]
Raikyuu-ji is a Zen temple which was reconstructed in 1339 under an order of Takauji Ashikaga, who was the founder and first shougun of the Muromachi era.
The date of its original establishment is not known.
Takauji and his brother ordered to build temples and Rishoutou pagodas throughout Japan to pray for the peace and console the souls of war victims and the late Emperor Godaigo.
The Emperor was once a master of Ashikaga brothers, but they betrayed him and became his enemies.
He had tried to retrieve his power till he passed away in 1339 leaving curses to Ashikaga, so there’s no wonder that Ashikaga brothers were afraid of revenge from the spirit of the Emperor.
These temples were called “Ankoku-ji” (literal meaning “Peaceful country temple”), and in fact, only a few were newly built.
Most of them were just changed its name to “Ankoku-ji”.
Around 1504, Yorihisa Ueno became the new owner of the Bicchuu Matsuyama castle.
He reconstructed the temple, and after he died, the temple was accordingly renamed as “Ankoku-Raikyuu-ji”.
(The same Kanji characters are used for “Raikyuu” and “Yorihisa”)
In 1600, after the battle of Sekigahara which was the decisive battle for the future of Japan, Masatsugu Kobori was assigned as the new owner of Takahashi area.
He suddenly died after 4 years, so his son Masakazu also known as Enshuu Kobori inherited the properties.
The Bicchuu Matsuyama castle was run-down and “Onegoya” was burnt during the battle, so this temple was used as a Kobori family’s temporal residence.
Enshuu Kobori was a prominent artist, especially in “Sadou”, Japanese tea ceremony.
He was inducted as the Sadou instructor for the Tokugawa Shogunage.
He also showed his talents in poetry, garden designs, architectures, calligraphic works and paintings.
“Tsuru-Kame no Niwa” (Garden of Crane and Tortoise) of “Konchi-in” in Kyoto was one of his works.
While he stayed in Takahashi area (the ownership of the area was transferred to Nagayuki Ikeda in 1617), he reconstructed the castle and “Onegoya”, and made gardens in this Raikyuu-ji and “Onegoya”.
Raikyuu-ji garden is also a “Tsuru-Kame no Niwa” style, using stones and/or trees to represent “Tsuru” (Crane) and “Kame” (Tortoise / Turtle).
Both “Tsuru” and “Kame” are supposed to be symbols of good luck in Japan.
[Two samurai residences]
One of the two samurai residences is the former Orii residence.
It was built in the Tenpou period (1830-1844).
The owner worked as a “Uma-mawari”, who was one of horse soldiers to accompany and guard their master on his horse.
You can also see “Yoroi” (Japanese armours), arms like “Hinawa-jyuu” (Japanese matchlock guns), daily use items and other resources here.
The other one is the former Haibara residence.
This was built in the middle or late Edo era.
Its owner’s job was “Kinjyu” (a kind of secretary as well as a bodyguard) or “Bangashira” (or “Bantou”, a head of guards).
The house is rather luxuriously designed, with adopting styles of temple and “suki-ya” which is unusual for samurai residences in the area.
Maybe needless to say, “suki-ya” in this case has nothing to do with a Japanese “Gyuu-don” (beef-on-rice dish) franchise.
It means a tea-ceremony house style architecture.
This is designated as an important cultural property by Takahashi city.
It seems I didn’t take any photos at neither places.
I don’t remember why.
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