Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Encounter with the Asakura Clan's Samurai

I just attended a press tour organized by the Foreign Press Center of Japan http://fpcj.jp/ and the Fukui prefecture to report about the prefecture, industry, economy, culture, and it was an occasion to visit the Fast Breed Reactor Monju, closed since the 1995 sodium leak and object of multiple controversies especially regarding the security of nuclear power plants. I'll come back about this topic some time soon.

Samurai of the Asakura clan who likes to portray himself into the authentic old warrior armor

I found fascinating the local culture life of the Fukui region, mountains and deep valleys on the coast of the Japan sea. History here is genuine and never dies: Located in Fukui City, the Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins for instance, are one of the most important relics of the Warring States Period (15th-17th centuries). They are the ruins of the castle town owned by five warring lords of the Asakura Family who ruled Echizen for 103 years. The castle town was built in the middle of the 16th century with a population of 10,000. However, when the Asakura Family was defeated by Oda Nobunaga in 1573, the town was burned down and its long history came to end.

The first serious excavation research started in 1967, revealing the shape of the whole town, including the house of the lord, samurai residences, temples, houses of merchants, houses of craft workers, and streets. The research is still in the progress and has drawn much attention from history researchers. The ruins are designated as a special historic site and a special place of scenic beauty. The dug up articles were designated as important cultural properties. Other than the ruin, there are only five places with those three designations above, including the Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji, in Kyoto, and Itsukuchima Shinto Shrine in Hiroshima.

Here is one of the Samurai who contributes to the patrimony and the history of the Asakura Samurai clan. A very strong and proud people, indulged into their patrimony and desiring to communicate about their roots, traditions and expectations. Today this region is fighting very hard to revitalize the area, both culturally and economically. I was impressed to see that elder generations have lost nothing of their energy and good sense.

A Samurai was a member of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan, esp. a member of the class of military retainers of the daimyos.

More details here:
The Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins (Fukui City)

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