Edo no Kurame (Kuramae ± front of the warehouses


Translated and appended from http://www.maroon.dti.ne.jp/~satton/taitou-edo/kuramae-


Edo no Kurame 1.

(Kuramae ± front of the warehouses) H rai en (garden sign)

This was the site of a garden and villa gifted to the HiradoDaimy of the Mats ra clan, who originated in Hizen Province. It was the T ky residence of the twelfth and last of the HiradoDaimy s, Count Mats ra Akira . The site is currently occupied by the Metropolitan High School Shin Obugaoka 2. Ô SaemonKashi (Riverbank)

Here the district called Yagiwara faced towards the river crossing from Iriya¶sKinbikanD ri to Saemon Street. The original Saemon toll bridge was first built in 1875 and was named after the Lord Sakai Tadaaki (aka Tadayoshi), a fudai (insider) Daimy of the Shonai clan, who was Commander of the Gate, had his residence (which eventually burned down) near here, and who named the area SaemonKashi 3. Asakusa Mikado (Asakusa Palace Gate aka AsakusaMistuke)

To provide protection for the benefit of Edo Castle one of the castle¶s approach routes passed through gate number thirty six, the Asakusa Mikado. This section was part of the combined Nikk - sh Kaid (road), the route established by Tokugawa Ieyasu to link Edo with Mutsu (Fukushima) Province ( sh Kaid ) and Edo with Nikk (Nikk Kaid ) and was extensively used by Sens ji¶s pilgrims, tourists and visitor to the Yoshiwara Pleasure Quarters. 4. ( Yanagibashi (Bridge) )



Right: early Meiji Era photo showing the view of the Kanda River from the bridge The wooden railings were of the Hyapponkui, one hundred piles, type

The original bridge was constructed before the shitamachi (downtown) Great Genroku Fire of 1697 (Genroku 10) during what was considered the Golden Age of the Edo period, the Genroku era (1688 ± 1704). Edo era¶s Yanagibashi was a Geisha area with many restaurants. The current bridge was built in 1929. On the approach to the bridge were mainly inns for sailors busy going to and from the Yoshiwara Pleasure Quarters and there were many chokibune (µboar tusk boat¶ because of its shape), long flat river boats which were used to transport people, food, drink and entertainment in the form of musicians and Geisha and also used for cherry blossom viewing etc. During the Meiji Era (1868 ± 1912) this was one of T ky ¶s most renowned entertainment districts.


DairokutenSakakiJinja (Shrine)



This is DairokutenSakakiJinja. Dairokuten means the devil. In the year Meiji 2 (1869) the shrine was renamed SakakiJinja. Up until the year Meiji 3 (1870), the shrine was near Asakusa¶s Library. It was moved north to Kuramae 1 Ch me, near Sukahashi bridge k ban (Police Box). The current shrine was built in 1928. When translated Sakaki means the

branches of an evergreen tree used in Shinto ritual. It is here that the ritual of Mameki takes place every February. Mameki are dried beans which are scattered to drive out bad luck and call in good luck. 6. å Shinozuka (Inari) Jinja (Shrine)

This shrine is dedicated to one of a samurai Shitenn (groups of four famous historical protector figures), Shinozuka Iga (no-Kami), who was the protector ofNitta Yoshisada (1301 1338) and the Nitta clan and was one of Yoshida¶s vassals. Now it¶s a tiny hokora (small shrine). At the beginning of the Meiji era it was a terakoya (temple elementary school), Shinozuka primary school. 7. Ich ga Oka HachimanJinja (The Hachiman Shrine of Ginkgo Hill) å å

Currently located in Fukuimachi 1 ch me, the enshrined deity isEmperor jin (Hachiman, God of War). MinamotonoYoriyoshi (988 - 1075) and his son HachimanTar (Minamoto no)Yoshiieboth prayed hereafter the traitor Kugy , nephew and assassin of Minamoto no Sanetomo, was executed at TsurugaokaHachiman-g (the most important Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura, which was founded by Yoriyoshi). At the time it was located on a hill surrounded by Ginkgo trees and overlooked the upper reaches of a branch of the Sumida River. Near here a house of the Matsudaira clan once stood. 8. SasaDango (Bamboo Grass Dumpling) Tenn Usai (SugaJinja)

