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Sign for Oichi-no-Sato, a complex consisting of a public library and folk history museums. Named after Ichi, the wife of Lord Azai Nagamasa who resided at Odani Castle. She was also the younger sister of warlord Oda Nobunaga.
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Oichi or Ichi (1547–1583) gave birth to three daughters who associated with famous men. They were Chacha (Toyotomi Hideyoshi's concubine), Hatsu (married Kyogoku Takatsugu), and Ogo (married Tokugawa Hidetada).
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Map of Oichi-no-Sato. The biggest building on the left is the Azai Public Library. If you don't have a car, catch the Kokoku Bus (Takayama Route) at Nagahama Station and get off at Plaza Fukura no Mori-mae (プラザふくらの森前). Walk 10 min.
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Oichi-no-Sato includes Azai Public Library on the left. Its entrance looks like a castle gate. Address: Oyoricho 528, Nagahama. 大依町 Phone: 0749-74-0101 浅井図書館
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Walk past the library and you come to the gate of the Azai Folk History Museum. Admission 300 yen. Open 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mon. (open if a national holiday) and the day after a national holiday.
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On the left is this modern structure called the Folk Studies Museum or Kyodo Gakushu-kan. It centers on the history of Odani Castle and three generations of the Azai Clan. 郷土学習館
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The Azai Folk History Museum (Azai Rekishi Minzoku Shiryokan) has two large thatched-roof houses. This one is called Itohime no Yakata which shows Azai's silk production history. 糸姫の館 MAP
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Folk Studies Museum or Kyodo Gakushu-kan. It centers on the history of Odani Castle and three generations of the Azai Clan. 郷土学習館
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Entrance to Folk Studies Museum.
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This folding panel greets you with a portrait of Lord Azai Nagamasa and wife Ichi.
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Model of Odani Castle on a mountaintop.
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More exhibits about local history.
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Portrait panels of Nagamasa, Ichi, and their three daughters.
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Ichi or Oichi, wife of Azai Nagamasa.
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Lord Azai Nagamasa
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Map of the Battle of Anegawa where Lord Azai Nagamasa fought against Tokugawa Ieysau and Oda Nobunaga in 1570.
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Second floor of the museum with a fake stone castle gate.
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Relics from Odani Castle
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Fan said to have belonged to Ichi.
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Blacksmith-related materials.
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Photo of an unusual ax.
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In the middle is a garden with a pond. The thatched-roof house is Shichirinkan, a former blacksmith's house. 七りん館
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Inside Shichirinkan, a former blacksmith's house from the 19th century. 七りん館
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When I visited in Feb. 2009, there was an exhibit showing artifacts of a local Okonai Festival (held in various locations during Jan. to March to pray for a good harvest).
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Feast for Okonai Festival.
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Food for Okonai Festival.
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Kitchen.
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Wooden bathtub
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How they bathed in the bathtub.
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Near the entrance was the wooden bath.
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This is Itohime no Yakata which shows Azai's silk production history. 糸姫の館
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Inside Itohime no Yakata.
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Large exhibition rooms.
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Products which use silk threads made in Azai. They were mainly used for the strings of string instruments such as the koto, samisen, and biwa lute.
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Koto strings made of Azai silk threads. Numerous silk threads are twisted together to make a koto string.
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Biwa strings
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Biwa lute
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Silk cocoons.
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Room with a hearth.
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Silk threads.
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Model of silkworm racks.
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A mannequin spinning silk thread.
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Model of silkworm racks.
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