Yawata no Yabushirazu | The Mazelike Thicket at Yawata
About 5 minutes walks along the Route 14th so called Chiba Kaido Highway
from both Motoyawata Station and Keisei Yawata Station, there is a small
forest opposite the city hall of Ichikawa City
. This small forest has been one of the most famous spots in the city called
Yawata no Yabushirazu (the mazelike thicket at Yawata). It is the famous
story that Mito Komon
(a sumurai lord in Edo period and grandson of Ieyasu Tokugawa
) had got lost in it. And a tea stand for tourists in front of the bush appeared on an old photograph taken in about 100 years ago. Moreover, Yawata no Yabushirazu is a famous spot described in Daijirin, a Japanese dictionary. Actually Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple
, Mama no Tsugihashi Bridge
are also described in, but Yawata no Yabushirazu is described as an idiom
that it means 'a mazelike thicket', 'without end or without exit' and 'pointless'.
Great writers such as Soseki Natsume, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Ranpo Edogawa
and Yukio Mishima used Yawata no Yabushirazu to describe 'pointless' or
so on in their masterpieces. And Sachio Ito
, Kyoka Izumi, Yasuo Uchida, Ranpo Edogawa, Kyoshi Takahama
, Kafu Nagai
and Soseki Natsume introduced in their masterpieces.
Though Yawata no Yabushirazu is really small forest in Yawata, it might
be the most famous spot in Ichikawa city.
Why don't you visit Yawata no Yabushirazu (the mazelike thicket at Yawata)?
Yawata no Yabushirazu or Yawata Shirazu no Mori
Yawata no Yabushirazu (the Mazelike thicket at Yawata) or Yawata Shirazu
no Mori (the Forest People Living in Yawata Unperceiving)
There are a small shrine and a torii gate with the letters of 'Yawata
Shirazu no Mori' on a framed writing in a small bamboo thicket opposite
the city hall of Ichikawa City. This is Yawata no Yabushirazu (the mazelike
thicket at Yawata) or Yawata Shirazu no Mori (the Forest People Living
in Yawata Unperceiving). There are no adequate records when this woods
has existed and when it began to be called 'Yawata no Yabushirazu', so
some legends and stories have been told. According to Edo Meisho Zue
(a guide book describing Edo
in Edo period
) and some guide books, one who enter into the thicket by mistake must
incur a divine wrath, so it has been a famous spot since Edo period. And
there was a tea stall opened there. So some books in Edo period introduce
the woods as a noted spot. Moreover, Yawata no Yabushirazu is described
in both Kojien and Daijirin, popular Japanese dictionaries, the great writers
such as Soseki Natsume, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Ranpo Edogawa and Yukio Mishima
used Yawata no Yabushirazu as an idiom that describes 'a mazelike thicket',
'without end or without exit' and 'pointless'. And Sachio Ito, Kyoka Izumi,
Yasuo Uchida, Ranpo Edogawa, Kyoshi Takahama, Kafu Nagai and Soseki Natsume
introduced in their masterpieces.
Anyway, when Mito Komon had heard the story of Hachimon Tonko no Jutsu,
he was very interested in Yawata no Yabushirazu, so he visited Yawata and
entered into Yabushirazu, finally he got lost in real. According to the
legend of Ichikawa, Komon met an old man with gray hair and told him the
way to go out.
Even now Yawata no Yabushirazu is very important forest as a precious green
land where tall buildings stand. The forest called Yawata no Yabushirazu
is an important asset of Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine and the sign board
of the shrine tells that the thicket is designated as the Reserved Forest
by the National Government. Yawata no Yabushirazu, the tiny forest, in
the central part of Ichikawa City is preserved with many legends.
Anyway, Yawata no Yabushirazu, Senbon Icho Gingko Tree
and the Stone Yoritomo's Horse Held
were counted as three mysterious spots in Yawata.
The Reasons for Not Entering into Yawata no Yabushirazu
The Legends Telling the Ressons for No Entering into Yawata no Yabushirazu
- 1．Don't enter into since it is a holy place where Yamatotakeru no Mikoto (the Prince Yamatotakeru) camped.
- 2．Don't enter into since it is a holy place where Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine first built at.
- 3．The place that Yawata no Yabushirazu located was unlucky direction for Masakado Taira, a great samurai worrier in Heian period, when he fought against the army sent by the Imperial Court.
- 4．During subjugating Masakado Taira, Sadamori Taira set Hachimon Tonko no Jin, a skill used by ninja to disappear. After the battle, this place was remained as this is on the unlucky direction for Masakado Taira, then one who enter into the place must incur a devine wrath.
- 5．Don't enter as noble men were buried in this place. (the tomb of Yoshimasa or Masakado Taira)
- 6．The trusted vassals of Masakado Taira protected his head respectably in this place for long and they became the clay figures. They were lost by heavy rain and thunder. Therefore, one who enter into the place must incur a divine wrath.
- 7．A dall of Masakado Taira was buried there.
- 8．This place was a common land belonging to Gyotoku, so people living in Yawata could not enter into and it is called 'Yawata Shirazu' (people living in Yawata Unperceiving).
房総叢書 紀元二千六百年記念 第8卷葛飾紀
房総叢書 紀元二千六百年記念 第6卷葛飾誌略
Yawata no Yabushirazu (the mazelike thicket at Yawata)
- Yawata no Yabushirazu has great accessibilities from both Narita and Haneda
- From Narita International Airport, take Keisei-line and get off Keisei
Yawata Sta, take minimally 45 minutes from Narita Airport. And also take
JR Sobu-express line, transfer the line at Funabashi Sta to Sobu Local
line, get off JR Motoyawata Sta.
- From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, and
get off Keisei Yawata Sta. And also take Keikyu-line bound to Shinagawa,
transfer the line at Shinagawa to Yokosuka-line bound to Chiba or Narita
International Airport, transfer teh line at Ichikawa Sta to Sobu Local
line bound to Tsudanuma, Chiba, get off JR Motoyawata Sta.
- Take 5 minute walk from Keisei Yawata Sta.
- Take 3 minute walk from JR Motoyawata Sta.
- 2-8 Yawata, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken
A Walk on Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine and Yawata
Having long history and the national natural treasure Senbon Icho Tree
Yawata no Yabushirazu Shirne
Having some legends in this tiny thicket, many writers introduced it in
Very beautiful cherry blossoms along the approach way on the cliff.
The shrine has monuments of Kafu Nagai, Rohan Koda and Kaishu Katsu.
The noted wisteria trees called Choju Fuji are very popular and beautiful.
A small shrine standing quietly in residential area Sugano has some legends.
The statue of Myoken Bosatsu in it has been very famous since Edo period.
Kabuto Jinja Shiren has some legends about the Kabuto helmet dedicated
Yoko Mizuki was a scenario writer who contributed on the motion picture world in Japan.
The Mama-gawa River is the very famous spot to enjoy seeing the blooming Cherry Blossoms.
Shinmeisha Shrine and Shinmeiji Temple have their long history and the legend of Oguri Hangan.
Nikke Colton Plaza and some landmarks around are attractive and exciting to walk on.