Dazaifu City of Ancient Culture

Today's Dazaifu City owes its name to an office called the Dazaifu or "Government-General Headquarters," which was established here approximately 1,300 years ago and which had ruled all of Kyushu for a period of some 500 years. Within the city are many historical sites which serve as reminder of its past, including the ruins of the Dazaifu itself, the Mizuki( "Water Fortress") , Kanzeonji Temple, Chikuzen Kokubunji Temple, and Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.

1 Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is sacred to the memory of Michizane Sugawara , also as "the god of learning." In 901 A.D., Michizane was suddenly demoted from his position as Minister of the Right and send to work at the Dazaifu, where he died two year later. Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine was build on the site of his grave. The main hall, as it stands today, was constructed in 1591 A.D. and is registered as an Important Cultural Property. Within the Shrine precincts are many plum trees, camphor trees, and irises, which provide natural beauty in every season of the year. Tenmangu's history is recalled by the event such as the New Year's Festival ( Oni-sube), the Spring Water Poetry Festival (kyokusui-no-en), and the Annual God-Procession (Jinko-shiki) which takes place in the Fall.


3 Site of Dazaifu Government Office (National Historical Site)
The site of Dazaifu government office is known a "Tofuro." During the Nara and Heian periods the Dazaifu was responsible for super vising Japan's maritime frontier and for administering the nine provinces and two island of the Saikaidou (modern Kyushu).
In those days, a great edifice with vermilion-lacquered columns and a tiled roof stood at the foot of Mutton, but today all that remains is a park containing the huge foundation stones of the original building.

4 Ruins Ono Fortress (National Historical Site)
The north of Dazaifu City, there is a mountain called Mt.Shioji. Ono Fortress was build on its summit in 665 A.D. for the protected Dazaifu. It consisted of a number of buildings surrounded by a mud and stone embankment which was 8 kilometers in curcumference. All that remains today is part of the embankment and the foundation stones of about 70 storehouses. Mt.Shioji was originally called Mutton, a name which often appears in Manyo poetry. The name Mt.Shioji comes from the Shitenno (Four Deva kings) which were enshrined on the mountain.


6 Ruins of Mizuki (National Historical Site)
In the Northwest of the city there is a long, low embankment cutting directly across the plain. This is Mizuki or "Water Fortress," which was build in 664 A.D. to defend the Dazaifu China and/or Korean kingdom of Silla. Altogether, the Mizuki is 1.2 kilometers long, 80 meters wide, and 10 meters high. The name "Water Fortress" comes from a moat which used to exist on the Hakata side. According to archaeological investigations the moat was 60 meters wide and 4 meters deep. Smaller embankments of the same type as the Mizuki are found i Kasuga City and O-nojo City.

(Dazaifu Historical Guides)

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