Ancient Japanese city imprinted on the imperial castle

  Recently, a souvenir called “Ojo Seal” has sparked an upsurge in collecting in Japan. These seals have exquisite patterns, depicting the historic Japanese castles, making collectors unable to extricate themselves.
  The 50-year-old netizen “Hidden House KK” enthusiastically introduced: “The design of Yuchengyin incorporates the name of the city, the lord’s family crest, monogram, local culture and customs, calligraphy, etc., some of the Yuchengyin uses hand-printed Japanese paper or The local famous paper is made of unique craftsmanship.” He claims to be an expert in the exploration and research of Yucheng seals, and has collected nearly 200 Yucheng seals.
  Yucheng Seal is the souvenir of the ancient city of Japan. Many shrines have sold Goshuin before. At first glance, Gojoin and Goshuin are very similar, but in fact they have nothing to do with each other. Goshuin is a commemorative seal for visiting a shrine, mostly handwritten. Ojoyin is not handwritten, but printed on the basis of Japanese paper and other materials. The unit price is about 300 yen, and the size varies, but most of them are 16 cm long and 11 cm wide.
  ”Hidden House KK” said: “Because most of the Ojo Seal can only be sold locally, it will attract collectors to buy it, and visit the town, taste the food, visit the specialty shops, and really feel it. Looking at the history and modernity, as well as the local customs, this is also one of the charms of Yuchengyin.”

There are already about 280 ancient cities in Japan that have issued Imperial Seals.
Birthplace-Matsumoto Castle

  The forerunner who issued the Ojo Seal was Matsumoto Castle in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. In 1990, Matsumoto Castle started selling the “City Climbing Memorial Certificate”. However, for a period of time since then, this tourism peripheral product has not been promoted. In April 2016, Gujo Hachiman Castle in Gifu Prefecture sold the Ojo Seal and donated part of the income to Kumamoto Castle for post-earthquake restoration and reconstruction. This matter once became a hot topic, so other towns and local tourism associations also began to produce similar products, and through social network publicity to increase the popularity of Ojoyin. Since last year, Yuchengyin has become a popular tourist souvenir.
  But soon, the phenomenon of reselling second-hand Yucheng seals also appeared.
  In February of this year, the Himeji City Tourism and Tourism Bureau released a one-month limited edition of Himeji Castle Royal Castle Seal. In the beginning, the Tourism and Tourism Bureau did not make a purchase restriction policy. As a result, more than 10,000 Yucheng seals were sold in just 10 days of sale. Although the “Resale Prohibition” was clearly marked on the Ojo Seal, in the second-hand market, the original price of 300 Yen Ojo Seal was still fired to more than 2,000 yen. The Tourism and Tourism Bureau worried that if this development continues, those who really want to buy Yucheng Seal will not be able to buy it, so they limit each person to a maximum of three. The relevant person in charge said: “Our original intention was to let people who know the beauty of Himeji Castle buy souvenirs. We deeply regret this situation.”
New Imperial City Seal Competition

  Takeshi Kono, 45, is the “commander” of the “siege regiment”, Japan’s largest ancient city information website. He said: “Today, nearly 280 cities in Japan have sold Ojo seals. Many ancient cities do not have any special products. Tourists are very eager for a tourist souvenir worth buying, so the sales of Ojo seals have increased. The sale of Ojo seals has increased. The price is only about 300 yen, the price is low, and each has its own characteristics, and it can be played repeatedly after returning home. For the seller, its cost is also very low. It is precisely because the buyer and the seller are not pressured that Ochengyin will Get popular.”
  The “Hidden House KK” mentioned above was fascinated by Ojoyin three years ago. He has always liked history and warring states military commanders, and out of this love, he had collected the shrine imperial seals according to the military commander’s activity map. In the process, he came across the Hikone Castle Mijo Seal sold in Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture. “At that time, I felt that my eyes were bright. Then I thought about it. Since the shrine can issue a commemorative seal for visiting the shrine, there is nothing strange about the existence of the memorial seal for ascending to the castle.” He said.
  Fans of Yucheng Seal will buy the Yucheng Seal before visiting the ancient city, and then take selfies with the ancient city and landmark buildings as the background and upload them to Twitter. Nowadays, there is even the “Yichengyin Circle” on Twitter, and related competitions have been set up.
  ”Hidden House KK” said: “When I heard that a certain place was going to sell Yucheng seals, I would rush to the line early in the morning to get the new seals first, take photos and post them on Twitter. I personally call this’the first A scramble match’. When I got the seal of Yucheng first, I was always excited!”
Happiness without rules

