Last week, I made a visit to Morinji in Tatebayashi wishing to find my root from the 14th century. I was unsure about the temple, but the temple is famous for a raccoon folk tale and song, and I wanted to see it anyway. We all learn the raccoon song in kindergarten. In the ancient time, Tatebayashi had a castle although the structure of castle was quite different from European’s.
The government office here keeps our family records only up to 80 years under the current law. But I was lucky to see the name of my great grandfather’s father in the record. The record reflects when the great grandfather took over the household from his father. The great grandfather was born in 1860, and he took over the household while his father was alive. That has been a common practice here even today.
It was cold and drizzling, and the caretaker of the temple was out to lunch. So I went back outside and had lunch at a restaurant. The waitress there said their noodles were made from scratch, so I ordered a kakiage udon. Kakiage is a mix vegetable tempura. It was so hot and so good. If you enlarge the attached photo, you can see steam rising from the bowl.
After lunch, I returned to the temple and talked with the caretaker. Afterwards, the monk appeared with the temple records called kakocho. He confirmed that I was at a wrong temple, and he said Tatebashi has about fifty temples. Well, I shall find it. It is less than forty nine to go.