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Cultural Heritage

Northern Culture Museum, a part of The Ito Estate, the former home of one of welthiest landowners; the Ito family. “A family, which started out as farmers on the west bank of the great Agano River, which flows across the Kanbara Plain in Echigo, grew richer from farther to son until eventually they build up an enormous fortune and became the greatest landowners in Echigo. The family’s name was Ito. During the Meiji Period,...

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During the Edo period of Japan, Ouchijuku was no more than a small post station; it has since then been a well preserved village mostly untouched by time. Located in the Shimogo, Fukushima, Ouchijuku is a historically preserved district that shows us a glimpse back in time to the Old World Japan. The thatched roofs of the village houses in this modest town are mostly made of dried straw. These settlements were known as a central hub...

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Like many other locations in Japan (especially Kyoto), Kakunodate is a relic of Old World Japan from the Edo era. During the Edo era, Kakunodate was bustling with samurai and merchants, and is still home to some of the best remaining examples of samurai architecture in Japan. If you ever dreamed of walking the streets of the Samurai, look no further—this is your place. Located in the Akita prefecture of Tohoku, Kakunodate is the...

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Resting in the holy mountain island of Miyajima the Daishoin Temple is just at the base of the mountain, surrounded by beautiful trees. Miyajima Island is most well-known for UNESCO World Heritage Site, Itsukushima Shrine and the “Floating” Torii Gates, which appear to float in the water during high tide. Daishoin Temple is a hidden gem in the emerald green sea of maple trees. This quaint shrine was established in 806, the first year...

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Temples are one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous sites in Japan, but did you know that big temple complexes have smaller sub-temples?  Just as you’d guess, a sub-temple is a smaller temple on a larger temple ground. In fact, some temple complexes do not have a main temple, but rather are a group of sub-temples on temple grounds. This is actually quite common for many of the larger temples, such as Daitoku-ji Temple....

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The Meiji Restoration Period of Japan (1868 – 1912) was the first major step away from the tradition and culture of Old World Japan. Japan had achieved tremendous accomplishments at the price of several crippling drawbacks. Embracing their Western contemporaries, Japan had great economic, militaristic, and technological growth as well as many Japanese immigrating to America in the late 1800’s, where my ancestry in America began. The...

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