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Former Residence of the Toshima Family

Former Residence of the Toshima Family

Constructed as a retreat for a retainer at Ondo-machi in the west end of the Shirouchi district, the sukiya-style (tea-ceremony-house-style) building with not only a thatched roof but also a national garden of scenic beauty with a pond, whose water comes from the moat, creates such an elegant atmosphere. Inside the building, here and there, are the designs that were popular among poets and writers of the late Edo Period.

Former Residence of the Toshima Family

The residence of the former Toshima family was constructed in the Kansei Period (1789-1800), according to the folk story of the family and the research carried out by Fukuoka Prefecture in 1931 (Showa 6). However, judging from the monuments and other structures in the garden and also from the research on old documents left behind, the residence may have been constructed as early as 1828 (Bunsei 11). Yoshida Kanetoshi, who held an important post, churo, in the Yanagawa domain, made a two-story house with a reed-thatched roof and a garden as a retreat after his retirement It is said that the residence was later presented to the Tachibana family, the lord of the domain. Around the Meiji Restoration, in compensation for another piece of land requisitioned for a military training facility, the residence was gifted to Mr. Yufu. And it seems that in around 1882 (Meiji 15) Mr. Toshima obtained it when Mr. Yufu moved to another place. After that, it was mostly used as a house to live in. However, as was often the case with other samurai residences in the Yanagawa district, both the house and its garden were designated as important cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture in 1957 (Showa 32), and then in 1978 (Showa 53) the garden was appointed as a national scenic garden. In 2001 (Heisei 13), the building was donated to Yanagawa City. After three years (2001 to 2003) of repair, it was made open to the public in April, 2004 (Heisei 16).

Gallery

  • East Side of the Tea-Ceremony Room
    East Side of the Tea-Ceremony Room
    The tea-ceremony room utilizes bamboo as its main theme of the room ー perhaps from admiration for Chikurin Shichikenjin (Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove) of China. Bamboo pillars as well as take-no-otoshigake (a kettle hooker made of bamboo suspended from the ceiling over the Japanese traditional fireplace), and crescent-shaped take-shitaji-mado (a bamboo cradling window) are found in the room.
  • Outside of the Tea-Ceremony Room
    Outside of the Tea-Ceremony Room [ looked from the north ]
    The wall between the roof and the beam, which is called takeami-kabe (a lattice wall made of bamboo), also utilizes bamboo as an accent of the room.
  • Outside of Zashiki (a Japanese-style guest room with tatami mats on the floor)
    Outside of Zashiki (a Japanese-style guest room with tatami mats on the floor) [ looked from the south across the pond ]
    The south half of the east side of the roof and the south side of the roof have three tiers, each of which is made of different materials ー reed、batten plates and cryptomeria bark ー from the top. Originally the roof was designed to have only the top two tiers for the purpose of moon-viewing.
  • Southeast Side of Zashiki (a Japanese-style guest room with tatami mats on the floor)
    Southeast Side of Zashiki (a Japanese-style guest room with tatami mats on the floor) [ looked from the northwest ]
    The entrance side is also used as a waiting room for the tea ceremony. The veranda facing the garden is used as a moon-viewing spot on the night of the harvest moon. The pillars of the southeast corner of the room are removed so that the viewers can enjoy a wide view range from inside the room, sitting on the tatami mat.
  • South Side of Zashiki (a Japanese-style guest room with tatami mats on the floor)
    South Side of Zashiki (a Japanese-style guest room with tatami mats on the floor) [ looked from the northeast ]
    Bamboo is used for the staggered shelves called chigaidana. The upper shelf is used as kamidana (the family alter). Painted on the upper part of the south side of tsukejoin (a bow window fixed beside the alcove) is a picture of autumn flowers.
  • Zashiki Take-Ranma (a transom made of bamboo in the zashiki room)
    Zashiki Take-Ranma (a transom made of bamboo in the zashiki room) [ looked from the south ]
    The grid-shaped transom made of bamboo can be seen in other samurai residences in the neighborhood as well.
  • Painting on the Cedar-Board Door on the West of the South Veranda of Zashiki
    Painting on the Cedar-Board Door on the West of the South Veranda of Zashiki
    Autumn plants such as eulalias and Japanese bush clovers that perfectly suit the harvest season are drawn on the painting.
  • West Side of the Middle Room
    West Side of the Middle Room
    Carved on the door of the west side of the room is a Chinese poem "濁酌 (Dokushaku)" written by 李白 (Li Bai). Equipped on the ceiling is a hole to emit smoke from irori (a Japanese traditional fireplace).
  • East Side of the Buddhist Altar Room
    East Side of the Buddhist Altar Room
    Seen on the door of the room is a Chinese poem "湖中對酒作 (Kochu Sake ni Taishite Tsukuru)" written by 張謂 (Zhang Wei). And attached on both sides of the door are frames made by weaving thin pieces of bamboo into the shape of a winnow.

Former Residence of the Toshima Family

Location 49-3 Ondo machi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka
Business Hour 9a.m. - 5p.m. (no admittance after 4:30p.m.)
Holidays Every Tuesday (the following day when the Tuesday is a national holiday) / The year end (Dec. 29 - Jan. 3)
Admission fee 100 yen for elementary school students and over
Remarks Free of charge if you have an admission ticket for the Kitahara Hakushu's Parents' Home (Show it at the entrance.)
        You can make use of this place for cultural activities.
        Please inquire about the particulars."
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