Currently called SugaJinja, this reputable shrine presently has various popular names such as Gozutenn (Indian Deity Gavagriva), TorigoeTenn Yashiro, Gionsha and so on. The enshrined deity has eight heads and tails. In general it is popularly referred to as DangoTenn . SasaDangoare rice dumplings made with mugwort and sweet red adzuki beans. Legend has it that a farmer prayed for his daughter here and, after s was cured of he the plague, made an offering of twelve dango here, one for each of year of their daughter¶s age. 9. Torigoebashi (Bridge) »

The Sumidagawa (river) fed into the Torigoegawa at a place near the Torigoe Bridge, which was also known as Tenn bashi (bridge). Near here was an area which became known as the Torigoe execution grounds where criminals arrived from the local prison to face their death after crossing what was referred to as Jigokubashi ( - Hell Bridge). It was here that Kosaka Jinnai was executed (see 13 Jinnaibashi ± below). In the late Edo era the Torigoe Bridge was called the Suga Bridge and flowed along the same route as KuramaebashiStreet to the east of Edo Street. 10. Asakusa Okura (Tokugawa Government Granaries)

The Tokugawa granaries were built so that the nationwide rice production areas which were under direct control of the Sh gun were managed by the O-Edo Bakufu who controlled the rice harvest, bought the rice and set the annual rice taxes and the price of rice. The rice was stored in large granaries which stretched alongside the river in this area. Torigoejinja¶s hill was levelled and the land reclaimed and eight canals were built alongside each of the warehouses in all probability with a gate on each. Most of the wholesale rice dealers of Kuramae would have bought and sold using the promissory notes provided by lowe ranking r Hatamoto, a samurai in direct service of the Sh gun, as collateral with the long rows of local money lenders whose shops existed in profusion in the area. 11. Shubi no matsu (Shubi Pine Tree)

The How-Did-You-Fare pine tree appeared to those in chokibune (µboar tusk boat¶ ± because of their shape) on the Sumida River who were visiting the Yoshiwara red light district. Today there are a few young pine trees and a stone monument to mark the spot 12. Torigoegawa (River)  

The remains of Shamisen Moat, 1 chome 5, kojima

The Torigoe river ran, together with the Ningawa, from Shinobazu Pond (in Ueno Park) flowing east past a neighbourhood of samurai residences to an important Meiji era (1868 ± 1912) trading post, the Shamisen Canal (because of its shape). The Shamisen Canal, the present day north-south of Kiyosubashi Street, along the western side of Kojima 1 Ch me, was the starting point of the southern channel of the Torigoegawa and was in the vicinity of what is presently Torigoe 1 ch me where, as it flowed east, it became the Shinhorigawa

Canal before flowing into the Sumidagawa River. It acted as a thoroughfare for boats transporting goods to the Sumidagawa River but was eventually filled in during the Taisho era (1912 ± 1926) 13. Jinnaibashi (Bridge)

The Jinnai Bridge was also named after a local shrine. The Torigoe River, named after a local shrine in Taito-ku, flowed through the Asakusa Kuramae area and under the bridge. The area has a history of kawata (leather workers) an µethnic¶ group then commonly referred to using the derogative eta and in today¶s Japan referred to as burakumin

The Jinnai shrine was named after, and dedicated to, Kosaka Jinnai , a disciple of the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. He was accused of breaching public order and sentenced to death. Before being executed he contracted malaria and promised that if anyone prayed to him they would be cured of the same disease. For a fictionalised account of Jinnai¶s life, torture and death see James S De Benneville¶s translation of the Japanese ghost story µBakemonoYashiki¶ http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19945/19945-h/19945-h.htm#Page_201 14. TorigoeJinja(Shrine) ¾ *



Originally an ancient tomb mound on an island in Tait ward, in 1620 the land was levelled and the earth used as landfill for the building of the Bakufu¶skura (rice storehouses). During the evening of the Torigoe Shrine Festival in early June the local parishioners carry six portable shrines, mikoshi, around the neighbourhood and on the final day the shrines, including the SenganOkoshi weighing 4 tons, return at dusk, preceded by lanterns held on long poles by seemingly mournful singing bearers. A new year¶s celebration is also held here, called the Tondojuki Fire ceremony



