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JAPANESE RESEARCH


Dazaifu

 

One weekend in August, 2003, I went on an excursion with my buddy Neil to the ancient city of Dazaifu. Dazaifu was once the seat of government on the island of Kyushu, prior to the year 1000.
Here is a view from the station for how Dazaifu looks today.

 

These pictures were taken at Kanzeonji Temple. The sign near the temple said that it was built in 746, and is the
oldest Buddhist temple on Kyushu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After we left the temple, we spotted this torii arch that looked like it led somewhere...

 

 

 

At the top of the long steps, we found this little shrine. It doesn't take long being to Japan to realize that shrines like this are everywhere.

 

 

 

After some more exploration, we saw a sign that said "Ruins of Ono Fortress 2 km" so we followed it. Unfortunately, we never felt like we had actually found them. But it was a beautiful mountain hike with what felt like discovery around every bend in the path. We tried to ask some locals about the ruins, and the best I could understand is that the whole mountain, Mt. Ono, is covered with little bits and pieces of the fortress. And these days, locals just use the area as a pleasant place to get some exercise. Nevertheless, some of the photos show evidence of really old construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"If only I could read Japanese ..."

 

 

 

 

Here are the ruins of the ancient government offices. Not much there anymore, but I suppose what more could one expect after a millenium?

 


 

Another temple, next door to Kanzeonji...