Charming Kyushu 2016 Part 3

We set off on our historical tour with Glover Garden. It was only a 10 minutes walk from the hotel so we headed out immediately after a hearty breakfast in the hotel.

Moving off to Glover Garden.

Ōura Church (大浦天主堂 Ōura Tenshudō) is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Nagasaki. It was built after the end of the Japanese government's Seclusion Policy in 1853. The only Western-style building declared a national treasure and it is believed to be the oldest church in Japan. 

And so we began our tour... 

The Glover Garden is a collection of western homes and buildings put together to surround the home of Scottish entrepreneur, Thomas Black Glover. The settlement sits on a hill, and commands the view of Nagasaki Bay - speaks of an era of luxury and elegance. The house is said to be the setting and inspiration of Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly". 

Former Mitsubishi No. 2 Dock House. 

Built in 1896, this dock house was used for ship crews to rest while their ship was at shipyard for repairs. The view from the deck is amazing. 

by the pond. Couldn't resist the picture.

The Former Ringer House.
The former Ringer house is a national important cultural asset and a rare example of architectural collaboration.   This House, with its foundation stones brought from Viadivostok was built by Frederick Ringer, a British businessman with interests in the tea trade and construction.

The Former Glover House

The stature of Tamaki Miura
She dedicated her life to singing on every world stage. An opera with Nagasaki as its background, the Italian composer Puccini wrote the masterpiece and tamaki Mirua played Madame Butterfly.

A Nagasaki delicacy: castella cake. There was no way we were leaving this place without getting our hands on these delicious cakes.

After lunch and having rested our tired feet, we continued with our historical tour. 

Atomic Bomb Museum.
The museum is a remembrance to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki by the United States of America 9 August 1945 at 11:02:35 am. 

Before we entered the main section, this clock with its hands frozen at the exact time the bomb went off, was a startling reminder of the horror of war.

"Fat Man" was the code name for the type of atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki by the United States on 9 August 1945. The name refers generically to the early design of the bomb, because  of its wide, and round shape.

"Nuclear shadows"
Thermal radiation bleaches the surface of the walls that it comes in contact with - like how sunburn bleaches the exposed surface of skin. However, when there is an object in between that portion of the wall or any surface for the matter, the surface behind that object does not bleach. Hence it appears like a permanent shadow has formed on the wall. 

A school girl's lunch box. (Donated by Iwao Oishi)
This is a memento of Satoko Tsutsumi who was 14 years old at the time of the bombing. She was exposed to the atomic bomb explosion in Iwakawa-machi about 700 meters from the hypocenter. The riec in the lunch box was charred by the fires after the bombing.

The atomic bomb exploded in the sky about 500 meters above the point where this monument now stands. By the end of December, some 74,000 people had died and some 75,000 suffered from various injuries. The area within a 2.5 kilometer radius of the hypocenter was utterly devastated, and the rest of the city was left in ruins.

The Peace Statue.
The statute was completed in 1955 by Seibo Kitamura, a locally born sculptor. The bronze statue is 9.7 meters high, sitting on a 3.9-meter base, and weighs some 30 tons. It is said that the statute’s right hand is raised upward to point to the threat of nuclear weapons while the horizontally extended left hand symbolizes peace. The gently closed eyes are said to offer a prayer for the repose of the bomb victims’souls. 

Words from the Sculptor
After experiencing that nightmarish war, 
that blood-curdling carnage, 
that unendurable horror, 
Who could walk away without praying for peace?
This statue was created as a signpost in the
struggle for global harmony.
Standing ten meters tall,
it conveys the profundity  of knowledge and
the beauty of health and virility.
The right hand points to the atomic bomb,
the left hand points to peace,
and the face prays deeply for the victims of war.
Transcending the barriers of race
and evoking the qualities of both Buddha and God,
it is a symbol of the greatest determination
ever known in the history of Nagasaki
and of the highest hope of all mankind.

Seibo Kitamura (Spring 1955)

Ground Zero - Ground level at the time of the bombing.

Activity 9: Night skies of Nagasaki.

The drive up Mt. Inasa took us up winding roads. Thankfully we were early as a long queue of cars followed. 

Activity 10: Driving across Nagasaki (2 hours drive) to Shimabara Port.  

We could drive to Kumamoto but crossing the waters in a car ferry was an opportunity we didn't want to miss.

Activity 11: Suizenji Jojuen Park

It is a traditional Japanese garden landscaped around a natural spring pond. The area was originally a site of Suizenji temple, constructed by Lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi in 1632. His grandson later built the garden around the temple into its current form. 

They had a whale of a time feeding the mandarin ducks.

Activity 12: The Katana Experience.

Helen, our guide was an English lady who has resided in Japan for the last 17 years. She married a Japanese and moved to this beautiful country. When I contacted her regarding spending some time with Matsunaga Genrokuro, she asked politely if we could speak Japanese as the Master only spoke little English. She didn't want the experience to be lost on us and offered to be with us, and explain the process. 

