JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Sekigahara 関ヶ原町
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Samurai armor with matchlock gun bullet holes.1417 viewsCreated by an experiment with matchlock gun fired at the body armor at over 50 meters aways, piercing both the front and back body armor.
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Weapons used in battle989 views
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Mt. Momokubari is where Tokugawa Ieyasu first set up his base camp for the Battle of Sekigahara. It is next to busy Route 21. A short distance east of Sekigahara Station. The former Sekigahara battlefield has numerous monuments.881 viewsSekigahara saw one of Japan's most pivotal battles on Oct. 21, 1600 (Sept. 15 of Keicho 5) between Tokugawa Ieyasu's Eastern Forces and Toyotomi Hideyoshi loyalist Ishida Mitsunari's Western Forces. Ieyasu's victory in the Battle of Sekigahara sealed Japan's historical fate for the next 250 years. The former battlefield is dotted with monuments indicating the positions of various warlords during the battle.
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Unique helmets worn by warlords on the battlefield.780 views
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Explanatory map of the Battle of Sekigahara736 views
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Map of battlefield for Western Forces. Also see Ishida Mitsunari Birthplace in Nagahama, Shiga.668 views
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Statue of Lord Takenaka Hanbei 竹中半兵衛重治559 views
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On Oct. 18-19, 2008, the town of Sekigahara held a special festival to commemorate the Battle of Sekigahara. The last time they did this was in 2000 for the 400th anniversary of the battle. The main venue was near the town hall.544 views
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Illustration of Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp where he inspected the heads of his defeated enemies.526 views
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Map on lookout deck.497 views
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View of the Sekigahara battlefield from Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp.492 views
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Explanatory map of the Battle of Sekigahara487 views
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Panoramic view of where the Battle of Sekigahara started. Most battle monuments are within walking distance from the train station, but they are numerous and spread over a wide area.485 viewsThe battle started at the foot of the hill on the left of the road. The small hill on the right was where Shimazu Yoshihiro was stationed. Mt. Ibuki is in the background in the middle.
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Warlord banners, left to right: Kuroda, Fukushima, Honda, and Tokugawa.482 views
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Banners mark the site where the battle started.478 views
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Ieyasu and his troops were here from about 6 am to 10 am on the day of the Sekigahara battle. He later moved closer to the front line as the battle was going his way. This is a National Historic Place. 桃配山 徳川家康最初陣跡439 views
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The battle started at the foot of the hill on the left of the road. The small hill on the right was where Shimazu Yoshihiro was stationed. Mt. Ibuki is in the background in the middle.437 views
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Defensive barriers on Mt. Sasaoyama, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. 笹尾山 石田三成陣跡425 views
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2nd floor421 views
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Banners and a monument mark the spot on Mt. Momokubari where Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp was established during the Battle of Sekigahara on Sept. 15, 1600.419 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu inspecting the head of his enemies at his base camp394 views
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Illustration of Mt. Matsuo where Lord Kobayakawa Hideaki was based.391 views
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At the top, see the two large rocks which served as a table and bench for Ieyasu. 家康の腰掛岩と机石391 views
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Ishida Mitsunari, age 41 at the time of the battle375 views
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Steps going up to Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara on Oct. 21, 1600 (Sept. 15 of Keicho 5). Today it's just a small hill. The highway seemed to have cut through most of it.375 views
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Yamauchi Kazutoyo367 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp, as seen from the final battlefield. 笹尾山363 views
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Ishida Mitsunari's banner with his family crest.362 views
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Banner with Ukita Hideie's crest.361 views
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Steps going up to Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.356 views
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Profiles of neutral armies353 views
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Path to the Kaisenchi or site where the battle started, at the foot of the hill straight ahead. 開戦地345 views
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Profiles of Western Forces338 views
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Foot of Mt. Sasaoyama, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. 笹尾山 石田三成陣跡334 views
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Foot of Mt. Sasao, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. 笹尾山 石田三成陣跡333 views
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Warlord banners323 views
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Monument marking the site where the Sekigahara battle started. 開戦地322 views
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Cannon321 views
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Sekigahara Warland316 views
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Monument marking the site where the Sekigahara battle started at 8 am on Sept. 15, 1600 (Oct. 21 Western calendar) with Ii Naomasa firing upon Ukita Hideie.307 views
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Monuments marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara. The banners have the Tokugawa family crest.306 views
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Site where the battle started and Mt. Matsuo in the background.305 views
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Sekigahara Battlefield, now occupied mainly by rice paddies, a school, and homes. 関ヶ原古戦場301 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at his base camp289 views
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Path to Konishi Yukinaga's station, near where the battle started.274 views
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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273 viewsThe left banner has the Ishida Mitsunari's crest and the right banner has the Tokugawa crest.
