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Takayama Part IV: Takayama Jinya:
A Historical Government Building


Takayama Jinya was once the seat of local government when Takyama was under the jurisdiction of the Kanamori clan. This is the only building of its kind in Japan and so holds a special place in Japan's gallery of architecture. In total, the Tokugawa government had almost 60 government offices called "Jinya" to help control administration of the outlying regions, but Takayama Jinya is the only one which remains.

After the Hida province came under the control of the Tokugawa government, 25 head officials from the capital, Edo, to handle the affairs of the state. They maintained administration for the province from this building for 177 years.



Traditional Japanese screen doors opening out to a courtyard


Here's where they kept the loot. The currency of pre-modern Japan consisted of unpolished rice. It was stored in bags made from the rice stalks and was the only method of levying taxes. Each bag weighed about 160 pounds!

Nengu-mai (Rice-bags made of paddy-straw)

Another room of interest in the building was the Law Court and was used for criminal investigations. The suspect would sit or lie on the floor during questioning. Some suspects were severly tortured. You can see some of the torture instruments in the picture.

The Shirasu (Law Court)

This entrance hall was only used by head officials and special guests. The decorative wallpaper on the front wall and doors displays a blue sea wave pattern which was designed by the Tokugawa shogunate as a symbol of its direct control (I'm not too sure how that works).

Genkan-no-ma (Hall of Entrance)


And this last picture's of me outside of the temple I was staying at in Takayama! They use this bell for some of their ceremonies and during prayer times.

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