12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour: Chapter 4 – Course Covering the Birthplace of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Kato Kiyomasa
Welcome to Chapter 4 of the 12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour. If you (still) haven’t visited the first three chapters of this tour, it’s quite alright, but you don’t know what you’re missing out on! Just kidding. I would love if you did as I myself am enjoying learning more about the city where I am currently residing, which I would not be too keen to read about in history books.
This chapter promises to take us through the hometown of two extraordinary leaders in Japan. Hideyoshi is known for succeeding after Nobunaga’s attempt to reunify Japan. In his efforts to do so he had failed attempts to occupy Korea and ordered execution of Christians in Japan for fear of dividing the countrymen’s loyalty. The second hero in the chapter is Kiyomasa, is known as the “Devila General” a true samurai – “a warrior, nothing more nothing less.” He fought alongside Hideyoshi for their common causes, but Kiyomasa had other agendas. On the positive note he was famous for his bravery and being an excellent castle architect, but on the flip side, he was also known for his strong samurai beliefs – “poetry and dancing were shameful pastimes for a samurai, and ordered anyone who found himself engaged in the latter to commit suicide.” These two sources alone has given me a slightly deeper understanding of the Japanese culture.
The course starts and finishes at the same subway station stop. All the seven points of interest are within the Nakamura Park. Let’s go for a walk.
1. Aka-torii Gateway. One word – Bam! This massive torii gate meets you as you walk out of the subway station exit, much like how the Colosseum of Rome hits you in the face when you come out of the train station. Stands a tall 24 metres, about 6 story high building. This imposing structure marks the entrance to the Nakamura Park and the Toyokuni Shrine.
2. Toyokuni Shrine. This shrine was built to honour Hideyoshi as a deity for career advancement and success. Based on his own success from a humble beginning here in Nakamura to his efforts to reunify Japan. A short walk from the main torii you will then see the Toyokuni torii and the japanese garden surrounding it.
3. Birthplace of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. A stone memorial was built in 1911 to mark what was believed to be Hideyoshi’s birthplace. Although another theory stated that his actual birthplace was about a kilometre away from this memorial. Locals regard this memorial with great respect as Hideyoshi is considered as one of Japan’s great leaders.
4. Josen-ji Temple. This temple was originally built in 1606 by Kiyomasa to worship Hideyoshi. Built on the former sight of Hideyoshi’s father-in-law and believed to be his original birthplace.
5. Myogyo-ji Temple. It is said that Kiyomasa used remaining materials from the construction of Nagoya Castle to build this temple in 1610. This is believed to be his birthplace as well. Known for being a brave commander his statue inside the temple shows his gallant (fierce) look in full armour.
6. Hachiman Shrine. Believed to originally exist within the Nagoya Castle grounds, Hachiman Shrine was known as where Kiyomasa always prayed for victory before heading to battles. Kiyomasa was revered as a strong military commander through many different tales of valour, and perhaps the Hachiman Shrine played a big part in these successes.
7. Hideyoshi & Kiyomasa Memorial Museum. Within the Nakamura Park’s Cultural Plaza is the Museum for Hideyoshi’s and Kiyomasa’s historical materials. The museum is small and intimate. It features items from their battles and maps of their conquests.
There were other interesting features around the Nakamura Park grounds.
This was a pleasant walking course but not boring as the many points of interest had beautiful features in each of them. If you would like to see the previous chapters they are here:
Chapter 1: Nagoya Castle Course
Chapter 2: Course covering region of the Owari Tokugawa family and the Cultural Path
Chapter 3: Oda Nobunaga “Owari’s Foolhardy Youth” Course
Happy Easter everyone and have a great week ahead.