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STORY #013

Tsuwano Then and Now
Exploring the Town of TsuwanoThrough the One Hundred Landscapes of Tsuwano





Castle town map from 150 years ago

A map of the castle town as it was at the end of the Edo period (1600-1868). The roads and some of the buildings are still as they were a 150 years ago. The map can be still used to walk around town, but because of its details, it also explains some public works of the Edo period, empty slots of lands, and even gives the names of the Samurai houses.

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/2047

Washibara Hachimangu Shrine and horse archery riding grounds

Washibara Hachimangu Shrine and the horse archery riding grounds is a scenic spot in Tsuwano. In spring, cherry blossoms and a horse archery festival, in autumn the colors of the changing leaves, behind the shrine a 900year old cedar, there is a lot to see in this peaceful and spiritual place.

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/2015

Tsuwano Castle |(津和野城)

Tsuwano Castle Ruins sits on top of Shiroyama (transalates into Castle-hill), with breathtaking views of the castle town and the surrounding mountains. The castle is also depicted in the Tsuwano Hyakkeizu, A Hundred Views of Tsuwano, as the first two steps of the journey around Tsuwano domain.

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1931

Taikodaniinari Shrine|(太鼓谷稲成神社)

Taikodani Inari Shrine is a famous shrine that is located on Shiroyama (Castle hill). It is one of the 5 most important Inari shrines in Japan, and the second most important religious place in Shimane Prefecture.

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1810

Waterfalls of Tsuwano domain

There are 4 waterfalls depicted in the Hyakkezu (Tsuwano Then and Now), which are said to be favored by the lord of Tsuwano domain. One of the drawings shows the domain lord painting the magnificent waterfall, while sitting on a small platform.

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1836


Theater for the gods, a tradition dancing storytelling art, still very much alive in the Iwami region and Tsuwano. The Night kagura is performed in the Taikodani Inari Shrine, which gives it a special ambiance.
A stroll through the illuminated town, a light entertainment for the night, watching gods fend off demons and serpents.

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1776

Hori Mansion|堀庭園 (Hori-teien)

The Hori Mansion was the home of a rich copper-mine senior official. The main building is was rebuilt after a fire in 1785, and the guest house built in the Momoyama period (late 16th century) style is from 1897. The buildings are in a beautiful harmony with the background, and the seasonal changing of the surrounding nature.

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1720

Youmei-ji temple |永明寺(Youmei-ji)

Youmei-ji is a temple built in 1420 by the feudal lord of Tsuwano domain at the time, the Yoshimi-clan. The temple served as the family temple for the successive feudal lords of Yoshimi, Sakazaki and Kamei, and is also the final rest-place for a few of famous Tsuwano scholars.
The gate of the temple was moved from Tonomachi, where it was separating the commoners from the Samura class.
It has a majestic thatched roof, a beautiful temple garden, and with not to many visitors, you can actually enjoy a moment of peace, in the silence of the forest.

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1674

Yasaka Shrine |弥栄神社 (Yasaka-jinja)

The Yasaka-jinja Shrine is an important part of the Tsuwano heritage. It is where the Gion Festival and The Heron Dance or Sagi-mai starts every year on the 20th of July, and also where the diety returns 7 days later on the 27th. It has remained the same as it was depicted in the Tsuwano Hyakkeizu - Then and now, 150years ago.

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1672

Tsuwano dance | 津和野踊り (Tsuwano-odori)

The dancers at Tsuwano-odori (also called Obon dance), wear black hoods as well as a white headband with round fan up high,dancing in an elegant manner at a relaxing tempo.
The Tsuwano dance is held at various locations around the castle town, from 10th to 15th of August.

2017 is the the 400th anniversary of Kamei clan coming to Tsuwano, and the start of the Tsuwano-odori, and we hope to have 400 dancers on the 15th of August. Please, do join us not just for the festivities, but also for the dance.
Be one of the 400 memorial dancers!

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1600

The Heron Dance|鷺舞 (Sagi-mai)

The Sagi-Mai, or Heron Dance, is designated as an important intangible cultural asset by the Japanese Government.
This is the sacred dance of the Yasaka Shrine festival, performed on July 20th and 27th at the Gion Festival.

It is said, that the Heron Dance has been performed for more than 450 years only in Tsuwano as even at its origin, the then-capital Kyoto, at one time this tradition was discontinued.

For generations now, it has been carried on by the people of Tsuwno,who are proud to continue this tradition.

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1550

Japanese horseback archery|流鏑馬 (Yabusame)

Every year, the spirits of the past visit the holy grounds of Washibara Hachimangu Shrine in the small castle-town of Tsuwano (Shimane Prefecture).
Under the blossoming Sakura trees (Japanese Cherry), riders in traditional samurai clothes (same as in the Kamakura period, 12th century) gather, bows and arrows are lined up to perform in front of the Hachiman deity (god of archery and war).

Yabusame is practiced in many parts of Japan, but Tsuwano is special in that the holly grounds of Washibara Hachimangu Shrine was specially built for horse archery some 450 years ago. It was also recorded 150 years ago in many pictures of the “Tsuwano Hyakkeizu” (One Hundred Views of Tsuwano).

Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

URL : https://tsuwano100.net/nikki/1527