JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.

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Bird's eye view of Shirakawa-go from Ogimachi Castle ruins.
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Side view of Wada-ke House
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JR Kofu Station
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Path to Wada House entrance
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Park in front of Kofu Station.
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Close-up of Ogimachi
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Main house on left and latrine on right with large vats to gather fertilizer.
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Looks like Suganuma, another village in Gokayama area.
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Statue of Takeda Shingen.
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Main house with a recently rethatched roof, making it look very smooth.
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Shirakawa-go 白川郷
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Wada House, Shirakawa-go
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Entry road to Ainokura village. Bus stop shelter on right.
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Way to Ainokura.
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Gable openings let light and air come through the attic to foster silkworms.
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What you see first is a big parking lot for tour buses. Then you see the hordes of tourists.
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A small stream beside the house helps to melt the snow falling off the roof.
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Ainokura monument
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Museum of Aeronautical SciencesThe museum is right at the end of the runway of Narita International Airport.
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Underside of roof made of an A-frame truss structure
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The thatched roof is replaced every 30 years. Every spring, 6 or 7 thatched roofs are replaced in Shirakawa-go.
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View of Ainokura
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Old YS-11 prop plane.
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Sugawara house from Tsuruoka city, Yamagata Prefecture. In heavy snow, the front window was used as the door.
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Anegawa River was the site of a major battle with Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu defeating Azai Nagamasa and the Asakura clan on Aug. 9 1570. The area was left with so many dead that the river ran red.Local place names such as Chibara (Blood Field) stuck. Looking toward Nomura-bashi Bridge where the Anegawa battle monument stands.
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The bottom ends of these beams are pegged into a point (komajiri) resting on another cross beam. Wada House, Shirakawa-go
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It costs several million yen and a small army of workers to replace the thatch. The cost is subsidized by the town, prefecture, and national government.
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View of Ainokura from a hill
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Inside the YS-11
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Where silkworms were raised to make silk cocoons.
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Ceiling
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Nomura-bashi Bridge crosses Anegawa River. This is where Oda Nobunaga battled the Azai clan.
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Kitamura house brought from Hadano, Kanagawa
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Hinohara Village Office. For a small village, this is a grand building. 檜原村役場
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Slats on the attic floor to enable smoke and soot from the hearth to reach the attic.
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Bird's eye view of Ainokura 相倉展望台
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Museum's observation deck.
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Kitamura house
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Drawing of Hinohara Castle
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Battle monument
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Straw rope tie the large beams to form a truss for the roof.
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Shirakawa-go 白川郷
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Nihon Minkaen is an outdoor museum of traditional farm and merchant houses with thatched roofs. They have 25 homes from around Japan many were donated to the museum for preservation.
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Inside Hinohara Village Office
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Anegawa River Battle Memorial
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Another rope made of a crushed tree branch to tie smaller beams. It tightens as it dries.
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Ainokura
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Photo gallery
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Hinohara Village Office has a coffee shop.
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Anegawa River Battle Memorial, rear view with the battle date engraved.
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Made in Hinohara, displayed in the coffee shop.
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Front view of Anegawa River Battle Memorial where Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated Azai Nagamasa and the Asakura clan on Aug. 9 1570.
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Implements to raise silkworms.
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Restaurant
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Rethatching a small storehouse.
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Thatched roof
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Jam made in Hinohara.
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Anegawa River Battle Memorial, dedicated to the war dead
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Foundation and pillars rest on stones. The beam is shaped to fit the stone.
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The main building was built in 1816.
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Ainokura
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Water nozzles aimed at the house. No smoking.
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The Village Office and coffee shop has a great view of the river.
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The battle site is next to Nomura village. Nobunaga and the Azai called it the Battle at Nomura.
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Two foundation beams interlock.
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Ainokura is smaller than Shirakawa-go, but still tourist-driven.
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Hinohara village manhole
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Next to the battle memorial is another monument.
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Thatch repair work.
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Hinohara Village Tourist Info Office
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Chofu Station on the Keio Line 調布駅
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Jindaji temple, Hondo main hall
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Inside Hinohara Village Tourist Info Office
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In front of Chofu Station
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Jindaji temple, Hondo main hall and incense burner
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Yamada house
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Battle map showing the position of the opposing armies.
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Sign indicating the site of the Battle at Anegawa River.
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Wedding at Jindaiji temple
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Center of Ainokura and souvenir shop.