) J nen-ji (Temple) 


Descriptions of O-Edo¶s topography and culture were compiled by Mishima Masayuki (1780 ± 1856), a Tokugawa Hatamoto and cartographer, who is buried here. Also buried here is Chiyonoyama (Masanobu ) (1926 ± 1977) the founder st of the Sumo stable Kokonoebeya and the sport¶s 41 yokozuna (highest rank in pro sumo) Mishima Masayuki 1856) (1780 ±


15 1818 9 

1826 5 1872







Mishima Masayuki , whose popular name is Sh z , was a good, warm and friendly old man who¶s pen name was Totsu Hitoshi and who had a reputation as a leader. For a while he was away from home residing in one of the west baileys, Nishimaru, of Edo Castle. MishimaSeishun no Rokuro was born in O-Edo UshikoshiFunagawaraMachi (in Shinjuku). On the occasion of his 15th year the neighbouring O-Odasu Masayo family branch adopted st him as their son. In the 1 year (1818) of the Bunsei era (1818 ± 1830) he became a guard in the neighbouring Gosho in (Imperial Palace) and then subsequently he suddenly became gashira (headman) of Kiyomizuden ( Kiyomizu-do Kannon Temple, overlooking Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park). In the 9th year (1826) of the Bunsei era because of the rapid expansion of O-Edo¶s city limits he began a compilation of studies into the area¶s topography ( Go FunaiUchiFudoki ± A Description of the Culture, Climate etc of the City of Edo), a task which took three years to complete. Another document ( Go FunaiBik - Notes on the City limits of Edo) survived a major fire in the 5 th year (1872) of the Meiji era (1868 ± 1912). Others, Sh hei ji from the Office of Funerals and Ceremonial occasions and Hayashi Jussai also played leading roles in putting together another compilation (  Shin Hen MusashiF do Ki K ± Musashi¶s New Compilation of Historical

Topographical Manuscripts) and (  Shin Hen Sagami* KokuF do Ki K New Compilation of Historical Manuscripts of the Customs and Manners of Sagami*). Amongst other publications he also participated in the planning and publication of another compilation ( Kasai Shi ± Kasai Journal) considered to be one of his greatest rd th achievements. In the 3 year (1856) of the Ansei era (1854 ± 1860) on the 29 September, aged 77 he passed away. ( T ky to Ky iku Iinkai ± T ky Metropolitan Area Education Committee) * Probably Sagami Bay, Kanagawa Chiyonoyama (Masanobu) (1926 ± 1977) - Born the son of a fisherman in st Fukushima, Hokkaid . He became the sport¶s 41 yokozuna (Grand Champion) in May 1953. After losing a battle to take over the Dewanoumibeya Sumo stable he set up Kokonoebeya in nd March 1967 where he was joined by Kitanofuji, the sports 52 yokozuna, and the future th 58 yokozuna, Chiyonofuji


Ry h ji (Temple)

Grave of the middle Edo period poet SenryuHachiemonKarai (poetry pen name Senryu or River Willow, 1718 ± 1790) who, as the head of O-Edo¶s Asakusa village of Abekawamachi near Ry h ji Temple, was a noted government official and one of about twenty respected judges of Maekuzuke verse (a humorous or satiric poem dealing with human affai s). He r popularised the 5-7-5 syllable Senryu verse form, a sub-genre of Haiku, that emerged fromMaekuzuke that bears his name. Only 3% of the 2,300,00 stanzas he judged were selected to be published in the 23 annual volumes of the collection called HaifuYanagidaru. The temple is popularly referred to as Senryuji 17. Saifukuji (Temple)

The painter Katsushika Hokusai¶s teacher, painter and print maker KatsukawaShunsh (1726 ± 1792) is buried here in plot 4-16-16. He was famous for his yakusha-e portraits of Kabuki actors and Bijinga images of beautiful women. KatsukawaShunsh was his pen name, his original name being KatsumiyagawaY suke. Early in Meiji 3 (1870) the premises were turned into a public institution; a primary school. The area around here used to be known as Somei Yoshino Mura ± Yoshino Cherry Tree village because of the cultivation of Yoshino Cherry trees, Somei , in the area that were also grown on either side of the streets in unbroken lines and still grow in profusion in the temple grounds


