Aizuwakamatsu – part III

Aizu Mura park

Our next stop was at Aizu Mura park and amazing statue of Aizu Dai Jibo Kannon (Mother-like Kannon Buddha of Aizu).

A 57m (187ft) tall statue of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, represents Budha in his female form. She is holding a child in her arms while a small Budha is sitting on top of her head. A statue is located on top of a small hill on the edge of Aizu Mura park, containing a small pagoda, statue of resting Budha and azaleas and irises whom they are very proud of. I was told they are most beautiful in spring but I was there in winter so… maybe next time ๐Ÿ˜€


Placed on the west side of Tsuruga-jo castle, a Nisshinkan, Aizu clan school was important place for educating of young samurai.

Established in 1803. by Genko Tanaka, school was a place where 10 years old kids were taught about martial arts (archery, shooting, horse riding and swimming) as well as Confusianism, mathematics, astronomy and medicine – books were translated mostly from the Dutch. At least 5 traditional martial arts schools (ryu ha) were taught in Nisshinkan: Mizoguchi-ha Ryu (kenjutsu – swordsmanship), Itto Ryu (kenjutsu), Yasumitsu Ryu, Shin Ten Ryu (iai jutsu), Taishi Ryu (kyudo – archery) and Shinto Seibu Ryu. A little bragging from my side: there is a room where you can try yourself in Japanese archery. Targets are about 10-15m away, about 30cm in diameter and you have 4 arrows. I succeeded and one arrow hit the target. As far as I could notice, there were two of us who succeeded ๐Ÿ˜€

caligraphy class as it probably looked like in Nisshinkan
The policy of a clan was that children should learn the basic ideas of adulthood by playing with other children and talking to their elders. Astronomy was optional and students could learn about universe using terrestrial and celestial globe telescope. There were only two schools with astronomical observatories in Japan in that time (the other one was in Satsuma-Kagoshima). Also, there were swimming classes and kids were taught how to swim and how to swimm wearing yoroi, armour with helmet and sabre as well as moving through water on a horse.
And that was all. Next morning, while strong rain was all over Honshu island, a plane took me off from Narita International airport. I hope it was not my last visit ๐Ÿ™‚

More photos here.

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29 Responses to Aizuwakamatsu – part III

  1. gdare says:

    Thnks Lorenzo, I have seen you in my recent visitors list. This is not a problem if you don`t comment, sometimes I go and check on other people`s posts but don`t feel like commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. LorenzoCelsi says:

    Thanks for posting. I am reading your blog even if I don't reply :)Japan and its culture has always given me mixed feelings.

  3. LorenzoCelsi says:

    Is there any reason why in your whole blog there isn't any picture of you?

  4. thaodp says:

    There're some new words for me so I have to use my dictionary but I really like your post ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Spaggyj says:

    Okies, I will wait patiently :happy:

  6. gdare says:

    Kimmie – :DLorenzo – I don`t find myself nice in a photographs so I rather put other photos; but here is one from a training :)it was taken out of a video file, so a little bit blurryMit – this is a nice way to learn more of a language :up:Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Spaggyj says:

    Ooo look at you all noble with a sword ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. gdare says:

    Well, I was only 9 days in Japan and spent 6 of them in training and competition.:sst: maybe I will make another post about japanese food, just give me some time for that ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Spaggyj says:

    And I never know what to say… I love these posts, Darko. I'm sad that they're over now :awww:

  10. LorenzoCelsi says:

    Come on Darko, since you aren't a pretty girl I don't mind if you you look good or not in pictures. Besides, I am not Brad Pitt myself. :)So, tell us a little more, what was the training about?Cutting stuff in half?

  11. rose-marie says:

    Nice post :up:. I like that huge statue, and it's so cool, yet a little bit scary, that you also master archery :insane: :p.That's a really nice picture of you!

  12. gdare says:

    Kimmie – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Lorenzo – I don`t mean nice in that way, just that I feel strange looking at myself in a photographs; but it is ok if someone catch me doing something, when I don`t look at the camera, or being unaware of it ๐Ÿ˜€ I am practicing Nakamura Ryu Battodo and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai; seminar and competition were Battodo related :)Rose – I just tried to use bow and arrows, it was a first time I ever tried it :D:sst: please stop, I am blushing :o:P

  13. PainterWoman says:

    Darko, you had a wonderful trip and your posts about it have been outstanding. I've enjoyed reading them very much. The statue is very beautiful. I am curious as to what it is made of. Marble? Granite? No, looks too smooth for granite. Hmmm…I think I'll google it. It is interesting to note that here, women seemed to be revered or, at least, mothers were. I tried archery once, when I was around 12 or 13 and did very well. All arrows made the target including one bullseye. We did not have the money for me to pursue this and I'd forgotten it until now, otherwise, I might have taken classes in college if they were available. I like that picture of you too.:D

  14. Furie says:

    Wow, I think I dated that statue once.Do you have anything else from the training/competition parts?

  15. Cois says:

    They train in Confusianism? :eyes: cool :cool:.Do you make Star Wars Light Sabre sounds when you swing your sword? ๐Ÿ˜†

  16. gdare says:

    Pam – now that you mentioned…. I am not sure what is it made of, in the there is a small shrine and inside of statue there are spiral stairs; kyudo is something I would like to try and maybe practice from one point in my life; now I don`t have possibilities; is there any club in your area where you can try archery again?Mik – :eyes:There are some photos in my album about trip to Yokohama in 2006Clint – in late Edo era (first half of XIX century), Confucianism was very popular religion in Japan;Yes, I whistle it :whistle: ๐Ÿ˜›

  17. Cois says:

    I'm gonna look a bit into it.. Sounds very interesting ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. gdare says:

    Clint – :)Carol – thank you ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. Dacotah says:

    Great post Darko.:lol: At the "Yes I whistle it" comment. ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Cois says:

    Do you have any idea how many inane pages there is on the subject? ๐Ÿ˜†

  21. Dacotah says:


  22. ellinidata says:

    Darko the III part it is as exciting as the I part… I do appreciate you taking the time to share with all of us an amazing experiense… I wish you many more trips in a good health and despite of how humble you are always ,I want you to know I am very proud of you ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. gdare says:

    Cois – I guess you will have to Google "Confucianism" in connection with something else; :DAngeliki – thank you very much :happy:

  24. gdare says:

    Fortune cookies?:lol:

  25. Furie says:

    "Confucianist cookies" is a good place to start. :yes:

  26. SittingFox says:

    It's been really interesting to read these posts from your trip. I feel that I've learnt more about Japan :up: Not sure I'd want to go swimming with armour on :insane:

  27. gdare says:

    The point was to be skillful and to maintain in every possible situation. It was not unusual to fall from horse into the river, during the battle. I have heard that sparring matches in water with all armour were organized to make samurai ready for that circumstance :left:Thanks, I am glad a lot of people liked my posts :happy:

  28. CedarFox says:

    Nice post Darko ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm still getting myself up to date on the rest of your blog, but I'm just a slow reader.

  29. gdare says:

    Take your time Eric. Thanks for being here ๐Ÿ˜€

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