If you do not know about it, you are about to pass by! A unique scenery where there is the prefectural boundary of “Yamagata Prefecture on the left” and “Niigata Prefecture on the right” in one village! From Nezugaseki in Yamagata Prefecture.
“Nezugaseki” in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, is located on the prefectural boundary of Yamagata Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture. Since a long time ago, the “Nezunoseki” toll castle has been set to prevent the invasion of “Emishi” (the name of people living in the north from the view of Imperial Court) in Nezugaseki. Along with the “Shirakawanoseki” toll castle (Shirakawa City, Fukushima Prefecture) and “Nakosonoseki” toll castle (Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture), it is called “Ousanseki (three great toll castles of Ou)” and regarded as essential toll castles. Also, there is “Legend of Yoshitsune” remains, which is at the end of the Heian period (12th century), Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who chased from his brother Minamoto no Yoritomo landed by the boat from “Sasakawanagare” (the beach in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture).
In the story of Kanjincho, the Kabuki drama play, Benkei read the Kanjincho but, the toll castle keeper uncovered the fellow of Yositsune at “Atakanoseki” toll castle in Kaga (current Ishikawa Prefecture). Benkei promptly hit Yoshitsune with his Shakujo (pewter staff) many times. Saemon Togashi, the toll castle keeper, sympathized with them and let them go.
However, in “Legend of Yoshitsune” of Nezunoseki, it is said that the event of “Kanjincho” took place at “Nezunoseki.” By the way, from Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture to Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, many people have the same family name as a toll castle keeper, Togashi.
The two villages of “Nezunoseki” in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, and “Igureno” in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, are connected like one village. The prefectural boundary intertwined along with the houses, and it makes people feel as if the border is in the village. There is a stone monument of “The site of Ancient Nezugaseki” nearby.
The site of the toll castle abolished in Meiji era is called “The modern site of Nezunoseki.” Mr. Sakai, who is the federal lord of Shonai, moved from “Ancient Nezugaseki” after the Edo period.
It said that “Nezu no Matsu (pine tree of Nezu)” is about 400 years old and grows from a bonsai pine tree planted to the ground.
“Nezugaseki Lighthouse” in Bentenjima island is a lighthouse that has been certificated as “Sanctuary of lovers” by the Nippon Romantist Association. There is a promenade equipped. The sunset seen from there is fantastic.
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