We walked around JR Ijuin Station on our way from Kagoshima City to Hioki City. Nice Samurai Statue and delicious Manju dumplings are interesting.
Statue of Shimazu Yoshihiro
Samurai statue is standing in front of JR Ijuin Station. He is Shimazu Yoshihiro, 17th head of Shimazu Family which ruled Kagoshima area for more than 600 years until Meiji Restoration (1869). Yoshihiro was the genius Samurai of battle and played an important role in famous battles such as Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598) and Sekigahara (1600) . In Kagoshima’s history, he is as popular as Mr. Saigo Takamori (1828-1877).
His battle talent is so excellent that he has a nickname of “Oni-Shimazu” or Shimazu Ogre.
Why was he very strong?
Secret 1. Gun
He lost at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, but when he escaped from the battle field, he assaulted the head of his enemy (Tokugawa Ieyasu) and almost kill him.
At that age, match gun was just introduced in Japan.
Usually low class foot soldiers used matchlock guns, but Shimdzu Yoshihiro provided guns to middle class soldiers who were on horses.
It was usual to use the matchlock guns to fire at rushing enemy, but Yoshihiro used the gun for the attacking purposes.
Secret 2・Loyalty of Retainer
He cherishes his retainers.
At the cold battle field, it is said that he surrounds a fire with other low-class soldiers.
When he died, as many as 13 retainers committed suicide for their respect to Yoshihiro.
Secret 3. Love
He was scared by opponents, but he loves his family very much.
He married his wife not for politics but for love.
He sent love letters to his wife at around 60 year old.
Secret 4. God Protection
He could survive at the battle of Korean Peninsula thanks to the Inari God.
Travel Information Center
Yoshihiri lived in Hioki City until he becomes 16 years old and had a special affectionate feeling toward this area. He is a representative person of this city. We wound a traditional Japanese battle armor at the travel guide station in front of Ijuin Station. So cool!
Mascot Character “Hiokichi”
He is the mascot character of Hiroki City.
He is a turtle which is the famous animal in Fukiage beach of western coast of Hioki City. He loves Shimazu Yoshihiro and wishes to be a brave Samurai.
Ijuin Manju (Dumplings)
This is a famous souvenir snack of Hioki City. The cross-like mark is curved on their surface. This “cross in round” is the symbol of Shimazu Clan. I found that the taste is very sweet and mashed white beans are inside. I thought that it would be wonderful to have this Ijuin Manju with a bitter green tea!
After having Ijuin Manju, we headed for the west coast of Kagoshima, where we saw very beautiful sunset.
Access to Ijuin Station
- Time Table of JR Ijuin Station (Please be noted that Shinkansen doesn’t stop at the Ijuin Station. Please use the local train of Kagoshima Line.)