Country for PR: Japan
Contributor: Kyodo News JBN
Tuesday, March 30 2021 - 17:00
Shiga Prefecture's Cultural Information Guide "COOL SHIGA" Published
OTSU, Japan, Mar. 30, 2021 /Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet/ --

-Traditional Culture Nurtured by History-

Shiga Prefecture has published a cultural information guide "COOL SHIGA," to 
convey the various attractions of Shiga's culture to foreigners visiting this 
western Japan region in the future. It introduces articles that can be viewed 
from the following URL from March 30.


Hikone Castle, a Cultural Asset Boasting 400 Years of History:

About Shiga 
Shiga Prefecture is located in almost the exact center of Japan. Visiting 
temples and shrines, the old "kaido" road, and the historical buildings and 
streetscapes gives visitors a chance to get a taste for Shiga's varied culture. 

Hikone Castle, Remaining from Ancient Scenery
Hikone Castle has around 400 years of history since its construction to serve 
as the residence of the Ii clan, the "daimyo" feudal lord who governed the 
Hikone region during the Edo period(1603-1867). Although many Japanese castles 
were burned down in battles or dismantled, this castle is one of just a few 
that remain since their construction centuries ago. The tenshu(castle tower), 
tsuke-yagura(connecting tower), and tamon-yagura(hall turrets) are important 
cultural assets listed as "National Treasures" of especially high cultural and 
academic value. Together with other castles such as the World Heritage Himeji 
Castle, it is known as one of the five National-Treasure castles of Japan. 

10-meter-high Castle Wall:

Genkyu-en Garden of Hikone Castle:

AKAZONAE, the Valor of the Ii Clan's Red Armor

"Kacchu" refers to a set of armor and helmet worn to protect oneself in battle. 
The Ii clan's troops are known for their characteristic vermillion red armor, 
worn by the head of the clan down to the retainer. The uniform of red armor is 
known as "Ii no Akazonae" (lit. Ii clan's red armor). It continued unchanged 
through the Edo period(1603-1867), and the fully red Akazonae style was handed 
down for generations as a symbol of strong troops.

NINJA: Masters of Skill and Knowledge

The basis of the modern interpretation is what is called "shinobi" who operated 
in the villages of Koka in Shiga Prefecture and Iga in Mie Prefecture from the 
Muromachi period(1336-1573) into the Edo period(1603-1867). Their primary 
mission was to safely gather and retrieve information. Their true mission was 
to return home safely with information. They were elite groups, possessing 
skills and information-gathering techniques that far exceeded the everyday 
knowledge of the time. 
Noticed ninja hidden in the picture of Hikone Castle? 

Nagahama Hikiyama Festival of Children's Kabuki
Among Shiga's many ancient festivals, one of the oldest and largest is the 
Nagahama Hikiyama Festival which has been held in Nagahama City for over 450 
years. The ornate floats of the festival have been called "moving museums." The 
highlight of the festival is seen on float stages, where kabuki is performed by 
children aged 5-12.


Source: Shiga Prefectural Government