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About towns in Musa school district

Musa-cho

349 households, 368 males, 401 females, total of 769 people (as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)


It was a town where Musajuku (posting station) of Nakasendo was located. Posting station was both an inn and a rest house for travelers who used the kaido and a place where travelers were able to change horses to ride. The fact that Nakasendo was established in the Edo period influenced the development of post-town but Musajuku already had that function from the medieval times. On a travel book called “Tokan Kiko”, there was a mention that a person stayed at a temple called Musadera temple on August 13th, 1242 (Ninchi 3rd). On the other book called “Nakusameso”, a mention was found that a person passed an inn called Musajuku in March, 1418 (Oei 25th).
According to a book called “Kodairyakuki”, there was an article that Gokogon-in who was served by Takauji Ashikaga stayed at Musa for a while. Thus the town was regarded as an important transit point.
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“Musha rindo flower”
It was certified as an early summer flower of Omihachima city. It was named after Musa-cho where it was first found. It is a mint family that blossoms during June to July and have pale blue, white, and pink flower on top of the stem.
Musha rindo flower

Chokoji-cho

193 households, 217 males, 243 females, total of 460 people(as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)

“Chokoji Temple”
It is said that Prince Shotokutaishi ordered to erect it and was once called “Musadera Temple”. At the time of civil war during the Northern and Southern period, Gokogon-in made royal visit for three times. Also, the 12th General Yoshiharu Ashikaga escaped to the temple from a war in Kyoto. It was burnt down at the war of Eiroku and Genki but Lord Sadatsune Matsudaira rebuilt it in the Kanei period.
“Futatsubashi bridge”
There is a stone monument at the site of Futatsubashi bridge built by Tahei Ogawa. The Ogawa once was a bridge guard and their house name was Futatsubashi. In the Edo period, they worked as a guard at pedestrians checking station.
“Hananoki”
This tree is a natural treasure planted in the precinct of Chokoji Temple. According to a legend, Prince Shotokutaishi planted it at the time of erection of the temple. The height is about 15 meters and about 500 to 600 years old. It is endemic to Japan and belongs to arctic plant. It is valuable as it grows at the southernmost part of Japan.
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  • Chokoji-cho2

Nishijuku-cho

44 households, 58 males, 82 females, total of 140 people (as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)

Nishijuku-cho
A village named Nishijuku, as a symbol of Iba house, is said that it originated from a geographical condition which was at the west side of Musajuku. Although it is a neighboring city of Musa with a high historic profile, there are many unknown facts about the medieval Nishijuku. It is difficult to search the state of Nishijuku then from historical record but some interesting facts have been found from archaeological results. Remains of mound and moat have been found from Nishijukujo Castle site that is an adjacent area of the Old Iba house. There is a name "Kumonme" near there. "Kumon" is a type of job to manage important documents of manors and shrines. Therefore, Nishijuku-mura village is considered that samurai who worked as Kumon at manors had lived. Other than this name, names such as Matoba and Ihatachi are passed along and it is presumed that people with these names who were medieval small lords would have worked under Mr. Sasaki.
“Site of Iba Teigo’s house”
Iba Tengo was born in Nishijuku-cho, Omihachiman City in 1847 (Koka 4th). He studied with Yoshisuke Nishikawa who was a scholar of Japan in Hachiman. In Edo period, he worked hard as a judicial officer at courts in Nagasaki, Tokyo, Osaka, and Hakodate. However, he quit his job in 1879 (Meiji 12th) and started working at Suminoto as he was recommended by his uncle, Hirose Saihei. As for the management of the Besshi Dozan copper mine, he relocated the copper smelters and conducted tree planting activity in order to prevent the forest and the crops from being damaged due to the byproduct of the mine. At the first general election in 1890 (Meiji 23rd), he was elected for a lower house member and assumed a post of the second General Director after going back to Sumitomo headquarter in 1900 (Meiji 33rd ). He retired at the age of 57 in 1904 and started living in Ishiyama, Otsu City and passed away in 1926 (Taisho 15th). His birthplace does not remain but Okusu tree sinks deep roots at the site of the house and watches over the town (excerpted from the history of Omihachiman).

Noda-cho

40 households, 66 males, 62 females, total of 128 people (as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)

“Sump water”
Noda-cho recreated "sump water" that was once people's place to live and relax and it is now managed and maintained as a symbol of the town.
"Cosmos"
There is a million strains of cosmos which is certified as an autumn flower of Omihachiman city.
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Folk tale
"Himitsu-bashi bridge and a village headman"
There is a thick forest over a river from Noda-cho towards Izumoyama Mountain. There is an earthen bridge called "Himitsu-bashi bridge" inside the forest. Long time ago, a village headman in Noda-mura village was gleefully about to walk on the bridge after a wedding with a lantern in one hand and cloth-wrapped boxes full of delicious food inside in the other hand. He was walking while he was talking to himself. "No fox will not take my delicious food." At the same time, the fire went out with a subtle sound and his lantern was taken away. "I knew it was coming." He spontaneously clasped the boxes in his arms. A farmer came to inspect his field in the early morning. The headman was walking in the same area while carefully holding a stone in front of his chest. The farmer patted the village headman's shoulder. He said, "please light my lantern." The farmer thought, "oh, he was fooled again." Then the farmer walked him home. (excerpted from Omihachiman folk tale)

Goshonai-cho

55 households, 91 males, 81 females, total of 172 people (as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)

“Prince Koretaka Shinno and Goshonai”
There was a sea cavern site where Prince Koretaka Shinno was said to hide. It was surrounded by big stones and looked like a burial mound. About 1100 years ago, when a son of Emporor Buntoku Tenno was defeated by a succession conflict of imperial throne and escaped to this town, a village mayor guarded him and his servants and brought them three meals a day. When the Prince left there, he named the village "Goshonai". After he passed away, his servants built "Horenji Temple" in the area and they mourned for the dead. After many years later, the temple was gone but the name has remained. As one of the eight views of Goshonai, there is a view called "the evening bell of Horenji Temple" and the description of it is handed down by the villagers.
  • Goshonai
  • Goshonai

