Izumo, land of the mythical transfer of the nation, overflowing with the romance of ancient history. Mr. Fujioka, who is like a living dictionary of its history and culture, majored in Japanese history at Kyoto University after graduation from Izumo High School, choosing as his topic the history of Zen Buddhism. He thought about progressing to a doctorate, the ultimate in university scholarship, after completing his Master’s degree, but his father died suddenly during the course of his studies. As the eldest son, he chose to return home, becoming a teacher at his alma mater in 1958.


He turned his attention to the history of his hometown around the age of 30. The story of medieval Izumo remained unclear, and he threw himself into research alongside his work as a teacher, becoming a leader in the field. After this, he delved even further back into the ancient past. He always shared the results of his research with the local community. His lectures on ancient history for local residents and study sessions on ancient manuscripts continued for nearly 40 or 50 years, developing successors.


He particularly strove to preserve Matsue Castle, the historic symbol of the local community. The castle tower, designated as a National Treasure in the pre-War period, was demoted to the rank of Important Cultural Property after the War. Many citizens, proud of their castle built in the early Edo Period, fought to hold back their frustration. Taking up the position of Chair of the “Citizens’ Group to Make Matsue Castle a National Treasure,” he energetically held more than two hundred talks a year, collecting the signatures of around 130,000 people, equivalent to almost the entire adult population, and presenting them to the Agency for Cultural Affairs. As though swayed by this enthusiasm, a prayer talisman which proved the date of construction was discovered, and in 2015, the National Treasure status was restored.


Looking back, he is ever more grateful for the sixty or so years he has been able to spend living as an “Izumo native” since his return home.


Daisetsu Fujioka

Born in what was then Hikawa Town in 1932. Former President of Shimane Prefectural Women’s Junior College, Professor Emeritus of the University of Shimane Junior College. Chair of the Institute of Izumo Studies NPO, Chair of the Culture Foundation of Shimane Prefecture, Director of Matsue History Museum (Matsue City), Director of the Archaeological Museum of Kojindani (Izumo City), Chair of the Society to Preserve Izumo Dialect.

Translation: Media Research, Inc.

Spirit and Spine

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Gaku Okubo (ISUKE INC.)
Yoshitomo Tanaka (Vivot)
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Kenryo Hara (Kikkokai)