Anaguma

Anaguma

Posted on 03/30/2009


Photo taken on March 17, 2009



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Japan
Aso
Kyushu
Kumamoto
Milk Road
Sankin-kotai


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Sankin-kotai road in Ozumachi, Kumamoto 熊本

Sankin-kotai road in Ozumachi, Kumamoto 熊本
Heading to the NE out of Ozu town, the 400-year-old sankin-kotai road shows its 250 years of wear. It was in use from around 1605 to 1862. The daimyo would follow the road to Oita and pick up a boat for Osaka before following the Tokaido or Nakasendo to Edo.

Sankin-kotai was a loosely enforced custom until 1635 when it became law. Daimyo (feudal lords "Big Shots"), maintained 2 residences, one in their home fief and one in the ruling fief (Edo-Tokyo). The wife and heir of the daimyo had to reside in the capital. After 1600, the capital was Edo (Tokyo). Maintaining two households and the processions between home and Edo drained any extra funds the daimyo may have had to hire more soldiers. The routes the processions followed became established roads with villages growing to cater to travelers. Special houses for the daimyo were set up along the way and were known as "honjin." You can see a reconstructed honjin in Tsumago along the Nakasendo highway between Nagoya and Matsumoto.

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