Tashibu no Sho (Tashibu Manor) (田染荘)

Tashibu no Sho (Tashibu Manor) was a manor belonging to Usa-jingu Shrine in Kunisaki District, Buzen Province (modern day Bungotakada City, Oita Prefecture). The locations of Heian period and Kamakura period settlements and paddy fields remain largely unchanged within the Osaki area of Tashibu Manor.

Summary

Channels radiate out from all directions of Mt. Futago on the upturned bowl-shaped Kunisaki Peninsula, and in ancient times settlements known as "Rokugo" (lit. Six Townships) were formed along each of these channels, of which Tashibu Township was the settlement on the west of the peninsula.

Events such as the enacting of the Konden einen shizai Law (a law allowing farmers who cleared new lands to own them permanently) in the year 743 made the private ownership of reclaimed farm land possible, and paddy fields were reclaimed in Tashibu Township by Amabiki-jinka Shrine and Usa-jingu Shrine before the formation of Tashibu Manor in the first half of the 11th century. Tashibu Manor eventually came under the control of Usa-jingu Shrine which possessed manors of more than 20,000 hectares in Kyushu, and was a valued as one of the manors known as 'Hongosho Juhakkasho' (lit. the 18 real manors).

In the latter half of the Kamakura period, control by Usa-jingu Shrine was relaxed and the area temporarily came into the possession of Kanto region gokenin (immediate vassals of the shogunate) such as the Odawara clan. However, Tashibu Manor was returned to Usa-jinja Shrine due to a shinryo kogyo ho (shrine estate recovery act) ordering the return of territories to Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines which was made in 1281 because it was thought that the prayers of temples and shrines such as Usa-jinja Shrine contributed to repeling the Mongol invasions of Japan. The descendents of the priest of Usa-jingu Shrine subsequently became the "Tashibu clan" and controlled Tashibu Manor.

Current Status

Terraced rice-fields are narrowly arranged within the confined valley due to the presence of channels of the Kunisaki Peninsula in the Osaki area of Tashibu Manor. The locations of settlements and paddy fields have remained largely unchanged since the Heian period and Kamakura period. Even in the modern era, large scale farmland consolidation and concrete irrigation canals were not implemented, and efforts to maintain and preserve the landscape of Tashibu Manor continue. In recent years, attempts to rejuvenate the area by agritourism initiatives such offering visitors farm work experiences and farmhouse accommodation have started to be implemented.