Yanagawa Castle Town

Yanagawa City was previously a castle town that flourished under the successive feudal lords, the Tachibana family. People today enjoy the historic scenery while cruising on a boat

Totoki VillaTachibana Museum

Totoki Villa_21E07

The Totoki Villa

The Totoki Villa is one of the oldest samurai residences existing in Yanagawa City. The main house, built in the 18th century, is still intact, making this structure a valuable cultural property. The house was located in a former residential district of retainers at the western-most edge of the confines of Yanagawa Castle. It now faces the footpath next to the route of the canal cruise, and quietly reveals to us the history of Yanagawa.

Former Residence of the Toshima FamilyTachibana Museum

Residence of the Toshima Family_21E08

Former Residence of the Toshima Family

This residence was constructed in 1828 by a retainer of the Yanagawa domain. It was later presented to the Tachibana family, lords of the domain, and used as a tea ceremony house. Later on, the Toshima family obtained it as a residence. The house has now been designated as an important cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture. The garden creates a landscape full of variety, featuring a pond whose water comes from castle moats. The gravel and pebbles spreading around the pond resemble a sandy beach, while the trees standing behind are reminiscent of a secluded mountain. 

Hiyoshi ShrineTachibana Museum

Hiyoshi Shrine_21E09

Hiyoshi-jinja Shrine

The origin of the shrine dates back to 1290 when the shrine received a divided tutelary deity from the mother shrine of Hiyoshi-taisha in Omi Province (modern Shiga Prefecture). The structures of the shrine seen today are considered to have been constructed in the early 18th century, making this the oldest shrine architecture in Yanagawa.

Shoto-en garden at present by UnknownTachibana Museum

Tachibana Garden_19E55

Tachibana Garden

Tachibana Garden is an estate of the Tachibana family, the former lords of the Yanagawa domain. The origin of the estate dates back to 1738 when the 5th lord ordered construction of a villa.
The 14th head of the family, Count Tomoharu, began extensive new construction on the premises in 1910. It consists of a Western-style house, a Japanese-style reception hall and a stunning Japanese garden called “Shoto-en.” The estate is designated as a national site of scenic beauty and is named “Tachibana Garden.”

Kitahara Hakushu BirthplaceTachibana Museum

Kitahara Hakushu (1885-1942)

Kitahara Hakushu, was one of the greatest poets in modern Japanese literature. He was born and raised in Yanagawa  and lived there until he went off to the university in Tokyo.  At his time his family was running a sake brewery which served as a purveyor of the Yanagawa Domain.  The main building of his house is now open to the public as a museum.

Hakushu FestivalTachibana Museum

Hakushu Festival

After Hakushu's death at the age of fifty-seven, he left numerous works behind. His  lyrics of children’s songs have been well-known to many Japanese people through the ages. In order to honor his great achievements, several monuments have been erected in Yanagawa, and the Hakushu Festival held on November 2 every year commemorates the anniversary of his death. This festival is one of the most popular events in Yanagawa.

The crest of the Tachibana family: Gion-mamori by UnknownTachibana Museum

The Tachibana Family Crest, "Gion-mamori"

Hakushu composed a poem about Gion-mamori, the crest of the Tachibana family who ruled Yanagawa as feudal lords throughout the Edo period (1600-1868). The design of the Gion-mamori is a talisman of Gion-sha Shrine that is made up of two crossed tubes tied together by fluttering tassels. In the poem, he describes how the crest reminds him of some kind of water-flower.

Credits: Story

Tachibana Foundation

Created by Executive Committee of the 450th anniversary of Tachibana Muneshige’s birth “Discovery & Experience Project of Castle Town and Samurai Culture in Yanagawa”

Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal 2021

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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