Hottahara (Hotta field)

The residence of the Miyagawa branch Daimy of the Hotta family from the mi region (Shigaken ± Shiga Prefecture, Kinki area) was located here in an open field covered with weeds. To the east was the Bakufu¶s horse riding ground and target practice fields. The name of Umayabashi had already been established.HottaMasayasu (1848-1911; ) was the eighth natural son of Lord of the Iwaki Takanaga Kameda clan. He was adopted by HottaMasasato. In 1863 he was head of the Miyagawa branch of the family. After 1868, he served in the administration of T ky working as a district official. In the first parliamentary elections in 1890 he was elected to the House of Lords and became a leader of the Kenkyu kai Party.


maya (Government Stables) Watashi (Ferry)

Katsushika Hokusai

Established in the middle of the Edo period the eight ferry boats operated by fourteen maintained the ferry services for over 180 years. The ferry service was named after nearby stables where horses were kept for transporting rice for the granaries. In the 17th century, the Tokugawa Shogunate used the riverbank south o Komagata for a horse stable (umaya). f Horses were an important part of the warriors' life and were in great demand for travel and other purposes. In1872 there was an accident when one of the ferries capsized carrying people and their flower purchases. In 1874 a toll bridge was built and the ferry service ceased 20. SuwaJinja (Shrine)

å This was a subsidiary shrine of the Shinsh Shimosuwa(Lake SuwanearShinano, Nagano Prefecture). Established a very long time ago an old chronicle tells of it being destroyed by fire after which it was never rebuilt. Near here, in 1958, the literary master NatsumeS seki (1867 ± 1916) took a room at Sachi-so ´ of Suwa-ch in Asakusa, and stayed at his father in law¶s house in the neighbourhood until Meiji 7/8 (1874/1875)



Komagata-do was probably first built in 942 when Lord TairaKimmasa donated the main hall, pagoda and other buildings as a generous tribute to AsakusaKannon Temple. This small shrine, dedicated to the Horse-headed Kannon (koma means horse), was a favourite theme for artists and writers. Hiroshige's wood block depiction of this shrine has been reproduced on metal plates on the downstream side of the bridge. The current building is a Ferro concrete affair built in 1933. 22. HottaYashiki (residence) å

Illustration of HottaYashiki Gardens by J Bayne From µThe Land of the Morning¶, William Gray Dixon, published 1882, Edinburgh

This was the site of the residence of HottaBuzen-no-kami (kami was the courtesy title reflecting the highest ranking person with responsibility for Buzen province). During the time of O-Edo (T ky ) in Sakura, Shim sa province (Chiba prefecture) there was a self-sacrificing man who was known to be aligned with the peasants, Sakura S gor (1605 ± 1653. Real name Kiuchi) to whom a memorial hall has been built. Because of the suffering cause by the massive taxes imposed on the peasants by their Daimyo Hotta Ma sanobu (1632 ± 1680) S gor appealed directly to the Shogun and was executed for his impropriety. As a result of this dreadful misfortune a shrine was built for the repose of dead souls. The story was made into a Kabuki play, Sakura Giminden (Sakura the Martyr)


23. (



TakaharaYashiki (residence) . ) ( ( ( ) )2 (1653) ) , (

, )

The site of the former Takahara Residence at 2 chome Kotobuki 

TakaharaHeibei was an early Edo era potter. Around about the Keich era (1596 ± 1615) the demand for tea utensils from Setsu¶sNose district (now part of the Osaka metropolitan area) nd was extremely high. In the 1653, the 2 year of the J era (1652 ± 1655)TakaharaHeibei was invited to appear in O-Edo and became the neighbour and tea utensils specialist of Sh gun Tokugawa Ietsuna. Takahara ceramics (also known as Asakusa ceramics was ) founded in front of AsakusaHonganji. It is thought that TakaharaHeibeioriginated in Higo (Kumamoto prefecture, Ky shu) and was thought to make other things as well. He was bestowed this plot of land which was known as the TakaharaYashiki which became a merchant¶s residence in the middle of town. The site is now located in Kotobuki 2 chome( )


