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Takayama Jinya
Picture | September 15th, 2017 | Eileen
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In Takayama, also known as Hida-Takayama, is the last remaining Edo Period government post or Jinya. The valuable timber resources in the Hida Region around Takayama were put under direct control of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1692. The Takayama Jinya (高山陣屋) served as the local government office headed by the officials dispatched from Edo (present day Tokyo).

The building complex was in official use until 1969, and is now open to the public as a museum. It includes various nicely maintained tatami mat rooms that once served as offices, conference rooms, guest rooms and residential space. There is also an interesting interrogation room with a drawing of how the device was used. There are these rabbit symbols all around the building. Since rabbits have long ears, they stand as a symbol to the inhabitants that the Shogunate can hear everything going on in the building.

Office where government officials did administrative work

While exploring, you will eventually end up in the torture room. They have drawings and replicas of the tools used to punish criminals and suspected criminals. On the steel planks, the convicted were forced to kneel on them as they placed 20 stone slabs on top of their thighs. These criminals were transported in bamboo cages for all to see.

Beside the main building stands a large storehouse built in the 1600s. Known as the biggest traditional rice storehouse in Japan, it now functions as a museum, showcasing belongings and official documents of past feudal lords, old maps of the Hida Region and historic town plans.

There was even a section dedicated to the firemen of Takayama. Since Takayama was under the direct rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate they had no fear of outside enemies. Instead of establishing a police organization, the firemen doubled as peace keepers. After exploring the rice storehouse, you return back to the entrance where you can see one of the old guardhouses. Old weapons that were used by the guardsmen are displayed.

Firemen uniform


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