The Buke-yashiki district of lower and middle samurai houses in the Teppo-cho area of Shimabara in Nagasaki Prefecture is a short walk north west of Shimabara Castle.
A small spring water canal, that served for the daily water needs of the houses, runs down the center of the street. A number of the wooden samurai residences and gardens have been preserved here including the Torita, Shinozuka and Yamamoto homes.
The homes are unoccupied and are free to enter. Some of the tatami-floored rooms have mannequins in period dress recreating scenes from samurai life.
The properties measure about 300 square meters and were occupied by mid-ranking samurai who served as clerks and administrators to the feudal lord (Matsudaira) and received a stipend of between 7 and 17 koku of rice a year, depending on their rank. Each property was planted with loquat, persimmon and orange trees to provide the family with fresh fruit.
The high, stone walls for defense are a feature of the houses.
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