On November 10, faculty and students from the UC, the ISP program and Meiji Gakuin took a day to study Japanese history in Kamakura. A center of political power during the 12th~14th centuries, Kamakura’s Buddhist temples were nexuses of Japanese-Chinese cultural and religions exchange and integration. The theme of the walking tour was “A Back Road to Kamakura.” Rather than seeing the main tourist sites in the downtown area, the field trip started with Kenchoji (one of the earliest Zen temples in Japan), followed by a visit to the “Kings of Hell Hall” at Ennôji. The group then made their way into northern Kamakura via the centuries-old Kamegayatsu kiridôshi, a hand-cut pass in the hills surrounding the city that offered access to the city. After seeing several other sites, the field trip finished at the JR Kamakura-station.
Yokohama is well known as an important site of multi-cultural contact from the 19th century onwards, but Kamakura played an equally vital role in Japan’s long relationship with continental Asia. A short train ride from Totsuka Station that serves the Meiji Gaku Yokohama campus, it offers students a unique opportunity to explore Japan’s pre-modern history.