The recreated nostalgic farm lifestyle
Tono has come to tell of the old life through many ancient folk tales and myths. At Densho-en which brings that traditional culture to the new generations, you can experience things such as those traditional events and the telling of folk tales within the lifestyle of a farming household. Within the museum, this old lifestyle has been recreated, centering upon the distinctive Tono magariya houses, the National Important Cultural Property of the Kikuchi Family Residence, wells and water mills among other sites. Also, there is the Kizen Sasaki Memorial Museum where precious exhibits are on display. Sasaki was the storyteller for Tales of Tono, a collection of folk tales in the Tono area.
Experience fun and folklore that have settled into the lifestyle
At Densho-en, you can experience fun as well as the ancient farming lifestyle. In the Crafts Center, you can take part in activities such as ema on which you can draw a picture and write any wish on a small wooden board, otedama which is an old-fashioned beanbag game, the traditional Tono straw craft of umakko, and the silkworm culture that became prevalent in the area. Also, you can also experience the distinct culture of Tono through sources such as the kataribe storytellers from whom you can listen to the folk tales told in the local language. The restaurant has also been popular for providing local cuisine from a simple farming village.
The tragic love story of Oshirasama
In Oshira Hall, the walls are covered in carvings of a person and a horse’s head on a mulberry branch known as Oshirasama, and up to a thousand dolls that have been dressed in layers of kimono. One day, a farmer’s daughter fell in love with a horse, and the two married. The father, on finding out about the relationship, became furious and slew the horse by hanging it from a tree. When the daughter found out about the killing, she went into deep grief which further angered her father who responded by cutting off the horse’s head. She then jumped over to the horse’s head and the two of them flew off to Heaven where they became Oshirasama. Later, the heartbroken daughter came to her father in a dream and requested him to place silkworms in a mortar with mulberry leaves. It is said that this legend gave rise to the silkworm culture in the area.