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Monument for Konishi Yukinaga's station. 小西 行長陣跡267 views
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Conch shell for battle.266 views
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Sekigahara Town History and Folklore Museum 関ヶ原町歴史民俗資料館265 views
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Inside Sekigahara Town History and Folklore Museum 関ヶ原町歴史民俗資料館265 views
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Lookout deck with a bird's eye view of the battlefield.261 views
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Barriers and steps looking down the slope.260 views
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Monument marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.259 views
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Area around Konishi Yukinaga's position.257 views
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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.256 views
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Lookout deck on Mt. Sasao. 笹尾山253 views
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Behind the monuments is a trail probably used by Ieyasu's troops on Mt. Momokubari-yama.253 views
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Well where the decapitated heads of Western Force leaders were washed.252 views
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Monument for Konishi Yukinaga's station. 小西 行長陣跡247 views
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Sign explaining that the two rocks below were said to be used as a bench and table for Ieyasu.246 views
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Plastic samurai armor244 views
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Sekigahara Battlefield and Mt. Matsuo 関ヶ原古戦場241 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.241 views
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Water tower painted in Sekigahara motif.236 views
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Kobayakawa Hideaki on Mt. Matsuo who turned against Ishida Mitsunari and helped Ieyasu win the battle.235 views
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East Burial Site, where the decapitated heads of the Western force leaders were buried. 東首塚227 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama and stone marker. 笹尾山226 views
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Another smaller monument marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.226 views
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A woman samurai226 views
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Sekigahara Town History and Folklore Museum 関ヶ原町歴史民俗資料館224 viewsNear Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp.
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Steps up to the top of Mt. Sasaoyama.222 views
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Monument for Konishi Yukinaga's station. 小西 行長陣跡221 views
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Monument marking Ii Naomasa and Matsudaira Tadayoshi's position. 井伊直政・松平忠吉 陣跡221 views
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Site where the battle started as seen from Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.220 views
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Inside Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp219 views
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East Burial Site, where the decapitated heads of the Western force leaders were buried. 東首塚213 views
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Banners mark the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.212 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara Festival, 2008209 views
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West Burial Site for the corposes of West Forces leaders. Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚207 views
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I caught one. Pure mochi (no adzuki bean paste inside). It was a very impressive and enjoyable festival.207 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama and stone monument marking Ishida Mitsunari's base camp.206 views
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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205 views
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Banners with Kyogoku Takatomo's crest.204 views
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Art park to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the battle in the year 2000. Near the Shimazu position.204 views
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Memorial shrine201 views
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Top of Mt. Sasaoyama200 views
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West Burial Site, Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚200 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡198 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu retainer at the Battle of Sekigahara Festival, 2008197 views
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Shimazu Yoshihiro194 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡192 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama and stone monument marking Ishida Mitsunari's base camp.191 views
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Marker for Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp187 views
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West Burial Site, Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚185 views
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Monument for Shimazu Yoshihiro from Satsuma (Kagoshima). Ishida asked for his assistance at 10 am, but was refused.185 views
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Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.184 views
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Hill where Shimazu was.183 views
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Site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position now within the grounds of junior high school. 藤堂高虎・京極高知陣跡179 views
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Fierce samurai178 views
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Matchlock guns177 views
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Top of Mt. Sasaoyama and stone monument176 views
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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175 views
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Shimazu Yoshihiro173 views
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Path to/from Shimazu Yoshihiro's monument.170 views
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Marker for Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp168 views
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Monument for Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.168 views
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Entrance to Sekigahara Warland167 views
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Site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.167 views
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Path to Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.167 views
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Memorial tree166 views
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Site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.165 views
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The finale was the throwing of mochi.165 views
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Ii Naomasa and Matsudaira Tadayoshi's position, near Sekigahara Station. And also next to Higashi Kubizuka.163 views
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Signs show the way and distance to the various monuments.162 views
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Warland path161 views
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Site of Fukushima Masanori's position. 福島正則陣跡161 views
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Rear view of monument marking the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.160 views
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Hand-to-hand combat159 views
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Ishida Mitsunari159 views
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Monument marking Ii Naomasa and Matsudaira Tadayoshi's position.158 views
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Marker for Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp157 views
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Evidence of victory157 views
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Monument marking Ii Naomasa and Matsudaira Tadayoshi's position. 井伊直政・松平忠吉 陣跡156 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at Sasaoyama.154 views
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Monument marking the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.150 views
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Memorial for the fallen warriors at the Battle of Sekigahara, built in 2000, the 400th anniversary.149 views
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West Burial Site, Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚149 views
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Monument marking Fukushima Masanori's position.148 views
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A few matchlock gun battalions gathered on the Sasaoyama stage.148 views
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Heads of the enemy147 views
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Fukushima Masanori's position and shrine.146 views