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The lighting inside the museum also changes to reflect the time of day. This is night time.
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This is where the Azai and Oda Nobunaga armies clashed.
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Wedding at Jindaiji temple
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Thatched roofs
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Tourist Information Office in the center of town.
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Day time
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Emukai house brought from Nanto, Toyama. In the gasshi-zukuri style with steep roof. Kawasaki Nihon Minkaen
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Jindaiji soba restaurants
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Ainenji temple 相念寺
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Tourist Information Office
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Restroom behind the Tourist Information Office
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Rice storehouse
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Nihon Minkaen, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
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Signs indicating the Battle of Anegawa River. This is next to the battle memorial.
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Jindaiji soba restaurants
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These pictures were taken in the fall.
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Cooling system
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Cat on the roof. Meow is what you first hear in the museum. Its name is "Mamesuke." Actually a robot cat whose head can move up and down.
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Inside Emukai house
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Mt. Ibuki was witness to the battle.
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Jindaiji soba restaurant
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Who says money can't buy happiness?
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Anegawa River, where thousands lay dead after the battle.
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Soba noodles
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Parking lot along the main road through the village.
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Spare thatch, Ainokura
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Anegawa River is a shallow river.
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Jindaiji soba restaurant
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Deai Bridge crossing the Shokawa River.
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Center of Ainokura
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Anegawa River ran red with the blood of fallen warriors in Aug. 1570.
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Good design
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Anegawa River
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Soba noodles
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Deai Bridge
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Anegawa River
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Jindaiji beer
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Shokawa River
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Monument in the center of Ainokura.
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Tourist Info Office near the bus stop.
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Nihon Minkaen, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
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Anegawa River
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Soba manju
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Entrance to the Gassho-zukuri Minka-en outdoor museum.
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Toilet
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Anegawa River
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Waterwheel
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Gassho Storehouse 合掌小屋造り
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Gassho-zukuri Minka-en outdoor museum
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The museum park has 25 homes from around Japan many were donated to the museum for preservation. Near Mukogaoka-yuen Station on the Odakyu Line. Closed Mon. Admission 500 yen.
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Gassho-zukuri Minka-en outdoor museum
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Water mill
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Entrance to Jindaiji pet cemetary
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Restrooms
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Gassho-zukuri minka houses slated for destruction were moved to this outdoor museum and saved.
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Inside water mill
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On the other side of this Anegawa River were Oda Nobunaga's forces.
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Banners in memory of deceased pets
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Looks traditional on the outside, but modern on the inside.
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Hydrangea
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Nomura-bashi Bridge in the distance.
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Kannon tower
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Thatched roof and persimmon tree
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Junishi Kannon altar
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Pet urns. Notice the crematorium smoke stacks in the background.
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Anegawa River, looking upstream
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Fire hydrant
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Pet urns
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Fire hydrant
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Monument for the final battle, about 1 km in front of Mt. Sasaoyama, where the fighting was the fiercest. 決戦地The left banner has the Ishida Mitsunari's crest and the right banner has the Tokugawa crest.
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Pet urns in columbarium
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Manhole in Shirakawa-go.
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Ainokura Folk Museum No. 1 南砺市相倉民俗館1号館Exhibits related to life in Ainokura and the gassho-zukuri houses.

Ainokura Folk Museum 南砺市相倉民俗館
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Monument for the final battle. By 1 pm, Ishida's Western Forces fell apart, and Ishida fled the scene at 2 pm. 決戦地
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Shirakawa Village Office
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Ainokura Folk Museum No. 1
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Dam reservoir
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Battlefield as seen from the final battle site. Thousands died here. The battlefield is a small plain surrounded by hills and mountains.
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Beyond the river on the other side were the Azai clan.
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Mihoro Dam, made only of rocks and clay. 131 meters high, 405 meters long.
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡
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Fallen tree on riverbed
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Inside Ainokura Folk Museum No. 1
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano. At 10 am, he moved here from Mt. Momokubari to be closer to the front line. 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡
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Position of the Azai clan
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Inside Ainokura Folk Museum No. 1
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡
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Position of the Azai clan
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Inside Ainokura Folk Museum No. 1
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Illustration of Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp where he inspected the heads of his defeated enemies.
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Roof peg
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Inside Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp
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Old minka house on Mt. Mitake, Tokyo
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Gassho hari
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Marker for Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp
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Ritto Archaeological Center right next to the Wada Tumuli. 栗東市出土文化財センター
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Silk-making implements
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