Last Saturday I held a kimono-wearing event in Hino city, known as “a hometown of the Shinsengumi, the last samurai corps.
This time we had two special guests:
Obugyo-sama (the samurai on the right in the photo below)
and Orei-san (the kunoichi, or female ninja, on the left).
Takahata-fudo Temple is one of the three greatest fudo-son temples in the Kanto area of Japan. “Fudo-son” is the honorific title of Fudo Myo-oh, also known as “Acala” in Sanskrit, one of the Five Wisdom Kings in Buddhism.
Toshizo Hijikata, the vice-commander of the Shinsengumi, was born and raised in Hino, and this temple is known for being Hijikata clan’s family temple.
Many fans of the Shinsengumi visit here and take photos in front of his statue.
Of course we did, too!
We enjoyed the temple, hydrangeas, and many rarely-known historical stories about Hino area.
Then we took a bus to the Hino City Historical Museum for a samurai experience!
The Hino City Historical Museum (Shinsengumi Heritage Museum)
In this museum, you can not only learn about the city but also try Shinsengumi uniforms (both Edo style and Meiji style) with a sword! They have three replica swords: Toshizo Hijikata’s, Hajime Saito’s and Soji Okita’s.
Some left here and others continued our tour to Hino-juku Honjin.
Juku means a posting station, and a honjin, meaning “headquarter”, was an officially designated inn used as a lodging when a feudal lord (大名, daimyo) and government officials traveled between his country and Edo (Tokyo).
We enjoyed a nice atmosphere of an old traditional Japanese mansion and interesting stories an official guide told us.
Hino has many interesting places to visit, so half a day is too short to enjoy them all! I’ll organize similar events in this area again.
To learn more about the Shinsengumi and Hino city, read this article.
This time I held this as an event of “Kimonogumi”. It is a social group that holds various kinds of events related kimono, Japanese traditional clothes, to promote it.
English is available in most events, so if you have a chance to visit Tokyo, check out our events on our Facebook page!
Obugyo-sama, the head of the group called Mushadokoro, is a local history researcher and director of events and festivals related to Japanese history.
You may see him and his fellows when you visit castles or historical places in Japan! 😁