Sunday, March 23, 2008

day 80 - old Hagi

Today, March 18 - this is posted retrospectively since we were beyond internet access for a week -  we explored old Hagi (pron.'huggy') all morning. Hagi was a prosperous town from the building of its castle around 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in the late 1800s when, to show his loyalty to the Meiji, the Mori lord was forced to dismantle the dominating castle (only footings, a few walls and the moat remain.) Fortunately a whole residential district has been preserved, including the homes of merchants and samurai. Hagi pottery, famous since the art was brought from Korea and a kiln was built around 1600, tends to emphasize the colour and texture of the local clays. The glazes are often made to crack, creating amazing random textures.
In the afternoon we caught a local bus to walk through a virgin forest of camellias which grow on Kasayama and right down to the rocky beach.

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