November 9th, 2019


"Kobe Lettuce Girl's Fashion Prosper"

(Subject written on a shopping bag)

400 years ago, Iechika of the Mimura clan arrived in the Bichuu area with big ambitions.  He was a leader and sided with the powerful Mouri clan to unite the Bichuu area under one rule.  He took charge of the Matsuyama castle, near the middle of what is now Okayama prefecture.

I'd been wondering where the name Okayama came from.  It means "Hilly mountain" or "Hills and Mountains" but there didn't seem to be much history behind the name.  The same with the neighboring prefecture Hyogo.  But a local historian recently told me that after the Meiji Restoration, the emperor specifically made sure that no original names that could be connected with power were used when dividing the country in to its modern day arrangements.  If that hadn't happened, maybe the area I live in today would have been called "Bichuu" or "Mouri" or something.

I led my Kobe hiking group to Matsuyama castle.  I'd been appointed as the sub-leader.  I was in charge of making sure all were accounted for, showing the way, and introducing Okayama to them.  I took it to the next step and learned the entire history of Matsuyama castle with the help of my neighbors, and then gave an opening and closing speech for our outing.

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