We sat in a workshop that hasn't change in 40 years, listening to sensei as he explained the process of making the katana. He showed us the raw material used and we learned that much was collected around the beaches in Kumamoto. He would go down to the beach with a huge magnet and then push it into the sand. A 30-minute round on the beach and he would return with a 12 kg load! Then he would melt the raw iron down in his furnace to produce coal. The piece of coal in Aunt Ven's hand could easily cost up to  $10 000. Black gold, if you ask me.

He would spend a good part of the morning in his workshop every day. Sensei was a friendly man and he was chatting with us about his younger days, of his apprenticeship with his own sensei. He recounted the accidents he had and the pain he suffered. He talked about how his hands, and nails were always black from his handing of the coal and how he was embarrassed to show them - that was why he had them in his pockets all the time when he wasn't working. 

Sensei offered to let us have a go at shaping the metal. It was definitely not easy. This man was willing to share his craft. "Everything I need to know about life, I learned it in this workshop." This man was all about resilience, perseverance, and passion. 

Next, we were treated to a session with the other masters. 

Would you believe me if I told you this master here was 80 years old? He surely didn't look so.

This wasn't just a demonstration; these men do it every day and we were indeed privileged to be able to share the morning. 

The very sharp blade sliced through the soaked tatami mat effortlessly. The mats were tightly bounded and left to soak overnight. Master revealed that in the past, they had to practise on dead bodies but that practice was stopped. Instead they used recycled tatami mats. There were mats rolled up into different thickness and this was in direct relation to the strength needed to execute each stroke of the blade. The different sizes were representative of the different parts of the human body, like the limbs and torso.

They were precise and with each stroke of the blade, a piece of that mat fell to the ground.

We had the chance to have a go at the katana.

A very serious looking Daddy.

Uncle Alsonn was all about concentration and control.

The master.

Sensei took us round the back into his home after that and showed us his prized possession.
The samurai armour was 400 years old. He showed us the iron-cast guns used during the ancient war and also explained the significance of the structure of a traditional Japanese home.  Although it was a short 3-hour session with him, we learned a lot.

With Matsunaga Genrokuro sensei himself.

A treasured picture. We were indeed humbled and honoured.


Popular Posts


1 yr old (7) 10 yr old (30) 11 yr old (18) 12 yr old (8) 2 yr old (6) 3 yr old (65) 4 yr old (77) 5 yr old (35) 6 yr old (1) 8 yr old (43) 9 yr old (40) advertorial (6) anniversary (12) art (87) Aunt Di (21) Aunt Jules (3) Aws (48) baking (7) ballet (27) Barney (1) bath (4) beach (6) bed (7) bento (21) Big Eater (3) birthday (1) birthdays (109) blog (14) blog worth (2) books (12) bored (3) buffet (1) calender (2) Camp (3) Camptodactyly (2) car (10) carnival (5) Chinese New Year (49) Choir (8) Christmas (26) Church (18) colouring (13) computer (2) crabs (5) craft (97) culinary (18) cycling (8) daddy time (36) dance (14) day care (1) delivery (3) dental (10) development (23) diet (10) Disney (10) Dora (4) durians (4) ECP (10) English (90) enrichment programme (20) excursions (9) experiments (3) farm (6) fireworks (1) Flyer (1) frustrations (40) gardens (11) golf (23) Grand Daddy (9) Grand Mummy (12) hair (12) health (61) hobby (1) Hong Kong (6) house warming (1) hubby (5) husband (16) ice cream (2) ice skating (1) ID (5) Internet (27) Japanese (7) Josiah (184) kite (1) Korea (6) label (4) Legoland Malaysia (1) library (2) lost and found (2) Makassar (1) Mand (1) Mandarin (33) marina barrage (2) marriage (4) massage (1) Math (51) Mauritius (4) milk (12) mooncakes (6) movies (10) Mr.Lee Kuan Yew (1) mummy (5) museum (12) music (76) Mya (3) online shopping (3) park (16) Pasir Ris (5) patience (2) performance (27) pet (9) photography (1) pian (1) piano (12) pizza (3) porridge (3) potty (7) prayer (2) pregnancy (1) preschool (162) Primary 1 (49) Primary 2 (9) primary 3 (7) Printable (27) puzzles (6) race (2) recommendations (8) refurbish (1) restaurant (12) roadtrip (9) sale (4) sand castle (3) sanrio (14) saving Gaia (13) school (56) Science (20) Science Centre (2) scrapbooking (3) Seimpi (46) Sentosa (1) SG50 (1) shoes (6) Siaws (20) Singapore (1) sleeping (5) songs (12) Stream (5) strem (1) supper (3) sushi (8) Swensons (2) swimming (33) Tans (1) Tohs (3) trial classes (7) tribute (1) tricycle (2) tummy (1) Universal Studios (2) vacations (111) vaccination (4) Valentine's (3) vanity (37) Wans (4) Waraku (1) wedding (12) weight (2) Wengs (1) wish list (20) World Vision (2) Wuu (3) zoo (5)

Pinterest Gallery

featured Slider

Thanks for dropping by