  The 35-year-old netizen “Nagoya Mirai” learned about and fell in love with Ojo Seal during the process of collecting the shrine Oshu seal last year. Now, he has just collected the seventh imperial seal.
  ”There are no established rules to enjoy the Yucheng Seal, but the feeling of vying for the Yucheng Seal is like the mood of a general when he takes down the city.” He said excitedly.
  Having said that, Yucheng Seal is just a small piece of paper. Why does it make so many adults so obsessed? Sachiko Ogiwara, author and editor of ancient castle books, believes: “Because this small piece of paper contains the characteristics and history of the ancient castle, it can give people an intuitive feeling. This is the greatest charm of Ojo Seal.” For
  example, Aizu Wakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture The imperial seal issued by the city lists the family crests of the past lords. Through these dazzling emblems, we can feel the changes in this city. For another example, Hikone Castle is inspired by the Hikone Domain Ii’s “Red Army”, the background color of the Ojo Seal is red, and Ii’s family character “Straight” is incorporated into the design. This Ojo Seal combines the culture and history of Hikone Castle, giving people an artistic look.
  Ogihara said: “Ojoyin can be said to be a clone of the ancient town. Through Ojoyin, people can get in touch with the local history, tradition and beauty.”
Drive the local economy

  The upsurge of the imperial seal also stimulated the development of the local economy.
  That year, the change of Honnoji led to the battle of Sekihara, and Oda Nobunaga’s younger brother Oda Yurakusai made great achievements in this battle. He built the Ocao Castle in Chita City, Aichi Prefecture, but the construction was suspended before it was completed. Dacaocheng is associated with such historical celebrities, but has little popularity.

The imperial seal of the city in the mountains. Yamanaka Castle is a castle added during the Battle of Odawara during the Warring States Period in Japan, and is listed as one of the “100 Famous Cities in Japan”.

The imperial seal of the city in the mountains. Yamanaka Castle is a castle added during the Battle of Odawara during the Warring States Period in Japan, and is listed as one of the “100 Famous Cities in Japan”.

  Lin Xiuren, the chairman of the local printing company “Jomondo Chamber of Commerce”, changed the predicament of Dacaocheng. In August last year, he created and sold the Dacaocheng Imperial City Seal. This Ojo Seal contains Oda Nobunaga’s seal “Tianxia Buwu” and Oda’s family crest “Oda Papaya” pattern. Once it went on the market, it quickly sparked a craze on Japanese social networks, and Ojo Seal fans from all over the country rushed forward. Go buy. The arrival of tourists gradually made the local area lively. Lin Xiuren said: “Recently, I am discussing with my friends how to make Dacaocheng itself a tourism resource that drives the county’s economy.”

Yicheng Gucheng Imperial City Seal. Ichijo Valley Castle is a mountain castle built by the Warring States general Asakura, and it is listed as one of the “100 famous cities in Japan.”

The Ojo Seal of Maruoka Castle will update the design according to the seasons, and the one on the left is a winter limited edition.

The military commander seal of Sanada Yukimura, known as “Japan’s First Soldier.” The pattern includes the red armor of the Sanada Red Army and the motto “Do not hesitate”.

The seal of the military commander of Oda City, known as “the best beauty in the Sengoku period”

  In this wave, at the end of 2019, the “War Commander Seal” began to become popular among Japanese history lovers. This is equivalent to another version of the imperial seal produced by the center of the military commander. The layout includes illustrations of military commanders, memorials, famous sayings of military commanders, etc. Some people call it “Yujiangyin”. At present, nearly 40 kinds of military seals have been sold throughout Japan.
  Netizen takubomay collected more than 20 military commanders’ seals. Speaking of the charm of the military commander, he said: “The life of a military commander is closely related to the local history. Through the layout of the military commander, we can understand how heavy the military commanders are fighting for the prosperity of the family.”
  Some military commanders The seal also contains people’s impressions of this military commander. For example, the military commander of Sanada Yukimura has a comment of “Japan’s first soldier”, and the military commander of Oda Nobunaga bears the words “The one who wins Mino wins the world”. By viewing the military commander’s seal, you can see the heroic posture of the generals, and people can also learn about the local history through the military commander’s seal.
Fun at home

  Recently, due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, everyone has been living a “home life”. Even if we don’t go out, we can still admire the seal of the imperial castle and the military commander at home. In addition to viewing the seals you bought before and remembering the fun of traveling, you can also search online to plan which imperial seal or military seal you are going to get after the epidemic is over. In response to the government’s call to reduce going out and consciously isolate, many Yuchengyin issuers have launched mail order services. “Hidden House KK” has already purchased a number of Imperial Seals through mail order, and he patiently waited for the “day of siege” to arrive. He said: “At home, I will happily admire the Ojo Seal in my hand while thinking about travel plans in my head… Actually, the happiest stage of travel is not when I am making plans.”

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