Visiting Korea in Japan – Former Koma County

Hidaka City in Saitama Prefecture has a wonderful flower field of Red Spider Lilies.  The details are in my previous posting.  This is also a place to feel Korea in Japan.  This is because people immigrated to this place from Korean Peninsula about 1,300 years ago.  Right after you get off the train at Koma Station of Seibu Line, it’s like visiting Korea in Japan.  In front of the station, there are two totem-pole like pillars.  They are Jangseung.

Jangseung in Koma Station

Jangseung is a kind of a guardian for Korean people.  It is usually made of wood but there are stone-made Jangseung, too.  And at the entrance of Koma Station stood two Jangseung poles.  Korean culture is living in Japan.

There are two poles called Jangseung at the entrance of Koma Station.

 

Korea in Japan – Shoden-in Temple

There are Jangseung in many places in Koma area.  For example, I found them in Shoden-in Temple.

Jangseung poles in front of Shoden-in Temple

This temple was said to be built in 751 as a family temple of Koma-no-Konikishi Jakko who came to Japan from Korea.  He was from a ruling family of Kokuri, an ancient kingdom in Korean Peninsula.  “Kokuri” is based on the pronunciation in Japanese.  In English, this kingdom is called as “Koguryo”.  By early 8th Century, there were already more than one thousand people from Koguryo living in Eastern area in Japan.  It was said that Jakko gathered 1,799 people and brought them to Saitama and made Koma County.  Koma (高麗) was named after Kokuri (高句麗) or Koguryo.

Jakko governed this area and after he died, his son established Shoden-in Temple and buried Jakko here.  There is a mausoleum of Jakko on the right of the main gate of the temple.  This is another Korea in Japan.

Mausoleum of Koma-no Konikishi Jakko.

The main building of the temple was recently refurbished in 2000.

In front of the main hall extends the wide view of the area.

If you are lucky, you can see Mt. Fuji from here.

 

Korea in Japan – Koma Jinja Shrine

I found Jangseung again in Koma Jinja Shrine.  Jakko died in Koma in 8th Century and after that, this shrine was established and Jakko was enshrined.


By Keihin Nike – Photo by the poster, GFDL-no-disclaimers, Link

Inside the shrine, there is Koma Family residence with thatched roof which was built around 17th Century.  Since there is a close relationship between the shrine and Korea, Korean costumes were exhibited.  Again, you will feel Korea in Japan.

 

More Info on Shoden-in Temple and Koma Jinja Shrine

<Shoden-in Temple>

Address: 990-1 Niihori, Hidaka City, Saitama

Opening Hrs: 8am – 5pm

Addmission: ¥300 (¥150 for elementary school kids)

 

<Koma Jinja Shrine>

Address: 833 Niihori, Hidaka City, Saitama

Opening Hrs: 8;30am – 5pm

 

Both Temple and Shrine are easy access from Komagawa Station of JR Kawagoe Line. about 20-min walk.  If you also want to go to Kinchakuda to see red spider lilies, Koma Station of Seibu Line is closer to Kinchakuda about 5-min walk.  From Kinchakuda to Koma Shrine and Shoden-in, it takes about 40 minutes by foot.

 

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Love walking. Love cycling. Love travelling. Let's see the world!

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