Σάββατο 18 Ιουλίου 2015

12 castles with centuries-old keeps to form alliance



Twelve municipalities that are home to castles will create a nationwide stronghold in the form of an alliance that will share expertise on maintenance, promotion and attracting tourists.
The 12 castles are the only ones in Japan with standing keeps dating to at least the Edo Period (1603-1867). Five of the keeps have been designated as national treasures.
The Hirosaki city government in Aomori Prefecture, where Hirosaki Castle is located, said all 12 municipalities have more or less agreed to the city-initiated outline of the alliance.
“As the 12 castles have never cooperated before, we hope to form ties and establish a council to discuss the matter,” a Hirosaki city official in charge of the project said.
Hirosaki city describes the alliance as “a loose bond between equal partners,” with no top-down orders, no fees and no special tasks assigned.
The municipalities plan to hold a meeting in Hirosaki next year to discuss how to handle the deluge of foreign visitors expected to arrive for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. They are also considering running feature articles on the alliance in newsletters published by each municipality.
Hirosaki city is planning to dispatch employees familiar with the “Hirosaki method” of managing cherry trees to other castles famed for their cherry blossom surroundings. The method is based on a tree-pruning technique for apples, which is one of Hirosaki’s major products.
The municipalities that have already joined the alliance are: Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, home of Matsumoto Castle; Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, home of Himeji Castle; Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, home of Matsue Castle; Kochi, home of Kochi Castle; and Sakai, Fukui Prefecture, home of Maruoka Castle.
Hirosaki Vice Mayor Masaki Ebina is scheduled to visit Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, where Inuyama Castle stands, to get the Inuyama mayor to sign up for the alliance on July 16.
Ebina also plans to gain the signatures of the mayor of Matsuyama, home of Matsuyama Castle, on July 28, and the mayor of Uwajima, home of Uwajima Castle, on July 31.
Both castles are located in Ehime Prefecture, the only prefecture to house more than one of the 12 castles.
“We would like to jointly promote our castles because their historical significance and worthiness are still not fully recognized,” a Matsuyama city government official said.
A city official of Uwajima said: “Such an alliance seems like it would have already existed, but it never actually did. It’s a very good idea to hold exchanges related to the aspects of both tourism and culture.”
By TAKAYUKI SEINO/ Staff Writer
αναδημοσίευση από  http://ajw.asahi.com/

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