The 700 year-old history since Mr. Sagara dominated recognized as Japan Heritage

The cultural properties of 10 cities in Kuma-Hitoyoshi region, which inherits the 700 year-old history since Mr. Sagara, are recognized as Japanese Heritage by the Agency of Cultural Affairs on April 24th, 2015. “Kuma-Hitoyoshi” has 41 tangible or intangible cultural properties had been preserved from repeated wars and natural disasters, as if gods have blessed them. Each narrative, region and cultural properties has been inherited successively in our daily lives today, naturally fitted into our common scene.

The Ruin of Hitoyoshi Castle

The ruin of Hitoyoshi Castle

相良家700年の居城・人吉城は別名繊月城と呼ばれていました。 球磨川と胸川を天然の外堀とした中世の山城の形態。 水の手橋付近の石垣のはねだし(武者返し)の建築様式は、全国的にも珍しいので国指定史跡に指定され日本百名城に選ばれています。

Aoi-Aso Srine

National Treasure: Aoi-Aso Shrine

Aoi-Aso Shrine was built in 806. Its architectural form has strong originality of the medieval Kuma-Hitoyoshi region, and the statues in it and colors used feature the splendor brought from the Momoyama period. National Important Cultural Property, Aoi-Aso Shrine, has five shrine structures such as the main hall, corridor, offering hall, oratory, and the two-storied Romon gate, and they were the first shrine of the all Kumamoto’s existing buildings designated as National Treasure of Japan. Also, Aoi-Aso Shrine is the first and thatched-roof shrines designated as a national treasure in Japan and the southernmost.

The Romon: there are no other examples but the two-stored gate in Aoi-Aso Shrine is put masks of Gods under angle (corner) blocks upstairs, called “Hitoyoshi Style.”

Soto sect: Eikoku Temple

Soto sect: Eikoku Temple

Eikoku Temple is known to a ghost temple and a long vertical hanging scroll with ghost painting that the founder Jikkei Buddhist monk seems to have drawn is bequeathed. Also, there is the oldest five-storied stone pagoda (now four-storied) in Kuma-Hitoyoshi region in the temple precinct. During the Seinan War broken out in 1877, Takamori Saigo stayed at the temple as headquarters, but some buildings included the main hall was burned out. After that, Eikoku temple was rebuilt in 1891.