JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


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In Nagasaki Prefecture, Shimabara Castle is the picturesque symbol of the city. Short walk from Shimabara Station (Shimabara Railway that starts from Isahaya Station).
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Besides the moat and stone walls, Shimabara Castle has two castle buildings. The tenshu main tower (rebuilt in 1964) and a corner turret (foreground).
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Shimabara Castle was the government headquarters of the Shimabara Domain until 1871. Shimabara Castle's tenshu main tower and a corner turret (foreground).
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Shimabara Castle is often mistaken as the site of the Shimabara Rebellion (1637-8). The rebellion actually took place at Hara Castle (now in ruins near Hara-jo Station on the Shimabara Railway) in the southern part of Shimabara Peninsula.However, the Shimabara Rebellion was sparked by the construction of Shimabara Castle when the local people were charged high taxes to finance the construction.
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Shimabara Castle's castle donjon or main tower.Almost 40,000 peasants occupied Hara Castle to protest their religious and economic oppression. The rebellion lasted for about three months until the shogunate's troops overpowered and slaughtered the rebels. This effectively ended the propagation of Christianity in feudal Japan.
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The castle donjon or main tower (tenshu) is a museum of Christian relics and folkcrafts. The top floor gives a fine view of the entire city and part of Mt. Fugen-dake.
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Shimabara Castle and koinobori carp streamers.
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After the Mt. Fugen-dake's eruption in 1991, Shimabara Castle grounds served as the command headquarters for a small contingent of Self-Defense Forces monitoring the mountain 24 hours a day.
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Lookout deck on the top floor of Shimabara Castle's main tower.
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View from the lookout deck on the top floor of Shimabara Castle's main tower.
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View from the lookout deck on the top floor of Shimabara Castle's main tower. Looking toward Shimabara Station (end of straight road).
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View from the lookout deck on the top floor of Shimabara Castle's main tower.
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View from the turret.
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After the Mt. Fugen-dake's eruption in 1991, Shimabara Castle grounds served as the command headquarters for a small contingent of Self-Defense Forces monitoring the mountain 24 hours a day.
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Shimabara Castle moat.
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Way to Shimabara Castle. The sign says "Beware of slippery surface of volcanic ash." 火山灰のためスリップ注意
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Shimabara Station looks like a castle building. Shimabara Castle is a short walk near Shimabara Station.
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Shimabara Station turnstile.
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Shimabara Station train.
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