The Samurai Residence Anma Family Museum: The Life of An Edo Period Samurai

Imagining the Life of a Samurai at the Anma Family Residence

The Anma Family Museum was formerly a bukeyashiki, or residence for retainers, constructed within the surroundings of Sasayama Castle. The residence underwent repairs from October 1994 to March of the following year and now tells history as a museum.

The Anma Family Museum was a house constructed in a residential area for samurai called Okachimachi. Tableware and furniture made in the Edo period (1603 – 1868), armors and archives that have remained, the L-shaped Magariya main building with thatched roofing, and the godown with tile-roofing used as a warehouse give visitors a look into the life of a samurai at the time.

The Anma Family Residence was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1830. After the fire, the estate was moved back from the road by six shaku (approximately 1.8m) and an area protected from fire was created to be prepared for fires among other things upon reconstruction. Even now, you can still see the remains from the fire between the road and earthen walls.

The Highlights of the Anma Family Residence

The best highlight of the residence is the fact that its appearance at the time has been preserved till this day. The reason is that during the Abolition of the Domain System, an administrative reform during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), when the transfer of retainers occurred one after another, there were few transfers from Okachimachi. As the people had not left, maintenance was well kept. The fact that we can grasp the characteristics of the estate, from the layout of the rooms to its scale, is very valuable.

Please also check out the Tanba Suikinkutsu located in the courtyard. A suikinkutsu is the pleasant sound of reverberating water unique to Japan as a garden feature. A jar is buried underground and is a structure where the sound of dripping water as it falls is produced and echoes. The Tanba Suikinkutsu uses Tanba pottery and its jar is one of the Six Old Kilns of Japan. You can experience the elegant way of life of the Edo period from its healing tonal quality.

The Okachimachi Samurai Residence is also a part of the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings. How about stepping into the wonderful historical scenery of a castle town and time traveling into the Edo period?

Information

Name: Samurai Residence Anma Family Museum
Address: Sasayama, Nishi-shinmachi 95
Phone: 079-552-6933
Website: http://www.withsasayama.jp/REKIBUN/anma_top.htm
Access: 15 minute walk from the JR Fukuchiyama Line at Sasayamaguchi Station, exiting at Nikaimachi bound for the Shinki Green Bus Sasayama Business Office
Fee: 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for high school and university students, and 50 yen for elementary and junior high school students.
Holidays: Mondays (open on national holidays, then closes the following day), 12/25 – 1/1 the following year