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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Buke-yashiki Shimabara

武家屋敷

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.

Buke-yashiki Shimabara Kyushu


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.

Buke-yashiki Shimabara


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.

Buke-yashiki Shimabara, Kyushu


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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1 comment:

llewellyn said...

Brings back memories of my second trip to Japan.Spent about 5 days in Kyushu,one was here.