Nokendai is the name of a residential area which includes a place where “Nokendo”, a temple, used to stand.
Kanazawado(road) was passing through Nokenndai.
Kanazawado(road) was between Hodogaya-juku (the fifth of the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido(road)) and Kamakura.
During the period from 885-888, Kanaoka Kose, a famous artist at that time, visited the place. He saw a beautiful view from the place, so he tried sketching the view from the bottom of a pine-tree. However, the views from the place were so beautiful and fantastic that he was taken aback. So the building (constructed later) was called “Nokkedo.” “Nokke” comes from “nozokeru”, meaning “taken aback”, and “do” means a building. He found that it was impossible to draw anymore and he threw his brush away and gave up drawing the view. Therefore the tree was called “Fude-sute-no-matsu”. ”Fude” means “brush”, “sute”, “throw away, and “matsu” , “a pine tree.” Unfortunately, the pine-tree is no longer there.
Around 70 years later, Mitinaga Fujiwawa, a powerful statesman at that time, built “Nokendo”, a thatched hut here.
During the period from 1661-1672, Hiroyuki Kuze, a government official in the Edo period built a temple for “Jizo.” Jizo is one of the most popular Buddhist bodhisattvas in Japan.
In the “Genroku period” (1688-1703), Shinetsu, a Buddhist monk from China, visited the place and thought the views were similar to the Eight Views of Xiaoxiang. They were beautiful scenes of Hunan(湖南) Province, China, which were written about in poems, and known among the people, from the time of So (the Song Dynasty).
The monk wrote a poem in Chinese characters depicting the magnificent views from Nokendai. The poem sparked the popularity of the place, which came to be known as “the Eight Views of Kanazawa” at that time. It became one of the most popular tourist spots.
* Xiaoxiang (瀟湘(しょうしょう))とは、湖南省の洞庭(どうてい)湖(こ)からその南、湘(しょう)江(こう)と瀟(しょう)水(すい)の交わるあたりをいいます。
Since the Meiji era, the region has undergone many changes, including reclaiming of the land, the construction of factories and major urban development. The area now is a popular residential region near Tokyo. Part of ” Nokendai” including “Nokendo”, is now designated as a green conservation zone.
● 古街道研究家 道の考古学者 歴史ルポライター
● 歴史古街道団長 歴史古道まちづくりプランナー 歴史計画コンサルタント
● １４講座レギュラー講師 日本フットパス協会理事 １９５９年東京出身