1998.4.22 : I went to see "Kote-e", or "Plaster art." by Mie

We first visited Hiji town in which many of them
were preserved.

This is a small fishery wharf of Kitahama.
A piece of Kote-e is on the wall of Mr. Yoshinobu Nagano's
house gable. It looks like a "Yebisu", the god of wealth.
On the opposite wall is another work of Yebisu with a sea bream,
a symbol mark of wealth and happiness.

But it is only visible from the top of the next roof,
the owner said.
Here is a Kote-e of "surf riding rabbit"
on the gable of Mr. Hiroyuki Yoshijima's house.
Can you identify a red sun on the rabbit?
The design of wave or sea is an incantation
of fire protection and rabbit represents easy delivery.
A gentle slope from the wharf leads us to
a famous Japanese restaurant that serves
special product of this town,
"Shiro shita Karei", or literally "under
the castle sole fish."
The restaurant was built in 1915 as a villa,
boasting its wonderful view of
Beppu bay and Mt. Takasaki.
I wish I can take a feast even once in such
a luxurious place.
Beyond the restaurant was a kindergarten with
such a sign that reads:
"This is a site of the father of Rentaro Taki,
a famous composer in Meiji era. After the Restoration of Imperial Rule
the Takis four went to Tokyo."
The ruins of Youkoku castle in Hiji.
The catch of sole fish specially captured under
this stone wall is exclusively called
"Shiro shita Karei" that grows in the mixture of welling
fresh water and sea water.
A monument of battleship "Umitaka", or "Sea hawk",
ran aground off Hiji It was first built as
an immigration ship called Argentina-maru,
then commandeered by the navy.
Next, we drove up to Yamaga town to see another
Kote-e at Ono sake brewery.
A wonderful Kote-e indeed. A dragon blasts red flame.
This was made about 130 years ago.
I love this work best of all I saw today.
Men are concerning the content of this case,
sake bottles. They examined some bottles of pleasant named
"King" or "Men's sake",
never keep hands off from the bottle.
The master of the brewery took us to his mothers home,
leaving his store open, to show us another Kote-es.
He drove through winding trails down to the site.
Thanks to his good-will, we could take a look at
a beautiful Kote-e of "Treasure ship."
Thank you very much, indeed.

After Yamaga town, we headed to Ajimu town,
the most famous restoration place of the Kote-es.
Unfortunately, the battery of my digital camera went out.