Sunday, June 24, 2012

So You Want to Live Like a Samurai?

We had some great adventures this week touring our little town of Aizu Wakamatsu. We visited a samurai mansion and a ruling family's graveyard up in the mountains. Below are some pictures of our adventures.

This is one room in the samurai mansion that we visited. Much of the mansion burned down and was recreated about 30 years ago. Many rooms had Japanese mannequins to show the purpose of the rooms. 

The guard room

This was a rice cleaner powered by water. Pretty ingenious for how old it is. 

The lavatory. The English sign reads, "The lavatory was for the exclusive use of 'Onari-no-ma.' It was dumped with sand. The cart was filled with sand in order to separate the excretions for health advisers to examine." Ewww!

So this is the cart that the poor health examiners had to dig through to make sure that the samurai were in tip-top shape.

I had to giggle at this one too. "The lavatory has no ceiling boards, which prevents hidden enemies from making a surprise attack."

"Please gently rub the head. Surely, you will get a good fortune!"

These are the steps leading to the ruling family's graveyard. This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have been on here in Japan. 

The gravestones were different shapes to represent the different types of Buddhism that  evolved throughout the generations of this family's reign.

Not sure if you can see it very well, but these gravestones had some really interesting kanji on them. It almost looked more like hieroglyphics than modern kanji.

Sorry, kind of random, but look how beautiful the green of those rice fields are. James and I run through the rice fields every once in a while and I am amazed every time at how breathtaking that green is. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

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