25th July 2019: Sekigahara {Japan, summer 2019}

I was staying in Nagoya for another of the HYDE concerts, but I had a free morning, so I decided to take a train to Sekigahara [関ヶ原], which is a nearby little town, which is really only in the books because in October of 1600 a huge battle in the mountains over there decided the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, which shaped the history of Japan for centuries. It is known as the Battle of Sekigahara, Sekigahara no Tatakai [関ヶ原の戦い]. Basically there were a bunch of samurai clans warring with each other and Tokugawa managed to convince, bribe and slaughter every one in his way until he was the de facto ruler of Japan.

A vermillion gate with trees in the background

I found a map with a route to follow and thus my first stop was the Higashikubidzuka [東首塚] Mound, where a bunch of samurai were beheaded – this was off to a bloody start. Within the same area there were several monuments signalling different events and encampments – which was to mark how most of Sekigahara is laid out.

Collage of the park, showing a marker, some flags and a torii

Then I continued on to Jinbano Koen [陣場野公園], where I could see the Site of the Battle Camp of Tanaka Yoshimasa [田中吉政陣跡], the Site of Tokugawa Ieasu’s Final Encampment [徳川家康最後陣跡], Kibune Jinja [貴船神社], Mitama Jinja [御霊神社].

Collage of the park, showing a marker, some flags, fences with spikes, and a torii. There are trees and overgrown bushes in the background.

It was hot as could be, so I was not going to do the 17-km route, but I did go to the main area, the Site of Sekigahara Battleground – Sekigahara Kosenjō [関ケ原古戦場], along with the Site of the Battle Camp of Shima Sakon (Sasaoyama) – Shimasako-jin ato [島左近陣跡].

The logo of the city of sekigahara. It can look like the moon coming up from behind a mountain, or a samurai helmet

After that, I backtracked to the Sekigahara Town History and Folklore Museum Sekigahara-chō Rekishi Minzoku Shiryōkan [関ケ原町歴史民俗資料館], which I had missed at first because there was construction in the area. There I could see some weapons and armours and get the whole collection of samurai clan stamps and enjoy the air conditioning.

Samurai armours and pennants

I would have liked to go to the Site of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s First Encampment [徳川家康最初陣跡], but it was too far away to walk, so I had to take picture from the train.

A clear in the forest with some white flags

As an interesting anecdote, I found a Thai coin in the battle site, something I would have never expected.

A Thai coin

Once in Nagoya [名古屋], it was HYDE concert time at the Zepp Nagoya again. As the previous day, it was a fun concert – I stayed at the end of the venue because my entry numbers were so high I had zero chance to find anything mid-venue, but it was all right, it’s not like I’m ever going to do first row in a HYDE concert in Japan. I have accepted that. I had fun anyway, and that is the most important thing.

Walked distance: 14683 steps / 10.5 km.