Exploring Kamakura and Kanazawa

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Exploring Kamakura and Kanazawa

<p>Kamakura and Kanazawa are two beautifully preserved feudal, warrior cities. Kamakura is a coastal town, 50 minutes by train from Tokyo. It became the political centre of Japan in 1192 when

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Kamakura and Kanazawa are two beautifully preserved feudal, warrior cities. Kamakura is a coastal town, 50 minutes by train from Tokyo. It became the political centre of Japan in 1192 when Minamoto Yoritomo chose the city for his new military government. Kamakura is referred to as the Kyoto of Eastern Japan. Kanazawa is on the Sea of Japan side of Japan but has recently been linked to Tokyo by the bullet train, and is now reachable within a few hours. Kamakura is a centre of Zen Buddhism, which flourished under the warrior class. The austere beauty of Kamakura’s many Zen temples and gardens, shrines and other cultural monuments hints at its warrior roots. Kanazawa has the famous Kenroku-en Garden, one of the most beautiful in Japan and is famous for its investment in culture over the past 400 years.


SUGGESTED READING
Richard Story – A History of Modern Japan (Pelican Original, 1960)
John McBride – Notes on Kamakura Kanazawa, and suggested hiking routes (copies will be distributed in class)


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Brief histories of Kamakura and Kanazawa.
  • Two walks in Kamakura – from Kita-Kamakura to the Great Buddha, and from Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine to the Bamboo Temple. And three walks in Kanazawa, the West and East Temple districts and from the Castle/Kenroku-en to the Samurai district.
  • Other outstanding symbols of the two cities including Hase-dera Temple and the beach-side areas of Kamakura, and Gyokusen Garden and places of interest to the haiku poet Matsuo Basho in Kanazawa will be introduced.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Confidently plan a visit to Kamakura and/or Kanazawa.
  2. Enjoy walking the old streetscapes of Kamakura and/or Kanazawa.
  3. Be aware of the long history of Kamakura and Kanazawa as you visit both cities' great monuments.