Washibara Hachimangu Shrine and horse archery riding grounds
The Washibara Hachimangu Shrine is at the foot of Shiroyama. The Hachimangu Shrine, at the center, was transferred in 1387 from Kamakura’s Tsurugaoka Hacimangu Shrine by Yoshimi Masayori. During the siege of Tsuwano castle in 1554 the building shrine burned down, and it was rebuilt in 1568. According to the legend, the tower gate and worship hall were made by Takeda carpenters (Kyushu: Takeda master carpenters). The Shimoyama Shrine, on the right, was transferred here by the Kamei family.
In 1871 it was moved when the Kamei family migrated to Tokyo. (Today, there is a Shimoyama Shrine at Nakaza’s Maruyama Park). Others introduced include the umamidokoro (horse racing and training faciliy), Mokubado Hall, Tsuyado Hall, Gakudo Hall, Itsukushima Shrine,Konpira Shrine, Tenmangu Shrine, Awashima Shrine, and Sagi Daimyoujin.
At the entrance to the Washibara riding grounds, there is a large lantern. An inscription says that it was dedicated by a Kijyu group’s captain and foot soldiers, and a Kamiichi group’s captain and foot soldiers. This may have occurred when Kijyu-mura was formerly part of the city of Tsuwano. If Satoharu know that this lantern still existed today, he surely would be happy.
Later, when road construction plans called for widening the road, the town’s people made effort to ensure that the road and this lantern were carefully preserved.
The Washibara cherry trees were among the pine trees on the embankment. Wen the flowers bloomed, this was the best viewing spot for the local residents. The author is unknown, but someone once wrote, “Washibara is famous for its cherry blossoms when spring is in full bloom. The blossoms are so beautiful, just like thin, pink silk kimonos.”
There was also a folk song with this line:”whether Terada or Washibara, flower viewing in ancient Yayoi times was a pleasant time of idleness and intoxication.”
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