Cultural properties

Shogun Cedar

The Shogun Cedar that spreads its roots solidly on the eastern side of Byodo-ji Temple and overlooks Iwaya Village stretches its thick branches in all directions. The trunk circumference is 19.31m and the height 38m; the age is estimated at 1,400 years. The All Japan Giant Tree and Giant Grove Follow-up Investigation conducted between 2000 and 2001 by the Ministry of the Environment revealed that the Shogun Cedar became Japan’s biggest cedar tree, beating the Jomon Cedar (16.1m) of Yakushima, Kagoshima that had been the biggest until then.
The Shogun Cedar was named after Taira-no Koremochi, a shogun at an army base in Mutsu District, who spent his later years here.
Legends exist about the Shogun Cedar; one tells us that in the old days villagers made their living through transportation on the Agano River. They had no mast for their new boat and one day decided to cut down a Shogun Cedar to make one. They went to the cedar with an axe the next morning to find that the branches of the cedar had sunk underground overnight. Since then, villagers have been protecting Shogun Cedar with great care.

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