巨大信仰のルーツ 神々しい御神体

明々庵

Meimeian

MEIMEI-AN TEAHOUSE

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MEIMEI-AN TEAHOUSE

A simple and refined teahouse
with connections to Lord Fumai

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Constantly changing due to the circumstances of the era, the teahouse was built to Lord Fumai’s liking, unbound by standard practices.

Shiomi Nawate, a street which retains the atmosphere of the castle town of Matsue, runs alongside the inner moat of the castle. It was named after Kohe-e Shiomi, whose residence once stood in its center. The word nawate, which means long straight road, was added to Shiomi, giving the street its name.

Head up a sloping side road just off Shiomi Nawate, and a set of elegant steps appears to the left. They lead to Meimei-an, a teahouse associated with Lord Fumai Matsudaira.

At the top of the steps is a stone lantern. If you look at the top of the lantern closely, you can see carvings of the three hollyhock leaves of the Tokugawa clan crest, and the bamboo and sparrow of the Date clan crest. It is thought that the lantern was one of the household articles brought from the Date clan by Lord Fumai’s wife, at the time of marriage.

Lord Fumai Matsudaira was the 7th lord of the Matsue domain. His real name was Harusato Matsudaira. A person of refined taste, and a master of the tea ceremony and Zen, he was given the name “Fumai”, which led to him being known in the local area as Lord Fumai. He founded the successful Fumai-ryu tea ceremony school, and established the foundations of Matsue’s current tea and Japanese sweets culture.

Originally, Meimei-an was built to Lord Fumai’s liking in 1779 at the main residence of the Arisawa family, in Tono-machi, Matsue City. Lord Fumai often attended tea ceremonies there. However, due to circumstances of the era, Meimei-an was later dismantled and sent from the foot of Akayama, Matsue City, to Harajuku and then Yotsuya, in Tokyo, where it was reconstructed. In 1928, it returned to Matsue, and was rebuilt in Haginodai. However, it fell into disrepair due to the lack of management and maintenance after the outbreak of the war. Before long, people began to call for its revival, and in 1966, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lord Fumai’s death, it was transferred and restored on the Akayama hill, where it currently stands.

From Akayama hill, one has an eye-level view of Matsue Castle. The hills upon which Meimei-an and Matsue Castle stand were originally joined as one. The current formation was created by carving out the middle of the hill for the construction of the castle moat. It is an example of the incredible strength of human power in the Edo period.

Immerse yourself in the time of Lord Fumai,
while gazing out at the elegant Meimei-an teahouse.

“Meimei-an is a teahouse unbound by standard practice, and was built to Lord Fumai’s liking. It has a thick thatched roof and two tatami mats with a place for a sunken hearth. It is standard for a teahouse to have a central pillar, however Meiemei-an is lightweight, and does not have one. Usually, the central pillar stands between the tea preparation seat and the guest’s seat. Lord Fumai thought there was no need for such a barrier between host and guest,” says the manager, Toshio Moriyama.

Visitors cannot enter Meimei-an; however, the nearby Akayama Sado Kaikan offers the kind of tea and Japanese sweets Lord Fumai liked. These can be enjoyed while gazing out at the elegant teahouse. Here, you can feel the rich and serene atmosphere of Matsue, and the gentle passing of time.

{ Access }

  • ●Access to Meimei-an: 10 minutes by Lakeline bus from Matsue Station, JR San’in Line, then 5 minutes on foot from Shiomi Nawate stop.

  • ●278 Tono-machi, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture

  • [ more information ] Matsue City Centre | Discover Matsue | VISIT MATSUE <<View the site>>

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MEIMEI-AN TEAHOUSE