紅葉の旧閑谷学校へ/ To the Shizutani School in Autumn Leaves












To the Shizutani School in Autumn Leaves

After visiting in Bizen Imbe, I drove to Shizutani School in a quiet mountain area called Yoshinaga area, about 20 minutes by car in the east-north direction from Imbe.
As soon as I got out of the car, it was a warm day, but suddenly the air was cool and clear, and I was able to relax the healing nature of the mountains.


This is the oldest school established by the Okayama feudal lord Mitsumasa Ikeda for the education of the people. It seems that there was a lenient measure that even those who were not born in the Okayama could enter the school. It seems that it was a innovative academic facility at the time that was open to a wide range of people.


As a representative building of the Shizutani School, the most noticeable building is the lecture hall, which has been designated as a national treasure. The main hall of this temple and the front gate of the school still seem to have a strong influence of China.  The Shizutani School was directed by Nagatada Tsuda, a feudal retainer of the Okayama. Bizen ware has excellent water repellency and durability, and even after 300 years, it is still in good condition. The foundation is covered with Japanese-style cement to prevent moisture, and it remains beautiful even after 300 years.


The interior of the auditorium is supported by 10 Zelkova columns, surrounded by lantern windows with an arched upper part. It is created a spectacle scenery.The floor is finished with transparent lacquer by offering it a polished look. In addition, the stone wall of surrounds the entire school uses a technique called “kirikomi hagi” which was devised in the Edo- period.


The Pistacia chinensis tree, which was specially transplanted from seeds brought back from Confucius recruitment in China, is a famous and old tree, but it still has wonderful red and yellow autumn leaves. On this day, it seems that the night lighting will start from this weekend (11/5 to 11/13), and a large-scale lighting facility was built. Around this time, from the end of October to the middle of November, maple leaves and pistacia chinensis begin to turn red. On this day, I bought a handmade Orange and Fig jam of Hinase for home.