This Edo era signpost is to indicate the way to "井之頭辨財天(Inokashira benzaiten)" temple.
The road from Edo downtown to "井之頭辨財天(Inokashira benzaiten)" temple was called "井之頭道(Inokashira Michi). And a lot of Edo era signposts are still remained along Inokashira Michi.
Let's go to "井之頭辨財天(Inokashira benzaiten)" temple by Edo era signposts!!!
The 2nd signpost is this. As you can see, this is a fork road. Usually Edo era signpost is placed like this.
One more thing, the left road is bigger than the right road. But look at the following map drawn in 1880's. The left road is 1 solid line which means just a "path" and the right road is 1 dotted line and 1 solid line which means "village road". So it's reverse situation, interesting.
One more, the area between the left and right road was "畑(Hatake, Vegetable field)". Look at the photo!!! Still the field!!!
This is the 3rd one. Let's take a look at the rectangular one. "右井ノ頭道(Migi Inokashira Michi)", which means "Make right to Inokashira Michi." is written. But don't follow actually because of that it was moved from the original spot.
By the way, the 1st signpost is pure signpost, but the 2nd and 3rd signposts are originally "庚申塔(Koushin Tou)". "Tou" means "Tower". Yes, very very low tower, but in Japanese, this shape, rectangular is sometimes called like that. Anyway, "Koushin" is a religion. Originally it was from China, "道教(Doukyou, Taoism)" developed in Japan. Koushin Religion is that 3 types of vermin live on a human body, this vermin report every 60 days to "天帝(Tentei, Chinese god of hosts)" evil deed of the host during sleeping, by that the host lifetime is shortened. So followers thought that "During sleeping?" OK, let's have overnight party. By this custom, Koushin Religion became popular. And Koushin Religion connected with Shinto. "申" of "庚申" is "猿", "猿" is suggestive of "猿田彦大神", a Japanese god. "猿田彦大神" is a guide in Japanese myth. That's why "庚申塔" combines signpost function and is placed at junction.
This 4th one is also ”庚申塔”, but combines "題目塔(Daimoku Tou)". "題目塔" is a tower of "日蓮宗", a sect of Japanese Buddhism.
This is not a signpost. But let me introduce. Focus on the left one describing "道供養之塔(Michi Kuyou no Tou)". This is interesting, kind of funny, for even present Japanese people. "道供養之塔(Michi Kuyou no Tou)" means that holding a memorial service for roads. Because roads are always trodden on.
Do you know these stories?
- Ichiro Suzuki who is a top pf top major league baseball player has the habit of cleaning up his baseball goods everyday. Of course he can employ somebody.
- Russia World Cup Football, there are 2 stories. No. 1 is that Japanese supporters clean up their stadium after the game. No. 2 is that Japan National Team members also clean up their locker room.
Finally arrived at "井之頭辨財天(Inokashira benzaiten)" temple by Edo era signposts.
Just 10 km short trip from my house, but there are many interesting things in this trip.
- Many Edo era signposts remain and by that even the present era, can reach to objective place. That means not so many changes between Edo era and the present era about roads.
- The image of the present Japanese people is that very serious, don't make merry. But ancient Japanese people were not, rather party people.
- Japanese people have accepted 道教(Doukyou, Taoism) and Buddhism and then combined and mixed with Shinto. The reason why Japanese people can do such things is feeling of awe. Japanese people are awed by many types of things even tools, furthermore foreign country religion.