Tomosada-cho

272 households, 141 males, 131 females, total of 272 people (as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)

“Yasaka jinja Shrine”
Tomosada-cho Festival of Yasaka jinja Shrine was originally a festival in May (Iris Matsuri Festival) and held in May 5th. However, the date was changed to April 4th and 5th after the festival was unified with Izumo Jinja Shrine Festival. And now it is on the first Sunday of April from about 20 years ago. The festival is basically conducted by about 70 shrine parishioners in Tomosada-cho and about 30 of them from the adjacent town, Noda-cho. However, torches for the festival are made by others.
The organizers of the festival are divided by 6 groups including a shrine keeper. Youth group (Wakarenchu) consists of about 15 people ages up to 15 years old. Seniors (Churo) consist of 24 people. Of those people, 16 people (two thirds) are from Tomosada-cho and the remaining 8 people are from Noda-cho. Seniors are mainly in charge of carrying a miniature shrine. Other than the seniors (Churo), there are 3 Makanai who are in charge of hosting at inns for the festival and about 40 people as Mikoshiban that consists of the seniors and the shrine keepers. There are two representatives of shrine parishioners (two-year term). The shrine keepers are also called "Rokuninshu" and 6 people are appointed that a person who is 65 years old as a leader. Roles other than the shrine keepers are chosen both from Tomosada-cho and Noda-cho, but all the shrine keepers are chosen only from Tomosada-cho.
Torch making had been done on April 2nd until 20 years ago. It is a job basically by shrine parishioners and Wakarenchu and Churo supervise. The shrine pasishioners also clean the venue of the feast on this day. The torches of Tomosada-cho are "Obon torch" which are installed by the riding ground of Yasaka-jinja Shrine. 8 piles of cypress are set up and wrap them with 4 set of bamboos vertically. They are formed by oak tree branches and also know as "Kashi Taimatsu" (oak tree torch). They are made at the riding ground of Yasaka-jinja Shrine where they will be installed and the materials are cypress piles, bamboo, branches of oak and cypress, rapeseed grains, reed, rope, straw, and so on. Open torches (Kasa torch) will be brought in from Noda-cho in the morning of the vigil and put beside Obon torches. (excerpted from the history of Omihachiman, the 3rd volume)

Nishorai-cho

329 households, 411 males, 494 females, total of 905 people (as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)

"Awakojizo"
Nishorai Not only there are Jizo monument for houses, but there are also the ones for the community which is called "Awakojizo monument". There is a Jizodo storehouse next to Saifukuji Temple and many people pay a visit there where there are many lanterns written as "Awako enmei koyasu jijo" on them at the Jizo Bon festival. Inside the temple grounds, lanterns which children paint are lined up and in the evening Hyakumanben (praying a million times) rosary reeling is conducted. The origin of the Jizo monument is that a waitress at a teahouse fell in love with a monk who stopped by there and she sipped the tea which the monk left. After that she gave birth to a baby. Three years later, when she met the monk, he thought the baby cried like the sutra. He wondered why and asked her and she explained what happened before. When he breathed on the baby, the baby turned a bubble and disappeared. The monk said there is a Jizo monument inside the soil in the east so build a monument for the baby there.
A pond where a Jizo monument was sunk was called "Araiike pond" and the name was changed to "Shorai". It became the origin of the name "Nishorai". (excerpted from the History of Omihachiman, the 3rd volume)
"Nogami matsuri Festival"
Around August 16th of every year, Nogami-matsuri Festival is held. At the festival, a group of elderly called "Miyarojin" takes command of facilitators and representatives of shrine parishioners. People with role gather early in the morning at the office of Omiya-jinja shrine and the shrine guard declares the opening of the event with a sound of drums.
While the priests are conducting religious services, children gather to the shrine precinct and start sumo matches. All the children bow to the stone monument that worships the nogami gods before the sumo wrestling. After it is finished, they will receive some snacks. After all the events are finished, there is a feast. (excerpted from the history of Omihachiman, the 3rd volume)
Nishorai

Suehiro-cho

615 households, 580 males, 602 females, total of 1,182 people (as of October 1st, 2014, based on Basic Resident Register)

"Omi Beef"
Around the end of Edo period, sales of beef to Kyoto and Osaka started and since then Omi beef has been one of the famous luxury foods.
The town was called Kubo-mura village in the Edo period and called Minamino from the Meiji period until the municipal system started. Kubo-mura village was located near the important intersection between Nakasendo and Happu-kaido road and it had an authority to dispose dead cows and horses in the wide range of the area. Kubo-mura village was practically functioned as one independent settlement as well as "Kawata-mura village". However, its independence was not certified and the village was treated like a part of nearby Nishorai-mura village. From the standpoint of Kubo-mura village and the beef, the payment of the beef to Kubo-mura village was stated on the account book of Nishorai-mura village in 1816 (Bunka 13th). In 1867, it was stated that a dismembered cow was sold as "skin", "tools", "sake", and "wax". "Sake" was considered as food. A record was also remained stating that samurai who were remotely situated knew about the nutrition of beef by another route that was different from Hikone-han domain's tribute.
Currently, it is produced mainly around Higashi-omi. Omi beef has distinct shine since they grow up in spacious field. It is very tender and has moderate marbling. Once you eat it, you can experience meltingly delicious taste with rich flavor. Another outstanding point of this beef is that a greatness of marbling and stickiness of fat as if it were a piece of art.
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  • Suehiro

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