Played by Mao Inoue in the NHK historical drama Hana Moyu, Sugi Fumi (later to become Miwako) is the heroine, and Odawara Inosuke (later to become Katori Motohiko) is portrayed by Osawa Takao.
These individuals, who would in the future be wed, spent their final years here in Hofu, Yamaguchi prefecture.
When talking about Hofu, Hofu Tenmangu Shrine is sure to come up in conversation.
Standing by the road that leads to the shrine, our trip this time starts at Hoshoan.
First off is this!
After passing through the gate of Hoshuan, Gyotenro is to be found immediately to the left.
While the first floor is used as a storage area for tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables), on the second floor there awaits a hidden tatami room! It’s a historic site where it is said that the leading spirits of the Meiji Restoration often stayed and held secret conferences during the tumultuous times at the end of the Edo period.
Among other prominent figures, visitors included Takasugi Shinsaku, Kido Takayoshi, Ito Hirobumi, Yamagata Aritomo, Shinagawa Yajiro, and Sakamoto Ryoma. A tobukuro (a box containing shutters) on which the men are said to have written letters in ink is still present…
After you exit the first floor storage area, a sacred tree of the Hofu Tenmangu Shrine stands before you, towering over everything.
It’s an enormous 800-year-old camphor tree that cannot be captured in one shot. It might also be called the only living witness to have observed the leading spirits of Japan’s restoration!
At the tearoom located at the back, you can enjoy matcha green tea while gazing at the elegant Japanese garden. A relaxing pause with one’s thoughts still on the end of the Edo period…
“Kekkona otemae degozaimashita” (‘That was delicious tea’, a phrase of thanks uttered after a tea ceremony, for example.)
We leave the tearoom behind and head toward the next historical site. There’s no need to even search, there is one directly opposite Hoshoan.
The Daisenbo site.
Used as quarters for the various troops keeping watch in the region, it was one of Choshu daimyo’s essential bases. Apparently, during his childhood, Ito Hirobumi, who later became Japan’s first prime minister, studied here.
Combined with sightseeing at Hofu Tenmangu Shrine, one might spend a whole day here, but there are still heaps of places that we recommend you visit. We’ll introduce them quickly.
This is Eiunso.
Hagiokan (Hagi Road) connects Hagi on the Sea of Japan side to Hofu, an essential post on the Seto Inland Sea side.
This teahouse stands at the very end of that road, also called “Restoration Road”, which played an important role in history.
One item to take a look at is the fusuma (Japanese sliding doors)! The original doors were restored to their original condition by removing the sheets of images that had been painted and glued on top of one another each time the doors had been remodeled. The parts that could not be reproduced otherwise were all apparently painted manually.
This is a spot we recommend to fans of Hana Moyu. It’s the grave of the Katori Motohiko couple.
This is the eternal resting ground of Fumi, the little sister of Yoshida Shoin. Maybe this is the last stop of the historical drama, as well?
And lastly, we cannot leave this place without an introduction.
It’s the Hofu Hana Moyu Taiga Drama Hall, “Fumi’s Days in Hofu”.
Here you can see, for example, garments and props utilized in the drama, as well as the face of Hofu city, reproduced with computer graphics and diorama, during the time the leading spirits of the Meiji Restoration walked the streets. There are plenty of exhibitions and lots of work has been put into allowing visitors to immerse in the world of Hana Moyu. Apparently Takao Osawa and Mao Inoue playing the Katori Motohiko couple rushed in for the opening ceremony, too.
A trip a few steps ahead of Hana Moyu. Hofu, the city where the leading spirits of the restoration walked will make an appearance most likely after the halfway point of the drama… Even now, there’s still plenty of time♪
Oidemase! Come to Yamaguchi!
Hofu – The city where the restorers walked.
It’s where the leading spirits of the Meiji Restoration walked, and the point from where the allied forces of Satsuma and Choshu departed to attack the Shogunate. In addition to the places we introduced this time, there are still plenty of places to see such as Morishi’s Garden and the Mitajiri Dock Site. Check the website below for further details.
URL: http://www.ishin150.jp/ishin/places?area=2 (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masashi Fujimoto
Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.
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