Fukagawa Historical Landmarks

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Fukagawa Historical Landmarks

by Picabo

Fukagawa is a neighbourhood east of Nihombashi, at the other side of the Sumidagawa river. It started out as a lumber district in the 17th and 18th century and rose to prominence as a shipping centre for rice, salt and fertilizer. Fukagawa has been widely featured in many Ukiyo-e in the Edo period (1603-1868), making it a very famous spot in Edo (see Lumberyard, Under Mannen Bridge, Sanjusangendo, Tomigaoka Hachiman Shrine, Nakasa and Ohashi Bridge).

1. Tomioka Hachimangu

Birth place of Sumo wrestling tournaments and home to one of the largest Shinto festivals in Tokyo. The shrine was bombed during World War II and the current shrine building dates from 1956. The festival associated with this shrine is considered as one of the three great festivals of Edo.

2. Kiyosumi Garden

This garden goes way back and has been linked to Kinokuniya Bunzaemon (1669–1734) who was a merchant during the Edo period (1603-1868) specializing in citrus, lumber, and salmon, among other goods. The garden stands out not only by its crystal clear pond with beautiful reflections of the greenery surrounding it, but also by its large display of stones. The Iwasaki family brought stones from all over Japan to Tokyo with their steamships and arranged them in the garden. It has several stepping stone pathways (iso-watari) set in the water and a wide range of peculiar stones in all kind of shapes and sizes.

3. Bashō

Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694) was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan (1603-1868). Fukagawa is the place where he wrote many of his masterpieces and was the starting point for his many travels through Japan. There are many places in Fukagawa associated with him.

4. Fukagawa Fudō-do

Fukagawa Fudō-dō is a bit of a mishmash temple, not very beautiful, even though the wood carvings on the main building are rather nice. This temple is part of the Chisan group in the Shingon school of Buddhism (one of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan) and practices Esoteric Buddhism. At this temple we have the goma fire rituals at which wooden sticks are burnt during a ceremony several times a day in order to give Fudōmyō-ō (the god revered as this temple) the fighting force he needs (he is the god of justice, who fends of evil with his sword and menacing look).

5. Fukagawa Edo Museum

The Fukagawa Edo Museum is a museum dedicated to old Tokyo. It is a replica of a village during the late Edo period (1603-1868), with various types of houses and features a canal and a fire watchtower.

References: Places to visit in Fukagawa. (2017, September 19). Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://old-tokyo.info/fukagawa-area-guide/

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