Historic building that has an Edo period atmosphere and colorful garden with a seasonal view
Umpekikyo, the official residence of Rai KyouheiAddress: 1828-2 Miyoshimachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0021 Call:090-4697-3327 (Nakamura, Secretariat of Preserving Umpekikyo Association) Closed: Not fixed (Kamishibai is held occasionally)
Umpekikyo is the old official residence of Edo period governor, Rai Kyouhei. It stands in front of Miyoshi elementary school. There also used to be a building that the feudal lord of the Miyoshi-Asano domain used for politics and as their residence near the same area. In 1937 Umpekikyo was registered as a historical site in Hiroshima.
The building and garden are well-kept by Nakamura, a member of a group called "Preserving Umpekikyo Association". The maintenance should require a massive amount of labor, but she simply smiled and told us, "I'd like everyone to have a relaxing time here." If you notify them beforehand you can visit Umpekikyo with its Edo period atmosphere and great view from the veranda in each season.
Rai Kyouhei and Umpekikyo
Rai Kyouhei governed the Miyoshi and Shobara area from 1813. He visited every village in northeast Hiroshima to listen to the voice of the people. In 1828 he was assigned to Miyoshicho and named his official residence "Umpekikyo".
His position was like a combination of mayor, head of police and a tax office. He always respected people and put himself in their place; He asked the domain to decrease the land tax many times, and even held an event called, "keiroukai (a meeting to show respect to the aged)", the first incidence of it in Japan at Hiyoshi shrine in Shobara city. He also had a close relationship with the people, helping each other, encouraging them to plant persimmon trees in case of riot or famine. A lot of persimmon trees and apricot trees planted in the garden of Umpekikyo are the remains of that.
He also enjoyed waka (traditional Japanese poem), kanshi (Chinese poem) and calligraphy as he wrote a lot of them. Some of them are about Miyoshi, the season that he felt at Umpekikyo, the scenery of the neighborhood, and the suffering from being between the domain and people.
Umpekikyo is a single-story house with a 132 ㎡ thatched roof. It’s been preserved as it was since the Edo period with repeated maintenance and repairs. From the veranda you can see the well-kept Japanese-style garden. It's popular for its apricot trees in March, sakura and bright red kirishima azalea trees in April, and another type of azalea in May and June, vivid colored leaves in fall and snow in winter. Rai Kyouhei and his nephew, Rai Sannyou, who visited often also must have enjoyed the seasons in the garden.
In Umpekikyo there is a Japanese-style room with a veranda, and in the inner part there is a two-mat tatami study room with a concave ceiling that would have required considerable carpentry skill as well as a window with a tasteful view.
Now it's used for tea-ceremonies, a tea-ceremony classes for children and koto and shamisen recitals.
"Inou Mononoke Roku" are a collection of youkai stories handed down from the Edo period that happened in Miyoshi. An event called "kamishibai" where the story is told using picture cards is held there, too. People enjoy the tasteful atmosphere that hasn't changed from the Edo period, matching the time period of the story as well.
Time flows slowly yet the history has been carved in Umpekikyo.
It's one of the important treasures in Miyoshi.
Why is it named Umpekikyo (meaning "Carried-tile house")?
It's because of a historical event in China in which a general carried 100 tiles every morning and night to train his mind and body. Rai Kyouhei named his official residence after this story as a determination to control himself as a governor.
|店舗名||Umpekikyo, the official residence of Rai Kyouhei|
|所在地||1828-2 Miyoshimachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0021|
|お休み||Not fixed (Kamishibai is held occasionally)|
|電話番号||090-4697-3327 (Nakamura of secretariat of Preserving Umpekikyo|