Seven Wonders of Shimabara (島原七不思議)

The Seven Wonders of Shimabara are wonders taught in Shimabara (the entertainment area in Kyoto City). They are a kind of a pun, and are not ghost stories.

Contents

There is an entrance once called Deguchi in Shimabara.

The entrance to Shimabara which had a 'big gate' was once called 'Deguchi,' - in Japanese, "deguchi" also means "exit."
The willow tree beside the big gate was called 'Deguchi's willow,' and the gate itself was called 'Deguchi's gate.'

A street called 'Do-suji' exists in Shimabara, despite there being no Do on the street.

It means that a street called 'Do-suji' exists in Shimabara, despite there being no temple - in Japanese, "do" also means "temple" - on the street. Do-suji is the avenue that runs from east to west in the midst of the former kuruwa (red-light district) of Shimabara. It is the main street of Shimabara.

There is a town named Kami no cho in Shimabara, despite it being situated farther down in the city.

The word "Kami" literally means "up," the opposite of "down."

There is a town named Shimo no cho in Shimabara, despite it being situated farther up in the city.

Similarly, the word "Shimo" literally means "down," the opposite of "up."

Despite there being no bridge nearby, a woman called Hashi joro existed in Shimabara.

The term 'Hashi joro' refers to one of the ranks of prostitutes in Shimabara. The words mean that, although her residence was not near a bridge, a woman called 'hashi joro' existed in Shimabara - the Japanese homonym for "hashi" (the Chinese character being, "端") means "bridge" (the Chinese character being, "橋").

Despite there being no shrine nearby, a woman called 'tenjin sama' existed in Shimabara.

The term 'Tenjin' refers to a rank of geisha in Shimabara.
It was the second highest rank after 'tayu.'
The tenjin (second highest-ranking geisha) plays on its Japanese homograph 'tenjin' (the gods of heaven worshipped at shrines).

Although she did not recite, a woman called Tayu-san existed in Shimabara.

The term 'Tayu' refers to the highest-ranking geisha in Shimabara. The tayu (highest-ranking geisha) plays on its Japanese homograph 'tayu,' the honorific title of Joruri-Katari, who would recite the Joruri (dramatic narrative chanted in accompaniment with shamisen [the three-stringed Japanese banjo] music).