山本山→賤ヶ岳→余呉「後編」 Mt. Yamamoto → Mt. Shizugatake → Yogo (Part 2)
Click this link for part 1. Mt. Yamamoto → Mt. Shizugatake → Yogo (Part 1)
Shamisen String, Koto String Village, Gardenia Village
The origin of Gardinia Village
The villages of Ooto and Nishiyama at the southern foot of the old battleground of 'the Seven Spears', Mt. Shizugatake, was a flourishing silk spinning industry from around 1,000 years ago. Even now, as a local industry, about 5 or 6 farmhouses continue to spin silk with traditional foot pedal spinning machines and occupy 80% of the Japanese market in producing raw silk yarn for traditional Japanese musical instrument strings (shamisen & Koto).
The color of shamisen and koto strings are yellow and in ancient times the dye for them was made from the fruit of the gardenia tree. (Now-a-days foreign produced turmeric is used.) Even now, in the villages of Ooto & Nishiyama, every house, without fail, has gardenia trees growing in the garden and in the corners of the fields. It is said that the fruit of the gardenia was preserved through drying and when trading the raw thread, they always presented these to the brokers. Stories have been passed down of them also pickling them and using them in festival rice cakes and steamed dumpling rice. We want to keep the tradition the 'shamisen, koto village' and 'gardenia village' has of growing gardinia at Mt. Shizugatake along with the history of the 'battleground or the seven spears' and teach this to many people. We hope you see the white flowers of the gardenia and smell their fragrance and some time, remember these.
It was understood that Hideyoshi was at least four days' march away during Sakuma's attack. However, as soon as Hideyoshi learned of Sakuma's actions he led his men on a forced march through the night and reached Shizugatake within a day and a half. Hearing that Hideyoshi was coming with reinforcements, Sakuma ordered his men to break the siege lines and prepare to defend themselves. By this time it was too late and Hideyoshi's forces easily smashed through the defenses of the besieging army.
Hideyoshi's chief seven generals in the battle at Shizugatake earned a great degree of fame and honor, and came to be known as the 'shichi-hon yari' or 'Seven Spears' of Shizugatake.
(From Wikipedia - Battle of Shizugatake)
The Yogo / Mt. Shizugatake main hiking trail is a 12km nature sightseeing trail that is split into 2 parts from Shimoyogo, Yogo Town to Hannoura, Kinomoto Town and Tsunosato, Kohoku Town with the 432 meter high Mt. Shizugatake acting as a junction.
In this entire region there are cedar & cypress plantations as well as red pine forests and within these you can see plants that grow in abundance on the Japan Sea side such as 'mizu-nara' (Japanese oak) and 'saigokumitsuba azalea' (Rhododendron nudipes).Please enjoy seeing the historical sights such as the old Mt. Shizugatake battleground, the Kohori Tomb Group and the Mt. Yamamoto Castle site.
Designated as a Shiga Prefectural Historical Site on March 30, 1984
In 1807, 1832 & 1836, Nishino was devastated by floods and famine. To save them from this pitiful situation, the head priest of Nishino Jumanji Temple thought the only way was to make a channel through the western mountain and run the water of the Yogo River into Lake Biwa.
Construction was started in 1840, and after much labor, expense and overcoming many difficulties, it was completed in 1945.
The water channel is called 'Omi's Blue Tunnel'. It's length is 220 meters, width 1.2 meters & height 2 meters. The Paleozoic strata bedrock was dug out from under the mountain range to make the drainage channel. It is a valuable historical spot that should be remembered.
On the channel's tunnel walls, chisel marks remain and here and there it is revealed where during construction they corrected the direction and level.