Fukuoka is a community located in the southern part of Okayama prefecture along Yoshii River, which is one of the areas three main drainage channels. Filled with history and even depicted on Ippen Shonin Eden, a Japanese national treasure, it was once a bustling merchant town and an important location within Sanyo, which was known for its connections to noted military commanders from the Ukita and Kuroda clans.
It is said that Kuroda Nagamasa, who became daimyo of Fukuoka in Kyushu, named the area after Bizenfukuoka where the founding stone of the Kuroda clan’s house was laid.
To resurrect the bustling merchant town of the middle ages, Fukuoka no Ichi (Fukuoka Market) has been held by local volunteers since before the term “regional revitalization” was even invented.
Held on the 4th Sunday of every month, it’s an open air market that sells local produce for local consumption.
At Fukuoka no Ichi, you can find fruit and vegetables of the season as well as homemade products.
Carefully handmade without any additives, this is local dark-brown Meito Miso.
At Nakamitsu, a kamaboko (steamed fish-paste) shop from Ushimado, you can have some freshly fried kamaboko.
Believe it or not, the photo above shows a sword-smith sharpening a kitchen knife!
Bizenfukuoka and its neighbor Bizenosafune are known for their sword production. Indeed, around half of all the swords that are Japanese national treasures were born in this town. The Kuroda clan’s heirloom and national treasure, Ichimonji, was also made in Bizenfukuoka. Even today there are many sword-smiths making Japanese swords in the town.
Copying the street preaching scene in the Ippen Shonin illustration, the chief priest from Myoko-ji Temple comes to hold a street sermon.
Fukuoka no Ichi market was first held in February 2006.
While many areas plan regional revitalization events, it’s very difficult to keep them going. However, at Fukuoka no Ichi the organizers have fun, too, and before they realised they had already held the market 100 times! Numerous visitors from locals to tourists come to this famous Okayama market that is resurrecting the bustling phenomenon of bygone eras.
Bizenfukuoka no Ichi
Location: At Bizen Fukuoka Market Ruins, 1588-1 Fukuoka, Osafune-cho, Setouchi city, Okayama prefecture
Held: On the 4th Sunday of every month, 8:00-11:00
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/%E5%82%99%E5%89%8D%E7%A6%8F%E5%B2%A1%E3%81%AE%E5%B8%82-132151800263485/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers: Katsutoshi Asai / Asami Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
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