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Tokuzen Village

A village in Iya with a historic past and agricultural present.

Tokuzen Village

Above Ōboke Station, a rough path leads up the steep valley, emerging in the village of Tokuzen. Here, behind an unassuming modern house is the Tokuzen Residence. It belongs to the descendant of a retainer of Kusunoki Masashige, a general who lived in the time of the Northern and Southern Courts. The Tokuzen family entered the area in the Middle Ages and became one of the eight families that governed Iya in modern times. The main house was built in 1866. (Please note that the residence is not open to the public as it is a private house.)

Near the house are rectangular piles of stones known as ‘Heike graves’, so called because they hug the ground inconspicuously, befitting the graves of refugees hiding in the valley. On the other side of the house down a pathway is a mysterious grassy area with a stone cairn. This is known as the ‘horse field’, and it may have been used for keeping horses, although the place has the atmosphere of a religious site.

Up a flight of rugged stone steps from the Tokuzen Residence is Arinomiya Shrine, a pretty rural Shintō shrine.

The slopes of Tokuzen Village are used for the traditional agriculture of Iya, including growing tea.

Information

Name in Japanese: 徳善

Pronunciation: tokuzen

Address: Nishiiyayamamura Nishioka, Miyoshi, Tokushima 778-0105

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