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February 2020 Update from the Coordinators for International Relations ・ 国際交流員日記2月2020年

印刷ページ表示 更新日:2020年3月16日更新

The Restoration of Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine Part 2・梁川八幡神社の復元 Part 2


Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine is in Date City’s Yanagawa, nearby Yanagawa Tenjinja. Visitors will be met with a standee of Date Masamune, as depicted in the city’s anime “Masamune Date ni Kuru,” as well as a signboard with a brief note about the site’s connection to the 16th head of the Date Clan: “17th Lord Date Masamune prayed for victory in battle at this shrine.”

シャネンと伊達政宗のパネル 看板

Along the path to the main shrine is Kannon Temple, the remains of a three story pagoda said to have been built by Fujiwara Hidehira, as well as a bell tower remaining from the original Ryūhō Temple. Today, Hachimanyama Ryūhō Temple stands adjacent to Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine.

梁川八幡神社の参道 龍玉寺関連の鐘楼

Inside, visitors will find a new addition to the shrine; a pedestal cut from the stump of a tree that had towered over the shrine for nearly 280 years, and sitting on top of it, a statue of an owl. Towards the end of the two and a half year reconstruction project, a baby owl was born to an owl that was known to visit the shrine. It made an appearance during the restoration of the shrine and has since won popularity among locals.

梁川八幡神社 ふくろう

The shrine is open to visitors year round and just a short walk from Yanagawa Machi no Eki (Home to the award winning Niku Goroto Onigiri and open 9時00分 – 18時00分 every day excluding Dec. 29 – Jan. 3.), so feel free to drop by both if you find yourself nearby!

Through May 18th, artifacts from inside the shrine, including two wooden komainu statues, will be on display at the history and culture museum in Date City’s Hobara Total Park (open 9時00分 – 17時00分; closed Tuesdays and days following national holidays).

Admission to the museum is 210円 (100円 for elementary through high school students) and includes entry into the Former Kameoka Family Home.

(Posted by: Shannen ・ 作成者:シャネン)

The Restoration of Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine Part 1・梁川八幡神社の復元 Part 1

Established in the year 984 — the midst of the Heian Period — Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine became the principal shrine of the Date Clan after they were founded in 1189. While the building has been repaired a number of times since, the most recent restoration project began in 2017, spanning two and a half years and resulting in the recovery of a number of artifacts.

こまいぬ・komainu こまいぬ・komainu

These two sculptures, for example, are of koma-inu, “lion dogs” often depicted along the paths leading up to shrines. Both are sculpted from wood, an unusual material for koma-inu statues.

つりどうろう・lanterns つりどうろう・lantern

From the inscriptions within these lanterns we can tell that they were presented to the shrine in 1701. It is thought that they were offered to the shrine in supplication for rain.

すみさし・sumisashi 亀の絵・turtle drawing

Maybe the most mysterious discovery was that of two bamboo pens called “sumisashi,” seemingly left behind by the last carpenters to restore the shrine. On one wooden plank in the roof of the shrine, a drawing of a turtle was found.

げぎょ・gegyo のじいた・nojiita

These and more items will be on display at the history and culture museum in Date City’s Hobara Total Park (open 9時00分 – 17時00分; closed Tuesdays and days following national holidays) through May 18th.

Admission to the museum is 210円 (100円 for elementary through high school students) and includes entry into the Former Kameoka Family Home.

(Posted by: Shannen ・ 作成者:シャネン)

Making Miso at Family Park Date ・ファミリーパークだてで手前味噌作り

The other day I donned an apron at Date Town’s indoor play area, Family Park Date.


I was about to make miso, a traditional Japanese fermented seasoning.


Apron-clad and Always Glad ・ 前掛外装で、いつも嬉しい

The ingredients required for this type of miso were boiled soybeans, komekōji (rice inoculated with the fungus Aspergillus oryzae), and copious amounts of salt.


