Date Masamune


Date Masamune

Date Masamune (伊達政宗)
(September 5, 1567 – June 27, 1636)
was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama period through early Edo period. Heir to a long line of powerful daimyo in the Tōhoku region, he went on to found the modern-day city of Sendai. An outstanding tactician, he was made all the more iconic for his missing eye, and Masamune was often called dokuganryū (独眼竜), or the "one-eyed dragon".

Masamune is known for a few things that made him stand out from other daimyo of the time. In particular, his famous crescent-moon-bearing helmet won him a fearsome reputation.

Masamune's greatest achievement was funding and backing one of Japan's few journeys of far-flung diplomacy and exploration in this period. He ordered the building of the exploration ship Date Maru or San Juan Bautista, using foreign (European) ship-building techniques. He sent one of his retainers, Hasekura Tsunenaga, Sotelo, and an embassy numbering 180 on a successful voyage to establish relations with the Pope in Rome.
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. Masamune and Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来 the Buddha of Medicine .
- Yakushi Legends from Miyagi -

. Aoba matsuri 青葉祭り Aoba festival .
In honor of Masamune, at Aoba Shrine 青葉神社

. otogibanashi dorei おとぎ話の土鈴
clay bells with motives of legends .

- - There are also many kokeshi abou this
famous Hero of Sendai:

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. kokeshi こけし wooden dolls - Introduction .

Masamune Pokemon まさむね ポケモン



A few hundreds meters North of Matsushima Kaigan station is the Temple Zuigan-ji (瑞巌寺). It was founded by the Tendai sect as early as 828, long before Sendai existed. The current structure was build by Sendai lord Date Masamune 伊達政宗 in 1606, and is one of Tohoku's finest Zen temple.
The hall Seiryuden (清流殿) is especially beautiful.

. Matsushima 松島 and Haiku

Etsuki Daruma ... 江月だるまこけし
Fukuura-Jima – Insel Fukuura with Daruma Dolls


Yanagiu washi 柳生和紙 / 柳生(やなぎ・う)和紙
is a hand-made paper that was developed in Sendai City. It is produced around Yanagiu, Taihaku-ku, Sendai City and is said to have been started by paper craftsmen from Date (Fukushima Prefecture) who had been brought to the area by Date Masamune in the early middle ages.

. Matsukawa Daruma from Sendai


- quote
New theory on 1613 mission floated

SENDAI – Historian Naotsugu Hamada has proposed a new theory about the 1613 mission that Date Masamune, Sendai’s then-feudal lord, sent to Europe and Mexico, arguing that he may have intended to use funds from trade with Mexico to reconstruct Tohoku, which had been rocked by a quake-tsunami disaster just two years earlier.
It is traditionally believed that Date (1567-1636), who built Sendai Castle and founded the city, dispatched the Keicho mission, named after the contemporary era, purely to boost his own name and reputation.

But the 73-year-old Hamada, a resident of Sendai, came up with the alternative theory after the city and many other areas in the northeast were devastated by the March 11, 2011, killer quake and tsunami.
Hamada said he and other victims of the disaster struggling to rebuild their hometowns can identify with Date, who worked equally hard to reconstruct the region after the 1611 temblor, estimated at magnitude 8.1, also triggered devastating tsunami, claiming approximately 5,000 lives.
In 1966, Hamada became a curator at Sendai City Museum after obtaining a master’s degree in art history at Tohoku University, also in the capital of Miyagi Prefecture.
He became fascinated with a portrait of Hasekura Tsunenaga (1571-1622), a samurai who headed the 1613 mission, and a certificate of Roman citizenship that he brought home. Both items are housed at the museum.
Ever since, Hamada has been studying documents to determine the historical significance of the mission.

“I had a strong interest in the spirit and eagerness of a man from Tohoku to conduct diplomatic negotiations with people overseas and have been absorbed in the research,” Hamada said.

In 2010, Hamada was appointed director of the Keicho Mission Ship Museum in Miyagi’s coastal city of Ishinomaki. But the following year, the 9.0-magnitude Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami partly flooded the museum, destroying a replica of the Sant Juan Bautista, the ship used for the mission. The building later served as an evacuation center.
The catastrophe reminded Hamada of historical records of the 1611 quake and tsunami that struck Tohoku’s Sanriku coast. Afterward, Date is thought to have devoted himself to rebuilding his Sendai domain, developing new rice paddies and salt fields.
The 180-member mission departed in October 1613 to hold negotiations with King Philip III in Spain and Pope Paul V in Rome on launching direct trade with Mexico, at the time a Spanish colony.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the vessel’s departure and the documents related to the mission have been designated by UNESCO as valuable records in its Memory of the World documentary heritage program.

“History shows that our ancestors embarked on a journey with a significant purpose following the (1611) earthquake and it could offer emotional support to victims of the (March 2011) temblor,”
Hamada said.
source : www.japantimes.co.jp

- Discussion of facebook -


Datemaki だてまき sweet rolled omelet

Named after Date Masamune, Daimyo of Sendai
Dish and KIGO for the New Year

Daruma Masamune 達磨正宗 Old Sake


Usui Pass 碓氷峠

natsu kodachi hana wa Usui no Tooge kana

summer trees -
flowers at the pass
at Usui

Date Masamune 伊達政宗

He climbed this path in April 1614.

. Karuizawa, Usui Pass and Haiku  

The Usui Pass (碓氷峠, Usui-tōge) is a mountain pass that lies between Nagano and Gunma Prefectures in Japan. It has served as one of the major transportation routes in central Japan since at least the eighth century.

