Episodes about Japanese : "Bloody ceiling" of Kyoto

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Feb 2, 2012 00:41
*Notice : This entry includes mature descriptions.

Kyoto has too many historical sights and sightseeing spots to visit in 3 or 4 days, even for Japanese. It is good to visit famous places but there is a minor tour in Kyoto called "血天井巡り(chi-tenjou-meguri, bloody ceilings tour)". Then I'm going to introduce one of the "bloody ceiling".

In 16th centuries, the time of wars in Japanese history which is broadly recognized as 戦国時代(Sengoku jidai) among Japanese, many lords died in the battles.
When the Fushimi castle had been surrounded by Mitsunari Ishida forces at the begining of the battle of Sekigahara, the defender of the castle Mototada Torii(鳥居元忠) committed suicide after he assisted harakiri(*1) of his men. It is not clear how he killed himself. It is said that he stabbed his neck after cuting his stomack, or simply stabbed his neck. It is also said that he didn't even comit suicide but he challenged a single combat with an enemy lord and was killed. There are some theories and rumors.
The battle of Fushimi castle ended as a defeat of Torii's side, but the battle of Sekigahara has just begun. Years had passed since their suicides, finally the room they had spent their last time was to be cleaned. But the tremendous blood stains including obvious handprints and footstamps did not come out. So the people decided to soothe their regrets and souls by setting the floorboards on the ceiling of several temples. And the temples have kept those ceiling to the present. Some of the handprints and footstamps are still visible.
When I visited one of the temple and saw it, I worried that their souls are really relieved.

There are more "bloody ceilings" as the tours appeared since the Meiji era.
Also, this is just one story of them. Each blood ceiling has each history.

Additional note:
Yohgen-in(養源院) which has one of the blood ceiling from Fushimi castle is in the front of Sanju-sangendoh, which is very popular temple for school trip.
There were NO visitors except me when I visited there although there were bunch of tourists beyond the narrow alleyway. It freaked me out a little.

*Japanese ver.



Assisting one's harakiri with beheading his neck because harakiri doesn't give the immediate death. I think the purpose of the misericord of the Medieval Europe, which is a knife used for giving "the death stroke to seriously wounded knight"(wiki) is close to this.