Miso Ingredients ・ 味噌材料

The first step was sanitizing the container for aging the miso with brine.


I was surprised by this step, as I have only ever used boiling water or chemicals such as chlorine or iodine for such a purpose.


Salty Sanitization ・ 塩っぱい消毒

Next, I mixed the komekōji with salt.


A lot of salt!


Salty Komekōji ・ 塩辛米麹

Then I mashed the boiled soy beans, with the traditionally-utilized utensil.


Brawling with Beans ・ 豆と乱闘

Eventually a food processor was used, to save time.


Modern Technology ・ 現代の技術

I fastidiously scraped all of the resulting soybean paste into the mixing bowl, thus nullifying any time savings.


To the Very End ・ とことんまで

My hands mixed the bean paste and the salty komekōji to a fine consistency.


Kneading Miso ・ 味噌練り

Finally, I made something akin to snowballs out of the mixture, and hurled them into the aging container.


Misoball Fight ・ 味噌合戦

Needless to say, not all of it hit the target, and there was one messy accident.


However, most made it in.


Tony’s Signature Miso ・ トニーの記名物の味噌

Wrapped in layers of salt and plastic, my handmade miso will be ready in six months.


I’ll let you know how it tastes then!


Waiting in Hope ・ 待ち望みます

(Posted by: Tony ・ 作成者:トニー)

Date Station Plaza Renovation ・伊達駅前広場新装

The renovation work on the plaza outside Date Station finished at the beginning of this month.


The Renovated Date Station Plaza ・ 新装した伊達駅前広場

The station has become a pleasure to use, thanks to the new congestion-relieving layout.


The most notable difference is the addition of a rotary (traffic circle), which enables a smooth flow of vehicles.


The Rotary, or Traffic Circle ・ ロータリーか、円形交差点

However, it is important to note that this flow of traffic can become blocked by cars waiting for arriving train passengers.


For this reason, drivers are asked to wait in the newly expanded parking lot, where stays under 30 mins are free.


Welcoming Parties, Please Proceed to the Parking Lot ・ お迎えの方は駐車場へ

Color-coded pavement differentiates between different types of parking spot.


General parking is marked in red.


A Colorful Parking Lot ・ 色のある駐車場

Of course, taxis can almost always be found waiting for potential passengers in their designated roundabout.


Waiting Taxis ・ 待っているタクシー

There is also a space beside the station where you can wait for train passengers, or watch trains rush by.


A Fine Place ・ 立派な所

My favorite new feature is the informative map of Date City located outside the station building.


An Informative Map of Date City ・ 伊達市の案内地図

The English-language names of famous locations in Date City are nothing short of brilliant.


Perfect English ・ 英語完璧

The bicycle parking area is also spectacular.


Which one is mine? ・ 僕のがどっち?

Both visiting guests and commuting residents of Date City will appreciate the convenience offered by the Date Station’s enhanced plaza.


A Station Where Past and Present Meet ・ 過去と現在が落ち合う駅

(Posted by: Tony ・ 作成者:トニー)

Mamemaki at "Family Park Date" ・ 「ファミリーパークだて」で豆撒き


We visited Date City’s indoor playground, “Family Park Date” on Setsubun for their mamemaki event! Setsubun is a day on which Japanese people celebrate the beginning of Spring with “mamemaki,” a tradition in which they throw beans at ogres, or “oni,” symbolizing driving out the evils of the past year. Tony dressed up as a blue oni! He and the red oni stomped around and yelled while the kids threw balls at them.


After they defeated the oni, I appeared as a god of luck and handed out peanuts as a reward. The kids did their best fighting the oni and even said “thank you” in English when I handed them their peanuts.
皆さんが鬼を倒した後、私が福の神として出てピーナッツを渡しました。子供たちは鬼と戦うために一生懸命働いて頑張りました。そしてピーナッツ貰ってから英語で「Thank you」を言ってくれました。

(Posted by: Shannen ・ 作成者:シャネン)

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