Sunday, June 25, 2017

How Tokei-jinja Shrine Was Named

Statue of Benkei with his father and fighting cocks

As the Genpei war (a battle between the Genji clan and the Heike clan) changed from land warfare of the Ichinotani to sea warfare, the movements of the Kumano navy, which was the strongest in Japan at the time, had a big effect on the situation. Both Genji and Heike approached Kumano Betto Tanzo (the leader of the Kumano navy) to appeal for support. Benkei, on Yoshitsume's orders (who was on the Genji side), hastened back to Tanabe to speak with his father Tanzo. To confirm God's wishes, Tanzo ordered seven cocks with red feathers to fight seven cocks with white feathers representing the Heike Clan and the Genji clan respectively. The white ones won and so Tanzo decided to side with the Genji clan. On Tanzo's command, his navy and the Benkei went to the battle field of Don-no-ura, Yamaguchi prefecture. With two thousand soldiers and two hundred ship's, the Kumano navy greatly contributed to the Genji clan's victory which took place on April 25, 1185, ushering in the age of the Samurai.

Tokei Shrine

Tokei-jinja is a shrine located in Tanabe city near the Kii-Tanabe station.  It is a part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route - Tokei means "fighting roosters." The shrine is part of a world heritage tour into some of the most scenic and sacred parts of Japan. Kumano has been regarded as a place for recovery. 

Pilgrimage to Kumano that is Yominokuni (Hades, the next world after death) cleanses your soul, and when you come out of it, you would have a second life.

655 Minato, Tanabe 646-0031
Wakayama Prefecture

A link to the Shrine's website.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Crossing the Seto Inland Sea

Traveling by the Vessel Ferry Katsuragi. Want to see where it is in real time? Click here.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Chompon Noodles in Matsuyama

Great place for Nagasaki Chompon style noodles in Matsuyama. The shops name is Biidoro. It is derived from Portuguese, "vidro", meaning glass. Nagasaki is famous for their champon (noodles) and also their glass craft.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

7-11 Coffee is Great

Best value in coffee can be found at 7-11 and its counterparts in Japan. The coffee is fresh and you can get it iced as well.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vintage Enamel Signs

You don't see these anymore. In the past, these signs were made on heavy gauge steel and printed with enamel ink using a traditional silk screen printing process. That is a thing of the past. The durability of the signs is only exceeded by the quality of the artwork.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The art of knife sharpening


The art of knife sharpening

Inside the department store Takashimaya, you will always find something unique in the way of traditional Japanese crafts beind demonstrated. This visit was to see and learn how to sharpen knives. This is an art.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Nihonbashi area of Japan

To anyone who understands the history behind the "The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō", the first station was the wooden bridge that was located in the Nihonbashi district. It is memorialized today with lions and plaques. This is the first station on the road to old Kyoto.