Usokae Festival, April 27, 2022. 鸴替祭祀,四月二十七号2022年。うそかえ祭 高畑天満宮 2022年4月27日。

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(# Usokae Festival, Takahata Tenmangu, April 27, 2022. #うそかえ祭 高畑天満宮 4/27/2022)
Today I visited Takahata Tenmangu Shrine at Iizakamachi, Fukushima City. A photo above shows a carved wooden doll of uso bird or bullfinch, which is a good-luck talisman. Sugawara-no-Michizane, the god of learning, was enshrined in the shrine. It is said that when he headed toward Kyushu aboard a ship in the old time the ship encountered a storm but uso birds guided the ship safely. This is why the bird is highly respected at the shrine. “Usokae” means changing bad things to good luck, so the bird’s doll is used as a talisman against any kind of bad luck.

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(# Usokae Festival, Takahata Tenmangu, April 27, 2022. #うそかえ祭 高畑天満宮 4/27/2022)
Top photo above shows Takahata Tenmangu Shrine building. And beside it there stand some of the bird’s statues as shown in the middle photo above. The bottom photo shows close-up view.

At the entrance gate of the shrine wisteria flowers were in beautiful bloom as shown above.

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In the precinct of the shrine there was another shrine called Nishine Shrine as shown above.

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This morning I arrived at the shrine around shortly after 10 a.m. but already a long line was formed as shown above. It took 1.5 hours until I reached the shrine office.

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A photo above shows the shrine office where staff members were busy selling wooden dolls. Today was a single day of annual spring Uso Festival and the wooden talismans are provided only today.

Takahata Tenmangu Shrine is located about 10-minute walk from Iizakaonsen Station of Iizaka Line.

The exact route and locations are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.

Jomon remains in Fukushima. 绳文遗迹,在福岛县。福島県の縄文遺跡 2021年7月2日 公開。

This is a story of Jomon remains in Fukushima.


Fukushima castle town diorama at Oguratei site, Feb. 5, 2021. (福島城下町ジオラマ 御倉邸に展示 2021年2月5日。)

(#Fukushima castle town diorama, Oguratei, Fukushima, Feb. 5, 2021. #福島城下町ジオラマ 御倉邸 福島2/5/2021)
Fukushima Castle existed in Edo period as the center of Fukushima domain ruled by Itakura clan. The ruling continued 167 years between 1702 and the end of Edo period. The scale of the clan was small with 30,000 “koku”, which was far smaller than other feudal domains such as Aizu, Nihonmatsu, and Shirakawa. Photo above shows entire diorama of Fukushima castle town which reproduced the castle townscape in Edo Period for the first time ever. And this castle town was the origin of the current Fukushima City, a capital city of Fukushima Prefecture.

The diorama was created based on old maps and drawings from 1705, 1711, and 1805. An old map shown above is from 1805.

(#Fukushima castle town diorama, Oguratei, Fukushima, Feb. 5, 2021. #福島城下町ジオラマ 御倉邸 福島2/5/2021)
In the close-up view of a part of the diorama shown above, “honmaru” or the core part of the castle can be seen with the Abukuma River flowing in the back and surrounded by moats on the other sides. There is no evidence of castle tower in here. Residential area of Itakura family is also fortified by moats. Current Fukushima prefectural office is located adjacent to the castle residential area, which is called “ninomaru”.

Oguratei residence site is where Fukushima castle town diorama is being displayed until 21st of this month. It is located just south of the castle town area where rice for the castle was carried and stored. Oguratei itself was a former public residence of Fukushima branch manager, Bank of Japan, built in 1927. It is 15-minute walk toward southeast from JR Fukushima Station.

At the same time, panel display for the history of Fukushima City is being held at AOZ hall which is 5-minute walk toward north from the station. It is focused on the history between Meiji and early Showa period. I think it’s a good opportunity to visit and see both to learn more about the city.

The exact route and locations are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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