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Old Photographs of the Hibiya Family Residence

 These are photographs of the Hibiya Family (日比谷家) residence. The left photograph shows the main building with a large thatched roof, and it was taken from the southern part of the premises. The right one shows the gate leading to the garden from the entrance of the building, and was photographed from the eastern part of the premises (according to the Hibiya-shi Kissō no Ie Zu). The enormous size of the entrance is evident when comparing it to the size of the individuals standing in front of it. The house and the garden were built by Shishido Tanomo in the fourth year of the Meiji era (1871) (see below for further information of this individual). The architectural details are written on Hibiya-shi Kissō no Ie Zu, the blueprint of the house.


 Shishido Tanomo (宍戸頼母) (unknown – around 1882) was a samurai of the Sendai clan at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. However, he had several names: his myo-name (名) was Tomiki (富隣), azana-name (字) Kitoku (貴徳), his go-names (号) Kengo (謙堂), Toekikan (東易館), and Sadaashi (貞蘆).

 Around the 13th year of the Tenpo era (1842), he lived in the area of Kanda-Otamagaike, Edo. It is believed that he passed away in the 15th year of Meiji (1882). He made a name for himself through the art of divination and kasō (家相) (house physiognomy).

 He is the author of several works about kasō, including, for instance, Aitakuchi-amakagami (相宅知天鏡) (1846), Hōimeikan (方位明鑑) (n.d.), and Kasō Kaisei Zushi (家相改正図誌) (n.d.). He was most probably based in Kanda, Edo, but was active beyond this area for kasō assignments. In the first year of the Bunkyū era (1861), he completed a kasō plan in today’s Kikugawa, Shizuoka Prefecture. Three years later, in the first year of the Genji era (1864), he completed another one in today’s Toda, Saitama Prefecture. These assignments are the evidence to his activities in the whole Kantō region.

 He is also the author of the following list of works: Kasō Hōi Shinan (家相方位指南) (Instructions for a House Physiognomic Orientation); Kasō Hiden-shū (家相秘伝集) (Collection of the Secrets of House Physiognomy); Kasō Binran (家相便覧) (Handbook of House Physiognomy); Kasō Michishirube (家相道しるべ) (Guide to House Physiognomy); Hōi Benpō Seigi (方位弁方精義) (Guide to the Precise Directions).

* Myo (名) is normally a name given to the child by his/her parents.

* Azana (字) is normally a nickname or informal name given by him/herself, their parents, or friends.

* (号) is a professional name used to represent him/herself for a particular field of profession (similar to a pen-name).

* Kasō (家相) is a type of fortune-telling referred to as house physiognomy, and is similar to the Chinese pheng shui (風水).

Japanese names follow the Japanese order: surname-name.

Japanese names and words are transcribed using the Hepburn romanization method.

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