Dekansho-Bushi, Tanbasasayama, Japan Heritage

Tanbasasayama City
There are two topics which is designated “Japan Heritage” in Tanbasasayama city. One is “Dekansho-Bushi”, traditional folk song and another is “Tanbayaki”, one of six oldest kilns in Japan.
Let us introduce you to Tanbasasayama city!

Japan Heritage
“Japan Heritage” is the system to revitalize the local community by certifying stories about our country’s culture and tradition, preparing and using indispensable attracting cultural heritages comprehensibly and deliver them both domestically and internationally.
Tanbasasayama city adopted its inherited “Dekansho Bushi” that includes periodically different climate, notable sites and local specialties in its lyrics to apply for it.


Tanba Sasayama flourished as a castle town during the Edo Period and is famous for Dekansho-Bushi, the traditional folk songs of that region.
The song lyrics depicted the local climate, human nature, famous sights, and culinary specialties of the area. Dekansho was originally meant “To go to other towns to make money after rice cultivating was finished”. People in Tanba area had a special talent of brewing Japanese sake. They went to Nada in Kobe to help making sake. They were called “Tanba Toji”.
People here have cherished and treasured their landscape and culture throughout the ages by singing Dekansho-Bushi.
To this day, local people continue to compose new lyrics for the over 300 Dekansho-Bushi and pass these musical traditions on to the next generation.
Through these songs visitors can experience the traditional town atmosphere of Tanba Sasayama with its rows of old houses and charming streets.

Aoyama Rekishi Mura: Dekansho Kan

There is a cultural history museum near Sasayama castle. It originally belongs to Aoyama Family, feudal lord. There are three old earthen storehouses and Dekansho-Kan. You can learn how Dekansho-Bushi was designated as Japan Heritage.

Sasayama Castle Ruins

After the great battle of Sekigahara, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered to build Sasayama Castle to guard Osaka Castle. It was completed in 1609. There is no castle tower, but great stone walls are remained. “Daishoin” is a traditional Japanese residential architecture. People can feel atmosphere of old warring state period walking inside the house.

Samurai House Street

There are Samurai House Street in the west of Sasayama Castle. Anma Family House is one of them which is opened to public.

Kawaramachi “Tsumairi Shoka Gun”: Gabled House Street

Kawaramachi-Tsumairi-Shokagun is a specially preserved historical district in Sasayama. The frontage of the buildings is narrow but at the same time, they are quite deep inside and sometimes referred to as “eel’s bed”. The gabble roof called “kirizukuri” was used when building these sites. The distinctive feature of this style is the usage of two roofs, placed on the supporting columns. The stores, built in tsuma-iri architectural style that used to serve the merchants of Kyoto road remain intact. Nishi Sakage House and Kawabatake House are both declared Important Cultural Properties. In fact, this whole district is designated Special Preservation District. In the street, stretching for 600 m, there are a lot of grocery stores, inside former traditional houses. You can stroll while eating famous black beans bread.

Tanbayaki: Pottery

Tanbayaki is referred to one of the Six Ancient Kilns in Japan along with Seto, Echizen, Tokoname, Shigaraki, and Bizen.
The development of these kilns and pottery techniques, some dating to the prehistoric Jomon period, have been preserved and represent an important contribution to the world of ceramics.
“Ana-gama” or hole kilns were used through the 16th century, and “Nobori-gama” or inclined kilns were introduced in 17th century along with kick wheels contributing to the development of the production region. Originally, its main products were vases, and mortars. In the early Edo period, many notable tea ceremony pieces were created under the directions of Kobori Enshu, including tea containers, fresh water containers, and tea bowls.
Tanba-Tachikui – a lush green landscape surrounded by lush Forest mountains. Tanba Traditional Art and Craft Park “Sue no Sato” is located here. The facilities include the Tanba-yaki shop “Kamamoto-Yokocho”, a pottery classroom, gallery, restaurant, and seminar rooms.
Time passes more slowly here – treat yourself to a tranquil moment.

Local Specialties

Black soybean: This is a top quality big nourished black bean with good luster and slight sweetness. We Japanese take them as “Edamame” which is boiled in salty water. From the middle of October There are many stand shops of Tanbasasayama black soybean along the street.
Botan-Nabe is a dish with meat of boar. Wild boar grew in a unique land is famous for its deliciousness. You can find a boar signs in the restaurants in the city. Its best season is winter.


By Masa Tamura

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