The pass on the ancient Tōsandō highway was described as early as the 8th century, in the Nihon Shoki, as Yamato Takeru 日本武尊 went through the pass during his journey in eastern Japan. Later, the Nakasendō, one of the five routes of the Edo period maintained by the Tokugawa shogunate (and one of the two that connected Edo, modern-day Tokyo, to Kyoto) followed the route through the pass.
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This pass is already mentioned with poems in the collection of the Manyo-Shu.
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At the top of the pass is the Kumano Taijin Shrine 熊野皇大神社.


Oosaki Hachimangu 大崎八幡宮 Osaki Hachiman Shrine
Sendai, Miyagi

Date Masamune ordered the construction of Osaki Hachimangu in 1607. The shrine's deity, Hachiman, is the Shinto god of war and considered to be a general guardian and protector of the city.

Osaki Hachimangu was recently restored after the earthquake and the shrine's renewed structure is a striking example of Date architecture and style. The main building, which consists of a main hall (honden) and offering hall (haiden) joined under a common roof, is uniquely covered in black lacquer, gold leaf and brilliant colors. Some omikuji (fortunes sold by the temple for protection and good luck) are black to reflect the shrine's distinctive coloring.
source : www.japan-guide.com

orizuru negai mamori 折鶴ねがい守り
folded crane amulet for making a wish

It comes in gold or silver.
In Sendai it is customary for the Tanabata star festival to make a crane from folded paper with a Tanabata wish in it. This is hung to the bamboo.

More amulets from Osaki Hachimangu
source : www.okos.co.jp/oosaki

. Star Festival (Tanabata 七夕) .

. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011 .

. WKD : Hachiman Shrines and Festivals .


Donto Festival, Dontozai どんと祭 どんとさい
Osaki Hachiman Shrine, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
January 14
Burning of the New Year's decorations with a prayer for good health in the coming year. Naked men walk around the town.

source : www.youtube.com

Donto fire festivals are held in all shrines of Miyagi on this day, but the one of Osaki Hachimangu Shrine is the biggest.
Thousands of residents wrap white hairbands and white cloths around them, hold rice paper inside their mouthes, and carry bells and lanterns, walking on the streets barely clothed. In 2005 (17th year of Heisei), the Donto Festival was appointed as an invaluable folk/ cultural asset of Sendai.
The brightly burning sacred flame as well as the courage of the scantily dressed participants both defeat the cold weather and give this ceremony a sacred air.
source : sendai-hirose.html

大崎八幡宮 Ōsaki Hachimangū
4 Chome-6-1 Hachiman, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi

- quote -
Osaki Hachiman :
Architecture, Materiality, and Samurai Power in Seventeenth-Century Japan
Author: Schweizer, Anton

Ôsaki Hachiman (1607), located in Sendai, Japan, is one of only a handful of surviving buildings from the Momoyama period (1568–1615). The shrine is a rare example of “lacquered architecture”—an architectural type characterized by a shiny, black coat made of refined tree sap and evocative of transitory splendor and cyclical renewal. The shrine’s sponsor, the warlord Date Masamune, was one of the last independent feudal lords of his time and remains famous for dispatching diplomatic missions to Mexico, Spain, and Rome. Although his ambitions to become a ruler of Northern Japan were frustrated, his shrine stands as a lasting testament to the political struggles he faced, his global aspirations, and the cultural cloak by which he sought to advance these objectives.
- source : www.artbooks.com -


- #datemasamune #osakihachiman -


facebook said...

never knew date masamune wrote an usui tooge haiku!!
thanks for posting!

Gabi Greve said...

Nr. 24 Nyoizan 如意山 - 金剛寺 - 気仙成田不動尊 - Kesen Narita Fudo
Kongooji 金剛寺 Kongo-Ji
in Rikuzen Takata

Date Masamune took residence at this temple when he passed the region during an inspection. During that time there were more than 30 sub-temples near the compound.

Fudo Pilgrims in Iwate -

Gabi Greve said...

宮城県 Miyagi 大和町 Taiwa

amazake Jizoo 甘酒地蔵 Jizo and sweet rice wine

In the year 1616 the third son of Date Masamune, Date Munekiyo 伊達河内守宗清 (1600 - 1634) was forced to live in Yoshioka 吉岡, where he also built a castle to live. Once he went fishing for Oogai オウガイ漁 to river Yoshidagawa 吉田川. On his way back home he met a priest claiming he was the messenger of Bonten.
Half in joke Munekiyo handed him the box with the raw-smelling fish, but the messenger refused. So the Lord got angry and killed the messenger. Soon he was cursed with illness and died young at age 35.
Later the messenger-priest erected a stone memorial of Jizo on his grave to appease his soul. People with ear diseases come here and offer a 竹筒に甘酒 bamboo container full of sweet rice wine to get healed.


Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Sendai

niwatoribashi 鶏橋 "rooster bridge"

A bridge over a gorge along the 関山街道 Sekiyama Kaido Highway.
Every night a rooster came to sit on the rail and called out.
The bird came from the Osaki Hachiman Shrine, where it has taken life from a painting on an ema 絵馬 votive tablet.
They bound the votive tablet with metal ropes. But soon after that there was a great flooding, swallowing homes and people.
The bridge was now called "rooster bridge".

Gabi Greve said...

. Nakasendoo 中山道 Nakasendo Highway .
From Edo to Kyoto
16. Matsuida-shuku 松井田宿 postal station Matsuida

碓氷の役所 Usui no Seki Checkpoint
Matsuida Fudo 松井田不動
龍本山 松井田院 不動寺 Fudo-Ji