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STORY #019

The “DATE Culture” Fostered by Masamune

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Sendai City Museum<Sendai city>

The museum was launched in the Sannomaru, a relic of Sendai castle in 1961 for the purpose of preserving, exhibiting, and studying of a set of materials (cultural assets presented by DATE family of the domain of Sendai in 1951).The museum has been totally renewed in 1986. The total floor space is 10,800 square meters, two-storied with reinforced concrete body.
It accommodates about 90,000 pieces of art craft materials and conveys the history and culture of Sendai domain in Edo period, like DATE Masamune's battle gears and wears, TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi's battle gears, and MISAWA Hatuko's sash, data on Keicho mission to Europe, and the cultural assets from Dates.

We also stress activities like holding festive events or lecture meetings other than such exhibitions in an effort to make our museum more accessible to the citizens.

Open:9:00a.m. ー 4:45 p.m. (last entry at 4:15 p.m.)
Closed:on Mondays (except on national holidays or substitute holidays),on days after national holidays or substitute holidays (open on Sat, Sun and national holidays),from Dec. 28 - Jan. 4

Sendai City Museum 26 Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-0862

URL : http://www.city.sendai.jp/museum/museum/index.html

Site of Tagajo Castle <Tagajo city>

Being the site of the local branch office of the nation since the ancient times, this location was the base of politics, military and culture in the Tohoku region. The nobles in the capital used to long for this place, calling it by the name of “Michinoku” and composing many poems about it. Tagajo Castle Monument was discovered in the Edo period, and it revealed that the remains dated back to the ancient times. Thereafter, scholars of the Sendai domain and other local people conducted investigations and research, and made efforts for its protection.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/27/

Tagajo Castle Monument<Tagajo city>

This is a stone monument made to commemorate the repairing of Tagajo Castle in the Nara period. It was excavated during the rule of the second lord Tadamune. Intellectuals of the Edo period such as MATSUO Basho and IHARA Saikaku, as well as scholars of the Sendai domain left many documents about it. With the advice of TOKUGAWA Mitsukuni, the forth lord Tsunamura established a building to cover the monument and provided great care for its protection.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/28/

Tsubo no Ishibumi<Tagajo city>

This monument became a popular poetical subject, with which master poets including Saigyo and MINAMOTONO Yoritomo composed Japanese poems about it. Upon the discovery of the Tagajo Castle Monument, this monument was considered to be the legendary “Tsubo no Ishibumi” and gathered attention of intellectuals and scholars at the time. MATSUO Basho wrote about how deeply he was moved to see this monument remaining the same as the time of its creation, compared to other poetry-inspiring subjects that change over time.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/29/

Suenomatsuyama hill<Tagajo city>

This hill has been regarded as the symbol of romance in poetry. Many literatures and paintings in the Edo period chose this place as their subject matter, depicting pine trees on top of a hill, with tombstones standing in rows at their feet. In his famous work titled “Oku no Hosomichi”, MATSUO Basho described his sad sentiment provoked by the contrast between romance and its impermanence respectively symbolized by the entwined branches of pine trees and by the tombstones.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/30/

Oki-no-i<Tagajo city>

This place became a popular poetical subject thanks to Japanese poems by ONONO Komachi and other famous poets. As a part of the Sendai domain’s maintenance project for scenic and historic sites, the fourth lord Tsunamura appointed the local leaders to the position of “Oki-no-i Mori”, and made it their responsibility to provide great care for the protection.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/31/

Site of Sendai Castle <Sendai city>

This site is where the castle built by Masamune used to stand. The construction site in Mt.Aoba used to be considered as holy ground. He chose this particular site to build his castle with high stone masonry walls, taking advantage of the natural topography. Masamune planned the layout of the castle premises in December 1600, immediately after the Battle of Sekigahara, and the castle was said to be almost completed in 1602. The second lord Tadamune constructed the “Ninomaru (the second enclosure),” which thereafter became the center of the domain’s administration. It was designated as a National Historic Site in 2003.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/5/

Godaido Temple<Matsushima town>

In 1604 DATE Masamune constructed this Buddhist hall in the place where the Bishamondo hall, associated with the Shogun “SAKANOUENO Tamuramaro”, had stood since the 9th century. With masculine sculptures decorating the exterior, unique technique was given full play in the creation of the “Iegata Zushi (house-shaped miniature shrine),” which is representative of “DATE” culture. The “Godai Myoo-zo (Statues of Five Wisdom Kings)” inside are put on exhibit only once every thirty-three years.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/9/

Shiogama-jinja (Shinto shrine)<Shiogama city>

As the guardian deity of the Tohoku region, this “jinja” was highly revered by the Imperial Court, and was an object of faith for the FUJIWARA family of Hiraizumi and the DATE family of the Sendai domain lords. The lords of the Sendai domain successively served as the “Okannushi” in the ceremony following Masamune. The construction of the pr esent “jinja” building was initiated by the fourth lord Tsunamura in 1695, and was completed by the fifth Yoshimura in 1704. This “jinja” was designated as the National Important Cultural Property in 2002.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/20/

Kanrantei Tea House and partition paintings<Matsushima town>

Built on a location with a view of the poetry-famed Matsushima, this palace was for the regional samurai ruler to stay and rest. Partition paintings are in the “Damie” style, highly characteristic of the Momoyama period (1573-1615). It is said that the building was originally a part of Fushimi Castle in Kyoto, and gifted to DATE Masamune from TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi, one of the unifiers of Japan. It was then dismantled and transported for reconstruction at the present location by the second DATE lord Tadamune. The name of the building, “Kanrantei,” meaning a place to watch the rippling waters, was given by the fifth DATE lord, Yoshimura.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/24/

Magakigashima<Shiogama city>

Approximately 150 meters in its circumference, the Magakigashim a, which is located in the gulf of Shiogama Bay, has made a deep impression on people as a popular subject of poetry in the old times. “Oku no Hosomichi” describes the scenery of this island lit by the evening moon.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/32/

Sendai Tanabata Festival <Sendai City>

The Tanabata Festival is originally based on the Chinese legend titled “Kikkoten”, which is about two stars, each named Kengyu and Shokujo. It has been a local custom in Sendai since the Edo period, to display the traditional bamboo leaf decoration in house fronts. After the Meiji period, the custom became more luxurious, decorating the bamboo branch with unique articles called “seven decorations” such as paper garments and money pouches. Today, the festival is held from August 6th to 8th every year, and approximately 3,000 decorated bamboo branches are put on display throughout the city.

URL : http://datebunka.jp/en/cp/42/