Akita Prefectural Government Buildings

After Akita Prefecture was legally established in December 1871, the first prefectural government office was set up in Kubota Castle in April 1872, where it stayed for seven months. In 1880, a new building was constructed as the prefectural government office, which was in service until being destroyed by a fire in August 1957. The new prefectural government building was opened in the present location in December 1959. The main building and second building are connected by an underground passage.

In Commemoration of the 16th National Athletic Meet [Board on the PeIMG_20171011_102858destal]

On October 8, 1961, the National Athletics Meet was opened in Akita with Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress at Yabase Stadium. The top 14,000 athletes of the nation put on a display of dynamic competition until October 13. The National Athletics Meet in Akita was praised as the greatest success in the history of national athletics meets and established friendship with people from across the nation thanks to the people of Akita Prefecture who worked hard, following the motto, “health, bliss, kindness.” The statue was erected here in early autumn 1962 in commemoration of the great achievements of the National Athletics Meet in Akita and with the hope to consolidate the prefectural spirit for action, planning, and cooperation. Governor of Akita Yujiro Obata[Translated from the inscription in Japanese.]

Statue of Tatsuko and Hachirotaro [Sculpture in Bronze]

img_20171011_103011.jpgAwarded the Prize-of-Effort by the Issenn Society of Fine Arts in 1970, produced by Mr. Kazaemon Minagawa (Niida, Jumonji Town, Hiraka County, Akita Prefecture), and donated by Kazaemon Minagawa.
The sculptor carved out this work to “represent the legendary image of Hachirotaro playfully trying to get the heart ball from Princess Tatsuko, the goddess of the mysterious Lake Tazawako, on Goza-no-Ishi stone.”
Standing 2.15 meters high and 1.25 meters wide, it is finished with 5.625 kg of lacquer, and was produced in about 15 days (from late July to early August 1970)
[Translated from the inscription in Japanese.]

Namahage [Great Mask]
IMG_20171011_103556The ritual of Namahage on New Year’s Eve is observed in most parts of Oga Peninsula. Namahage, sent by the gods of the Shinzan Shrine, visit every household to warn wrongdoers, exorcise disaster, and to bring an abundant harvest, fishing haul, and luck, yelling: “Is anyone Lazy? Is any child crying?” The “Namahage of Oga” is a folkloric event of long tradition, which was designated as a National Important Folk Cultural Property in 1978. The etymology of Namahage is sought in the imagined act of “namomi wo hagu (peeling off fire blisters).” Fire blisters appear on the hands and feet of lazy people who spend all day and night by the hearth in winter. The purpose of Namahage is to admonish laggards by peeling off their fire blisters. [Translated from the inscription in Japanese.]
For more about Namahage, read “Learning about Akita Lore – Namahage” by Fumiko Yabuki.

Symphony of Light and Wind [Sculpture]
With waves big and small flying over the sky as if light and wind in the fluidIMG_20171011_103613.jpg
Patterns of colors in the weaving appear and disappear again and again.
Or is this a departure of Lumiere to the unknown world full of splendor
by Biko Hayashi
[Translated from the inscription in Japanese.]