TsukuBlog

A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

A Full Day of Music and History at one of Tsukuba`s Most Picturesque Spots- The Hirasawa no Kanga Reconstructions of the Site`s 8th Century Government Offices (Saturday October 25, 2014)

 

A day of music at the site of an 8th century government office complex

On Saturday October 24, 2014 – there will a full day of music at the site of an 8th century government office complex near Mt. Tsukuba. Internationally renowned jazz guitarist Kozuke Watanabe will bu heading the list of performers. He will play from 3-4 PM ADMISSION FREE

By Avi Landau

 

It was scheduled to become the site of just another unsightly, out-of-place-looking modern housing development, but ended up becoming one of Tsukuba`s most atmospheric and architecturally most pleasing spots- and all because of archaeology!

HISTORY OF THE HIRASAWA KANGA (HIRASAWA GOVERMNENT OFFICE) HISTORICAL SITE

Back in 1975, while carrying out a routine survey before the construction of the development got underway, it became obvious that there had once been  a set of very large structures at the site. This was evident from the presence of foundation stones, which gave a clear picture of the layout of the buildings- which exhibited a size and design rarely found among Japanese ruins.

In 1980, the site was declared a National Historical Monument (国史跡).

Between 1993 and 1994 a project was set up to study the ruins and then reconstruct the buildings. The specialists who were part of the study determined that the buildings were governmnet offices- established more than a thousand years ago. Their shape and size amd the few other artifacts found in the area, led it to be assumed that they were STOREHOUSES, probably to gather the taxes in. At that time these were paid mostly in rice or woven cloth.

The actual recreation of the three buildings began in 1996 and the work took six years.

Now the site has become (as I have already said) one of the most impressive in Tsukuba and it is a great place to relax, have a stroll, a catch, fly a kite, play with the kids…… or just contemplate the past.

There are also several major events held each year-

The reconstructed  buildings which once made up part complex of Nara Period government offices that stood at this same spot

The reconstructed buildings which once made up part complex of Nara Period government offices that stood at this same spot

 

One of these events – Tsukuba Monogatari - is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday the 25 and will involve a full day of music beginning at 9 Am (with local amateur performers) and climax between 3 and 4 pm when prolific jazz guitarist and recording artist Kazumi Watanbe (渡辺香津美) takes the stage.

Between 11 am and 4:30 pm local foods will be available- some served for free .

Local products will also be on sale.

Tomorrow you will also be able to get a guided tour INSIDE the usually closed off reconstructed buildings (in Japanses)

If the weather is nice, it could turn out to be a wonderful event !

The reconstructed Hirasawa no Kanga buildings covered in a thin blanket of snow one winter

The reconstructed Hirasawa no Kanga buildings covered in a thin blanket of snow one winter

You can reach the HIRASAWA NO KANGA historical site by bus.

Take the HOKUBU SHUTTLE (北部シャトル) from the Tsukuba Center Bus Terminal.

The journey usually costs 300 Yen but tomorrow the ride will (apparently) be FREE OF CHARGE

In January each year there is the NOYAKI ceremony in which the grass in front of the recontructed buildings is burned away leaving only some letters which form a new word each year

In January each year there is the NOYAKI ceremony in which the grass in front of the recontructed buildings is burned away leaving only some letters which form a new word each year

 

An aerial survey of the site before the reconstructions were carried out

An aerial survey of the site before the reconstructions were carried out

The poster for the event. Headlining the stage show is jazz guitarist Kazumi Watanabe (渡辺香津美)

The poster for the event.
Headlining the stage show is jazz guitarist Kazumi Watanabe (渡辺香津美)