Monzekimae (in front of Monzeki Temple)

During the Meireiki era (1655 ± 1658), after passing through Kanda, the great fire of March nd 2 1657, also known as the Furisode Fire, arrived at the J doShinsh (off shoot of J do sect) Temple, presently T ky ¶s (Shin sect) Honganji Temple neighbourhood. Honganji was a Monzeki, a temple at which a priest of Imperial or Noble lineage was installed. There are traces of the Honji and also the T mon (east gate), AsakusaMonzeki and a few other elements. It was said that the total area of the site was 15,000 tsubo (3.31 sq meters). The Shinsh School was the mightiest of the Bakufu¶s schools of Buddhism and is still the most

widely practiced in Japan, as opposed to the J doSh practised form of Buddhism in Japan

School the second most widely


Kikuyabashi (bridge) ð

Kikuyabashi (bridge -

)circa 1907, and now

Irya, now a rather peaceful area of older houses with traditional charm, was an area of rice paddies and is associated with a story about a local gardener who planted morning glories (asagao ) in various parts of the area. The water for Iriya¶s rice paddies was gathered from the Shinogawariver which flowed along what is now KappabashiD gu Street. The Shinhorigawa River was crossed by a bridge which was located near a Kikuya sweet shop called Chinamu. Now the name Kikuyabashi only remains as the name for the local police box or k ban called the Kikuyabashik ban. 26. Senky ji (Temple)

Here is the tomb of Katsushika Hokusai (1750 ± 1849) the Ukiyo-e artist and pioneer of the Katsushika School made famous during the latter part of the O-Edo period. Together with Hiroshige he began painting highly praised and fluent landscape masterpieces (Thirty -six views of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai). A lot of the work was exported to Europe greatly influencing the French Impressionists.


( ) Ry fuku in (ji - temple) 3 chome 17 2, Moto Asakusa( Ô  



The burial place of KiyochikaKoboyashi (1847 ± 1915), µthe last Ukiyo-e artist¶ who combined traditional Ukiyo-e with modern Western styles and who fought on the side of the Sh gunate during the Boshin Wars ( BoshinSens ) the outcome of which heralded the fall of the Tokugawa Sh gunate, the decline of the samurai, the ascendancy of the Emperor and the advent of the Meiji Era and Japan¶s entry onto the stage of the modern World order

http://goshuin.ko-kon.net/gofunai88/82_ryufuku-in.html (Japanese)
28. Shinhorigawa (River) T ky ( )Shinhoridoori ( )

During the flood of (1910) At http://www.maroon.dti.ne.jp/~satton/taitou-imamukasi/sinborigawa.html

Shin Hori was the name of a village in this location now incorporated into Shishibone ( ± the remains of deer. Named after the deer which were brought from the Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara and which were buried here after they died). The river was built to prevent flooding in th the early 19 century by a merchant, KihachiKappaya ( ð ). 29. Abekawach

An old Edo Street, Abekawach no longer exists having been absorbed into the current neighbourhood in 1936. The southern half was absorbed into Kotobuki 1 -chome and the northern half into Kotobuki 2-chome

Magoz Inari Shrine

The compilation Go FunaiBik - Notes on the City limits of Edo by Mishima Masayuki (see 15 above) states that the neighbourhood here was called Abekawach because a shrine was moved here from Abekawa in Shizuoka prefecture. The original shrine was destroyed twice, once during the Great Kant Earthquake of 1923 and the th second time during the T ky air raids of World War II. On the 8 March there is a festival at the shrine. Legend has it that Tokugawa Ieyasu, the 1 of the Tokygawa Shoguns, was crossing the Abegawa River when he handed his horses reigns to a man called Magozo who, it later turned out, was the incarnation of the Inari (fox) deity of the Magozo shrine near the Abegawa River.

Photographic images published before December 31st 1956, or photographed before 1946 and not published for 10 years thereafter, under jurisdiction of the Government of Japan, are considered to be public domain according to article 23 of old copyright law of Japan and article 2 of supplemental provision of copyright law of Japan

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