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Monument at West Burial Site, Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚144 views
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Monument at West Burial Site, Nishi Kubizuka144 views
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Inside museum with a map of the battle140 views
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Imasu-juku was the fifty-ninth of the sixty-nine stations or shukuba post towns of the Nakasendo Road. It follows Sekigahara-juku and comes before Kashiwabara-juku in Shiga Pref. Hiroshige woodblock print of Imasu. 140 views
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Load, get ready, and...138 views
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Ishida Mitsunari on Mt. Sasaoyama133 views
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Memorial for the fallen warriors at the Battle of Sekigahara133 views
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Tamakurabe Clear Spring132 views
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Tokugawa allies at his base camp131 views
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Battle Museum 合戦資料館129 views
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This man wore authentic samurai armor, over a century old, made of metal. A family heirloom.127 views
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Ieyasu retainer127 views
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Tamakurabe Clear Spring 日本武尊ゆかりの泉「玉倉部の清水」126 views
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Sekigahara Stalactite Cavern parking lot. The blue-roof building is a souvenir shop and restaurant.125 views
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Tamakurabe Clear Spring was where Yamato Takeru-no-Mikoto got cured by drinking the water after encountering poison mist on Mt. Ibuki.124 views
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A sword demonstration. He's cutting up a straw pole. That's one sharp knife. These people have licenses to carry these guns and swords.124 views
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The Sekigahara samurai warriors arrived Sasaoyama at noon.123 views
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And Tokugawa Ieyasu.122 views
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Ishida Mitsunari loses the battle, and is executed.122 views
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Ishida Mitsunari on Mt. Sasaoyama121 views
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At 11 am, the gun battalions arrived.119 views
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There are a number of matchlock gun battalions in Japan, and they often demonstrate the guns at festivals like this.118 views
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Mock combat with a spectator.118 views
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They are all dressed in colorful samurai armor.115 views
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This man wore newer samurai armor made of plastic.115 views
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Ishida Mitsunari114 views
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A few lifesize mascots walked around the foot of Sasaoyama. This is Chacha Hime, the oldest Azai sister who became Yodogimi.109 views
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Shimasako-nyan, a cat based on one of Ishida Mitsunari's retainers. しまさこにゃん109 views
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JR Sekigahara Station on the Tokaido Line 東海道線 関ヶ原駅107 views
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Ibukiyama Driveway is a toll road that leads to the summit of Mt. Ibuki. Also see my Mt. Ibuki summit pictures.107 views
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All these samurai were gathering at Sasaoyama for a procession to the Fureai Hiroba Square where a mock battle would be staged. This is Lord Shimazu Yoshihiro.106 views
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Ishida Mitsu-nyan, another cat, was the most popular.106 views
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They get ready to fire their matchlock guns. (No bullets)105 views
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Mini banners for all the clans who battled at Sekigahara.105 views
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Spear-wielding women warriors (with foxy makeup on).105 views
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Smoke signal on Mt. Sasaoyama. Also notice the bell on the left.104 views
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FIRE!! Those guns make a huge noise.104 views
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Matchlock gun warrior104 views
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1000-meter elevation mark and Mt. Ibuki haiku poem by Basho, on Ibukiyama Driveway.102 views
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Ishida Mitsu-nyan and his calligraphy brush102 views
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Apparently they had women warriors too. Or maybe they did not have enough male actors to fit into the samurai costumes.102 views
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Sword demo100 views
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Matchlock gun warrior posing for pictures.100 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.99 views
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Ishida Mitsunari98 views
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The Sekigahara Ondo dance was then held. 関ヶ原音頭97 views
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They fired the gun a few times.96 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu leaving Sasaoyama.96 views
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Monumental tree95 views
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Monumental tree next to Hachiman Shrine95 views
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The driveway is open only during non-winter months.95 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu gives commands during the Battle of Sekigahara.95 views
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Ishida Mitsu-nyan goods94 views
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Ishida Mitsunari94 views
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Another lord dies in battle.94 views
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Fuwa-no-seki Museum's model of an ancient warrior93 views
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Banners with the crest of Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu flank the Monument for the decisive battle, near Mt. Sasaoyama, where the fighting was the fiercest. 決戦地93 views
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It was actually kind of humorous.93 views
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The battle ensues.93 views
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Ishida Mitsunari is beheaded and dies.93 views
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Monument for the decisive battle92 views
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BOOM!!!92 views
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Ishida Mitsunari92 views
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Site of Fuwa-no-seki Gate (no entry) 不破関91 views
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Great photo opp.91 views
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An angelic dancer then came to cover Ishida's body with a white cloth.91 views
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After the demo, they posed for pictures.90 views
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At around 12:30 pm, some of the samurai staged a mock battle at Sasaoyama.90 views
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Ishida Mitsunari posing for me. He said, "You got an unusual-looking camera." (Because I was shooting both stills and video.)90 views
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Cavern exit89 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama, the small hill that was Lord Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. Behind it is Mt. Ibuki.89 views
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Most of the forces who took part in the Battle of Sekigahara are represented. Banners with the lord's crest indicate who's who.89 views
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Execution of 89 views
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Fuwa-no-seki Museum 不破関資料館88 views
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Bento box lunches named after Ieyasu and Hideyoshi. 1000 yen.88 views
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Ishida Mitsunari 全軍武者行列88 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at Mt. Momokubari, his base camp near the Sekigahara battlefield.88 views
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Samurai lay dead.88 views
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Battle continues.88 views
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Ieyasu (left) and Mitsunari then walked toward each other and bowed to everyone together.88 views
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Central Sekigahara town87 views
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Hachiman Shrine87 views
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Sekigahara samurai warriors gather at Sasaoyama.87 views
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Straw pole pieces cut by a sword.87 views
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Ishida Mitsunari spotted me and my camera and posed for me. He's a friendly guy. 87 views
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