. Ezo, Emishi 蝦夷 エゾ Ainu Culture アイヌの文化 .

Matsumae in Hokkaido

***** Location: Hokkaido, Japan
***** Season: Various
***** Category: Observance


kigo for early spring
Matsumae wataru 松前渡る (まつまえわたる)
crossing over to Matsumae

kigo for late autumn
Matsumae kaeru 松前帰る (まつまえかえる)
coming home from Matsumae

Matsumae noboru 松前上る(まつまえのぼる)
coming back from Matsumae

These are old kigo.
Matsumae, one of the oldest port towns in Hokkaido, used to be busy during the summer months in the Edo period for fishing.
This custom was also performed by merchants and traders from Tsugaru, Aomori and Akita.
The name Matsumae at that time was almost identical with the old name of Ezo / Hokkaido.


Matsumae (松前町, Matsumae-chō) is a town located in Matsumae District, Oshima, Hokkaidō, Japan. The former home of the Matsumae Han, it has an Edo period castle, Matsumae Castle, the only one in Hokkaidō.
The town is located on the southern end of the Matsumae Peninsula.
In addition the town governs the two islands in the Tsugaru Strait, Oshima and Kojima.

The Matsumae clan (松前藩, Matsumae-han)
was a Japanese clan which was granted the area around Matsumae, Hokkaidō as a march fief in 1590 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and charged with defending it, and by extension all of Japan, from the Ainu 'barbarians' to the north. Originally known as the Kakizaki clan, and claiming descendence from the Takeda of Wakasa province, the family later took the name Matsumae.
In exchange for their service in defending the country, the Matsumae were made exempt from owing rice to the shogunate in tribute, and from the sankin kōtai system, under which most daimyo (feudal lords of Edo period Japan) were required to spend half the year at Edo, while their families were, essentially, held hostage to prevent rebellion, spending the entire year at Edo.

Due to their location, and their role as border defenders, the Matsumae were the first Japanese to negotiate with Russia in any semi-official way. They might very well have been the first Japanese to meet Russians at all, within Japanese territory.

Since the Matsumae land was a march, a frontier land used as the border defense against the Ainu, the remainder of Hokkaidō, then called Ezo, essentially became an Ainu reservation.
It was only during the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century that the march was dissolved and Hokkaidō formally annexed by Japan.

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Matsumae Castle (松前城, Matsumae-jō)
is a castle located in Matsumae in Hokkaidō, Japan. It was the home of the Matsumae Han. It is perhaps the only traditional style Edo period castle in Hokkaidō.

Built in 1606 by Matsumae Yoshihiro 松前 慶広, it burned down in 1637 but was rebuilt in 1639. Later, modern defences were built on the site in 1850. In 1875, the administrative building, three turrets, and an artillery position were torn down, before the remaining Donjon and main gate burned down in 1949; it is now all a park.

It once controlled all passengers through Hokkaidō to the rest of Japan.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


- quote
The Kitamaebune 北前船 (lit. northern-bound ships)
was a shipping route (and also the ships involved) in Japan from the Edo to the Meiji periods. The route went from Osaka through the Seto Inland Sea and the Kanmon Straits to ports in Hokuriku on the Sea of Japan and later to Hokkaidō.

The Kaga Domain, which sold approximately 70,000 koku of rice every year in Osaka, succeeded in sending 100 koku by boat through this route in 1639. The Tokugawa Shogunate also received rice from Dewa Province through merchant Kawamura Zuiken in 1672, but it is thought to be a response from these ships. Japanese ships at the time normally could only make one trip per year, but with the arrival of Western schooners in the Meiji Period, ships were able to make up to four trips annually.

However, the Meiji Restoration also brought the end of the feudal system and the introduction of the telegraph, getting rid of gaps between regional markets and making it difficult for the shipping routes to make large profits. The national construction of railroads further led to the end of the Kitamaebune.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Matsumaebune 松前船 trade ships .
and the temple Tamonin 多聞院 Tamon-In in Akita


The kagura style of dance and music is performed in the course of worshiping Shinto gods and this type of performance is best represented by the Matsumae kagura.

. Matsumae Kagura Dance 松前神楽

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Food from Hokkaido

Matsumaezuke, Matsumae tsukemono 松前漬け

pickled seaweed and fish rogen
with soy sauce, mirin sugar and other ingredients. 

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. WASHOKU : Matsumaezushi from Hokkaido
松前鮓(まつまえずし)Sushi from Matsumae  松前すし
kigo for all summer
Prepared with salmon or mackerel and a bit of konbu kelp.


kuroguro to Matsumae kaeru hi no ikuri

black, so black
the rocks in the water on the day
returning from Matsumae

Mikami Tooka 三上冬華(みかみ・とうか)(1942 - )
Haiku Collection

Related words

***** . Samekawa misogi 佐女川みそぎSamekawa Ablutions  
At Kikonai, near Hakodate.

***** . Ainu Food アイヌ料理  

***** . Ezo, Emishi 蝦夷 エゾ Ainu Culture アイヌの文化 .

***** . 松窓乙二 Shoso Otsuni
(1756 - 1823)
He travelled a lot, mostly in Northern Japan and even to Hakodate, Hokkaido, and promoted haiku in this area, with the support of the Lord of Matsumae Han.


*****  . Takadaya Kahei 高田屋嘉兵衛 (1769 - 1827) .

In 1795, he constructed a ship named Shinetsu-maru 辰悦丸 with a displacement of 417 tons in Dewa (Yamagata and Akita Prefectures) and captained it. The following year he opened trading stores with the name of Takadaya in Hyogotsu and Hakodate, and started selling goods he transported between Ezo and the Osaka area.





Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

The Kitamaebune 北前船 (lit. northern-bound ships)

Matsumaebune 松前船

the famous ship 辰悦丸 Shinetsu Maru owned by Takadaya Kahei

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kitamaebune 北前船 North-bound trade ships
“Kitame-bune” “Kitamae-bune”

Matsumaebune 松前船 Matsumae trade ships to Hokkaido
the Details !

Gabi Greve said...

Ōshū Kaidō 奥州街道 Oshu Kaido
connecting Edo with the Mutsu Province in Tohoku.
and further North up to Matsumae, Hokkaido

Gabi Greve said...

Matsumae Kaido 松前街道 Matsumae Highway
Fukuyama Kaido 福山街道 Fukuyama Highway