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The origin spot of the folk song “Tsugaru Jonkara-bushi”

Location Sakurada Aseishi, Kuroishi, Aomori Prefecture
Access 3 minutes by car from the Kuroishi IC, on the Tohoku Expressway

The origin of “Tsugaru Jonkara-bushi”

jyonkara-sekihi2 jyonkara-sekihi kudokibushi

Now the representative song of the Tsugaru area, “Jonkara-bushi” first began as an oral recitation sung to tell of the tragic fate of Kuroishi’s Lord Chitoku, who was overthrown by Ōura Tamenobu, the first feudal lord of the Hirosaki clan. Lord Chitoku and his castle were destroyed in battle with Tamenobu in 1597.

During the fight the nearby Buddhist temple Shinsou-ji was also burned down, and the priest Jouen carried the temple’s principal object of worship on his back to the nearby Aseishi ravine, where he threw himself in and perished. Jouen’s body was discovered a year later downstream, and was treated with great care and buried by some of the local villagers.

These villagers mourned the loss of Lord Chitoku deeply, and the song they sang to express their grief, “Kudoki-bushi,”is said to be the origin point of “Jonkara-bushi.”

Jouen’s grave is located in the graveyard near the dried river bed where his body was discovered. At the behest of the folk singer Kametarou Narumi, who was also from Aseishi, a stone monument with the inscription “The origin spot of the folk song ‘Tsugaru Jonkara-bushi’”was carved and erected near the same spot.