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Matsudaira daimyo graves

In a wood ato the entrance to Aizu-Wakamatsu's Higashiyama Onsen area of Aizu Wakamatsu, you can find a line of stone tortoises bearing gravestones on their backs. These are the graves of the Aizu Matsudaira daimyos (feudal loads) who owned Tsuruga-jo Castle for 266years until the Meiji revolution in 1868. All but the first Matsudaira daimyo were buried at this site. The grave of Hoshina, can be found in the Hanitsu Shrine in Inawashiro Town under the name of Hanitsu. The Matsudaira daimyos valued Shinto very Highly.
The daimyos' graves are traditional Shinto-style, except for the second daimyo, Masatsune, which is Buddhist style. Apart from the stone tortoise gravestones, each daimyo has two other gravestones, "omoteishi" and "shizumeishi" which have simpler designs.
The last of the Aizu daimyos, Katamori Matsudaira, was forced to leave his castle. He became the chief priest of the Nikko Toshogu and Futaarai shrines after his clan's defeat in Boshin Civil War. He died of illness in 1894 at Nikko at the age of 59. In 1918 his remains finally came to rest alongside those of his ancestors in Aizu-Wakamatsu With the name of "chuseireishin"


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