Insect watching event at Tadami Town, July 31, 2016 (只見町の昆虫観察会 2016年7月31日)

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A famous Japanese entomologist, Hiroshi Makihara, who is particularly known as a world specialist on longhorn beetles, instructed us watching insects in a beech wood of Yanatori District, Tadami Town. The event was promoted by Buna (=beech) Center Museum of the town. A photo above shows a scene where Mr. Makihara (a man in his white jacket) is identifying exact species of the insects observed.

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This is an entrance into a trail of Yanatori Beech Wood. The altitude was about 700m above sea level.

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Photo above shows a rare kind of longhorn beetle named Dolichopurosopus yokoyamai found today. We also found many other kinds of insects including three species of stag beetles (Dorcus).

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At Buna Center Museum, an exhibit focused on insects in Tadami Town is now being held. Photo above shows one of many displays of insect specimens. The museum is located 10-minute walk from JR Tadami Station. The exhibit continues until 10th of October.

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After the event, on my way back to Tadami Station with a rental bike, I happened to find a museum officially called Aizu Tadami Ancient History Hall. The museum mainly features remains and restored dwellings of Jomon Period, some 4000 to 2000 years ago. Photos above show description board, and recovered Jomon pit dwellings in the front yard.

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In the museum building, many artifacts found at Kubota Remains are displayed. Photo above shows collection of ancient arrowheads made of stones.

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The day before the watching event, Mr. Makihara gave us a lecture on insects found in Tadami Town, based on a field research in the town over the past two years. I stayed overnight at an inn located in the suburb of the town half way toward the watching site. The inn was called Kurataya Ryokan as shown above, which was nice with excellent meals and modern facilities for bath, toilet and others, and with very reasonable charge.

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When I travel to Tadami Town, I either take a train to JR Tadami Station or ride a bike all the way from Koriyama. This time I took Tadami Line train, which has been disrupted between Aizukawaguchi and Tadami Station since devastating flood disaster in 2011. But a back-up shuttle bus service is regularly being operated between the two stations until the train is finally resumed. So I have to leave the train at Aizukawaguchi Station and change to the bus. Photo above shows a character of Kaneyama Town, featuring a pumpkin and hot spring, welcoming us during the transfer.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Hinoemata Kabuki play: an amazing local tradition, May 12, 2016 (桧枝岐歌舞伎 2016年5月12日)

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(Hinoemata Kabuki play, Hinoemata Stage, May 12, 2016. 檜枝岐歌舞伎 檜枝岐の舞台 2016/5/12)
This is a scene from Hinoemata Kabuki play on May 12, 2016 at a traditional Hinoemata Stage. Hinoemata Kabuki play started some 270 years ago in Edo Period. The play has been performed at Hinoemata Stage which is as old as the play. The stage had been burnt down at a big fire in the village and was rebuilt more than 100 years ago and now it is designated as a National Important Cultural Asset.

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Photos above show Hinoemata Stage as of today just before the opening of the play, and a board describing its history.

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Photo above shows a schedule of Hinoemata Kabuki play of this year. It says two other plays are scheduled in August 18th and September 3rd. Most of the plays including today's are admitted free. All the actors are non-professional, which means they all have their own works other than a kabuki actor. But the play was attractive and satisfactory enough for visitors from across Japan.

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Some other scenes of today's play are shown above. The story is about a sad story of a samurai family about 400 years ago.

You can get a short sound and footage of the play on YouTube above.

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Photo above shows all the actors appeared on the play.

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Hinoemata Village and all the residents support the traditional kabuki play. Photo shows Hinoemata Village Mayor Hoshi makes a speech in a break.

The exact route from Aizutajima Station and location are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Oyasuba Kofun (Tumulus) and kofun singer Marikofun live, Sept. 22, 2015 (大安場古墳に、まりこふんLIVE出演 2015年9月22日)

Today I visited Oyasuba Kofun in Koriyama City where Kofun Festival is being held through tomorrow. A powerful kofun singer Marikofun sang and danced live on the outdoor stage.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Oyasuba Kofun (=Tumulus) is the largest square type kofun in Tohoku Region. It is considered that a powerful local family member in 300's had been buried. Many artifacts have also been found there. This place was designated as National Historic Site.

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(Oyasuba Kofun, Koriyama City, Sept. 22, 2015 郡山市、大安場古墳、2015/9/22)
Today, the Oyasuba Kofun looked as shown above.

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There stands a guidance building shown above. Many artifacts related to the kofun are displayed inside. The shape of the building itself is designed similar to a bracelet like artifact found here.

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(Kofun singer Marikofun at Oyasuba Kofun, Koriyama City, Sept. 22, 2015 郡山市、大安場古墳 での まりこふん、2015/9/22)
As one of the main events of the Kofun Festival, a singer & song writer, keyboard player and also a talented entertainer Marikofun performed her song and dance live. It was a really powerful, lovely and also intellectual performance based on kofun knowledge and experiences. Some of the scenes are shown above. The live show was free of charge.

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She also composed a song for Oyasuba Kofun. Words and music are done all by herself. It was very good. Here are very short footages above just for getting atmosphere of the stage.
大安場古墳の歌も、作詞作曲し、披露されました。(年内、CD予定とのこと。) 上をクリックすれば、ごく短い映像があるので、雰囲気だけでもどうぞ。
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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